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Contemporary Worship

READ MORE: Cape Fear 2020: Contemporary Worship
At Lifepoint church in Monkey Junction, the choir prefers t-shirts to robes and electric guitars to organs. There are no pews -- just folding chairs and bleachers. Then there's lead Pastor Jeff Kapusta, a 31-year-old who loves to surf and hates to dress up. Lifepoint is his vision of what church should be. "I grew up in church but I was bored out of my mind and church wasn't somewhere I wanted to be," Kapusta said. "I feel like we have the most exciting, life changing message in all the world. We ought to be able to speak it in a way that makes sense and connects with the younger generation." Kapusta has been preaching his version of the gospel at Myrtle Grove Middle in Monkey Junction every Sunday for the past two years. He draws a fairly large crowd (500 by his count) that may not have otherwise gone to church at all. "Maybe they felt like they were judged at church, or they felt like church was full of hypocrites or maybe church was boring," said Kapusta. "What we want to do is reach those people with the message of Jesus and say church isn't boring and Jesus is relevant." "This is not religion, this is Christianity," said Lifepoint member Joe Carr. "Christianity as you see it in the new testament is live, it's vibrant, it's growing, it's changing. Religion -- old stagnant, stale, no interest, boring." Lifepoint is only a small part of larger movement. One that's becoming more and more popular both in our region and across the country. "Some call them seekers of spirituality, some call it jokingly the Church of Barnes and Noble. What they're talking about are people who when asked are you religious they say no I'm not religious but I'm spiritual," said UNCW history and religious studies Professor Walter Conser. "That segment of the population will grow." "I do feel more accepted in Lifepoint than I do in other places," said Lifepoint member Steve Rassin. "I don't feel judged as much and more importantly I feel like others aren't judged as much." Rassin was raised Catholic. He and his wife sampled different churches in the area before ending up at Lifepoint. "The message is simple enough so I can understand it, but it's focused enough that it makes sense to me," Rassin said. But once you get past the informality and the rock music, you have to wonder, what exactly is Kapusta's message? "We just believe that there's hope," Kapusta said. "There's hope in Jesus, there's hope in the cross, God loves us right where we're at." "To think about what this church would look like come the year 2020, my hope is that's the message being broadcast." As more people move to our area, Kapusta says he hopes to expand his church beyond Monkey Junction. He's aiming to set up branches in all of the five counties to reach as many potential congregants as possible. Lifepoint is one of many spirituality-seeking churches in the area. Religious studies Professor Walter Conser predicts there will be even more by 2020.

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PC3

I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who felt that way at PC3. I still miss the way it was a couple of years ago.

CHURCH

WOW, GET TIRED OF OLD CHURCH AND MAKE UP ONE TO SUIT YOU? THIS SOUNDS LIKE MARTIN LUTHER! THE POINT OF DRESSING FOR CHURCH HAD TO DO WITH RESPECT FOR GOD, BUT SOME MAY HAVE MADE A FASHION SHOW OUT OF IT. WEARING JEANS IS JUST A WAY OF GETTING THE OFFERING PLATES FULL. COME AS YOU WANT, JUST GIVE US MONEY. TO BE A PASTOR AT ONE OF THESE ROLLIN IN THE AISLE CHURCHES REQUIRES LITTLE KNOWLEDGE OF THEOLOGY. HOW MANY OF THE 'SO CALLED' PASTORS HAVE HAD ANY THEOLOGICAL EDUCATION? IN SOCIETY TODAY, IF YOU DON'T LIKE SOMETHING YOU INVENT SOMETHING THAT YOU DO LIKE. DARN, OUR VALUES HAVE GONE TO HELL IN A HANDBASKET.

Rituals, traditions and false idols

Yes, that is right what you said about Martin Luther. And thanks to him the Protestant movement evolved and I am thankful for not having to rely on catholic lies and their misinterpretations any more. Traditions and rituals are false and Jesus told us that. Everybody can read that in the Bible. So what is so hard to understand about it?

