A 2-Year Reflection
This past Sunday marked an important day in the United Methodist Church. Clergy across the denomination will be preaching their very first sermon at their new appointments, assuming they weren't reappointed to their existing charge. I was at this point two years ago. I said goodbye to the rural church I was serving at the time and - instead of preaching - began to feverishly prepare for whatever this would become someday. I knew the name at that point. If I recall correctly, we even had a logo. But that was about it: a dream, a vision, a logo, and a name.
Two years later - look at how far we've come! We've transformed into things I could never have imagined. I had no clue how big of a deal Discord would be in our community, but now it's integral to who we are. I didn't know any of the names that I know so well now. I think that's what I am primarily reflecting on this year - just how much I didn't realize then.
I've learned a lot over the past two years. I've grown as a person, a pastor, a friend, and a leader. I've discovered the absolute joy of planting a church. I've also wrung my hands through my hair in frustration more times than I could count. I've been disappointed. I've been overwhelmed - in good and bad ways.
Regardless of what I've learned or discovered that I didn't know; I've had the solid resolution from Day One that nerds, geeks, and gamers are totally, wholly, and utterly worthy of the love of God. I've seen how they were ignored and cast aside by the Church, and I've given that purposeful goal everything within me for the past two years. And I believe we have made a difference. I believe that there are people who have had their relationship with Jesus Christ transformed in the past two years. I believe some people have rekindled a passionate fire for the love and grace of Jesus in ways they never had before Checkpoint. We've told folks on YouTube that God loves them over 22,000 times. Nearly 2,000 have stumbled on our Twitch channel. And we're almost at 300 members in our church building on Discord. God is good. I can't wait to see where we go from here.