Pat's comment

I feel the point is to "bring them in" and get them to Christ. It was never about fashion or theology and Martin Luther was right about the indulgences, relics, having the scripture read to the masses instead of having the chance to read the Word for oneself, which the Catholic church used to fill it's coffers. That way of thinking will not reach the people; it turns them away.I have attended the Life Point church and was very impressed with the way they are reaching out to young adults who have been disillusioned with the old ways which do seem cold and impersonal. Lifepoint does not urge young adults to go against the teachings of Christ or God's intent in any way. It teaches them to tithe and why it is important to understand all churches are God's storehouses which if used properly would take care of all God's people sufficiently. I realize I am rambling here. I have attended church for over 45 years in different locales and sects, with none moving me like the sermon I enjoyed at Life Point which was about one of the most difficult topics: stewardship. I believe Lifepoint is doing what is needed now to bring the people back to the Church and the Church back to the people. Bravo!!! Brenda Maddaluna, New York

WHAT?

Ummmm...okay...I want to make sure I understand what you are saying....studying Theology makes you a Christian or even better a Pastor? And Jesus was all about dressing up and presenting yourself differently on the Sabbath? I have to say I disagree with you. I can't find anywhere in the bible that Jesus said that. In the society of "yesterday" people invented the rituals you are referring to, like dressing up. Jesus never once did this, but the Pharisees did. I am pretty sure Jesus called them out on that as well as many of their other "rituals". Respect for God isn't about dressing up, reciting the Apostles Creed or lighting candles; it's about living your life for him. Being the hands and feet or Christ. Also, I didn't invent Jesus, God did. I am just following him and he loves me for that.

PC3

I went to Port City Community church as well.. But it is a business as usual church like all of the rest.. The larger the church got, the more the heads of those singing and preaching swelled... "The more we heard money is not an issue but if you want to give.. please give..." A bunch of swollen-ego rock stars this group turned out to be, ignoring the little guy, not returning the calls, not knowing your members... Forgetting what THE message was all about... Becomming just another church that only cares abnout the membership as a group and not the member as an indivudual and his/her own person. I still like everyone there.. But I am not going to put my faith into Rock Stars out for a pupularity contest to see who can become who in a church.. We are all equal in Christ's eyes, but PC3 forgot about that along the way.... I how this Lifepoint keeps the knowledge that each of it's members is an individual and cares more about people than with presentation.

Stay On Track

PC3 will always be criticized because they are setting the pace. Stay focused and keep changing lives one at a time. Other churches are pulling for you, including Lifepoint.

Another great church is...

Port City Community Church aka PC-3.

Christians

I went to PC3 and it is a great church! However, it is so big that when you need help you can easily get lost.

Small groups

At PC-3, small groups are how folks stay connected. I agree, the church has exploded growth-wise since I started attending there in 2001. If you feel "lost" at PC-3, stay after a service and talk with Mike Ashcraft or call the church office. He'll be glad to meet with you privately.

PC

Let us know what you think of the new PC going up on Cardinal Drive. I am amazed and in awe at the whole donation thing of this. Whom, in this county, has that much money to give to something as big as the white elephant>... doh, I mean, the Convention Center? I am amazed at the mere size of this sanctuary. I hope they put in stained glass for those that like the look of a real church.

I quit going to my lifelong

I quit going to my lifelong "Southern Baptist" church when I was 14 and realized that I was sick of being with hypocrites Sunday morning & night, Monday night for visitation, Wednesday night for choir, and when a deacon made sexual advances towards me on a youth outing. I came to hate my church and the people in it. Years later I found a non-denominational, "contemporary" church, and it became my refuge.

sounds awesome. i grew up in

sounds awesome. i grew up in a typical hypocritical baptist church not too far from wilm and even though i still have my faith i quit attending services regurally a few years ago. i just got tired of the fashion shows on sunday morning and got tired of hearing people condem others for this and that when they are not perfect themselves. i'm definitely going to look into lifepoint!

Real People in a Real Place

Lifepoint is a great community where people get real. People are coming as they are. They are not putting on a show to keep up appearances. They are coming how God sees us every minute of the day. No acts, no airs, no dressing up. Just plain old "real". And when you get and give real with people, you get real results in your life. It's an amazing place.