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Church Check: The Point Church in Kearns, Utah


The Point Church in Kearns, Utah is another one that wasn’t requested by any readers, but that we found by a Google search and decided to add to our list. We’re finishing them up now because we initially contacted them back in July.


For our readers still wondering when we’re going to check the church they requested, we’re getting to them as soon as we can. Please continue to be patient as we work through our backlog of churches and we will get to yours as soon as we can.


Anyway, on to the Check!


Website Review


Church Website: https://www.thepointslc.com/

Church Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pointslc/


We don’t learn very much from this church’s website alone, which provides minimal information, but once we scrolled through their Facebook Page for a few minutes, we learned a little bit more.


On the website, we basically find that this is a multicultural church that provides a typical, modern Christian church service with no distinct denominational affiliations. We do see that this church regularly hosts the Global Leadership Summit, which is something of a red flag, but we’ll get to that later. There is only one red flag that we see on this website, and it’s on the I’m New page of their website:


Red Flag:We invite you to come a few minutes early, register your children using our secure check-in system, and then stop by our Hebrews Coffee Shop. Your first drink is on us.


We have a problem with churches that have coffee shops which charge congregates money. This is solely money serving in purpose. Churches act like they’re providing some kind of special Christian service to people by opening a business in their church lobby, but unless that coffee is free, it's really not. It’s just a money making business. Period.


The Facebook Page


We learn very little from the website, but as I said, the Facebook Page gives us a little more, including this church’s sermons AND worship services (hallelujah!).


Additionally, we find out that the lead pastor (which isn’t even shared on the church’s website) is Corey J. Hodges. Typically, knowing the name of the church’s pastor doesn’t tell us much about the church itself, unless that pastor has a reputation or is well known for the size of their church.


In this case, the pastor’s name tells us a lot. While Wikipedia isn’t exactly the most accurate source of information, there is a page on Corey Hodges, and it provides us with some verifiable facts about him and The Point Church.


Pastor Corey Hodges is the chaplain for the Utah Jazz, but also Vice President of the Utah Idaho Southern Baptist Convention. We also find that the Point Church is affiliated with both the National Baptist Convention and the Southern Baptist Convention.


We also find that Pastor Corey is particularly active in the community as a member of the Utah State Ethics Commission, he was appointed to serve on the Utah Children in Foster Care (IOU) board, and he has served on the Governor’s Olene Walker Board of Economic Development.


That’s not all either, but rather than wasting time and space writing about it here, you can just read the Wiki page for yourself if you’re curious.


This church’s level of activity in the community as well as the pastor’s reputation could suggest a political bias at this church.


After everything we’ve learned online about this church and its pastor, unless you find some of the more political details of Corey’s history troubling (his dispute with Bill O’Reilly as a columnist for the Salt Lake Tribune), the only red flag so far is their coffee shop.


Questionnaire


At first, I thought this church might actually come through and answer our questions, but after a few months of emailing back and forth, I was finally told that I wouldn’t be helped.



So, let’s see what we can find out for ourselves.


1. What is your church's official position on tithing?


While this church’s website and Facebook Page don’t show any explicit pressures to give, they do have a Giving Page that lists “Tithes” as one of the ways in which we can give to their church.


They also have a few other options regarding where you’d like your donation to go, including “Pastor Appreciation,” the “Hebrews Coffee” Shop, and the “Joshua Project,” which is a new facility they want to build for their kids and teens ministries.


After watching their online services, which you can find posted on their Facebook Page, I didn’t hear any calls to give or see any plates passing, but it seems the video recording starts at the beginning of the worship service and there are actually people making announcements and other statements to the congregation before recording. It’s possible that this church does preach tithing and it just hasn’t been shown on video.


Until we can visit in person and experience an entire service for ourselves, we can’t say either way for sure.


2. Does your church have a particular set of rules or requirements that members must follow or abide by in order to retain their membership status with the church?


While we can’t find any information on the website regarding this and no one answered this question for us, there is a small sign that this church may have official membership agreements. Being affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention is it. While the SBC has no official stance on church memberships or requirements, allowing local churches their autonomy, Southern Baptist churches do tend to be more on the legalistic side of the scale.


However, since we see no other signs of this at The Point Church and since they apparently don’t list their affiliation with the SBC on their website, we can’t say whether this church has memberships or not.


3. Are you transparent with your church's financial information? How much does your church bring in through donations and tithing, and how is that money distributed?


Perhaps with more in-person checking we will be able to find out more on this question, but since the Questionnaire was stonewalled, we don’t know this.


4. Which denomination does your church align with the most, if any?


As we’ve already observed, while this church doesn’t list that they are Southern Baptist on their website or express it on their Facebook Page, according to the Wikipedia page on Pastor Corey Hodges, the church is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention and the National Baptist Convention.


5. Is your church's pastor available for other questions or comments regarding the church, its doctrines, etc.?


Perhaps if you’re able to snag Pastor Corey on a Sunday after the service, but I wasn’t able to find any way to contact him online. While the website does provide an email address for contacting the church, it wasn’t pastor Corey that answered me, and I see no other way to contact him anywhere else.


6. How is your church's doctrinal flexibility and tolerance regarding non-essential doctrines?? If a member has a disagreement with the pastor or leadership on a certain doctrine, how is it handled? Does the church change its position on non-essential doctrines fairly often, if at all?


We don’t know whether this church has an official protocol for handling doctrinal disputes, but being that this church is affiliated with the SBC tells us that there is probably very little flexibility or tolerance in the way of disagreements. We’ll know more once we can do more in-depth checking of this church.


7. Does your church require that its members be baptized? What is your church's official position on baptism?


There is no information on this church’s website or Facebook Page expressing its official position on baptism or whether they require it of church members. We do see a lot of baptisms being done through Facebook posting, but nothing that tells us whether they require it or not.


8. Please describe what a typical service and/or meeting looks like in your church.


This is one piece of information they actually do provide on their website on the I’m New page.


“Join us for a contemporary experience with a live band and a relevant message. Our congregation is multicultural, with members from over 35 different countries. Dress is typically casual, but come how you feel comfortable. Our service is about 75 minutes long. We have weekly groups for your children, that meet at the same time as the adult service. We invite you to come a few minutes early, register your children using our secure check-in system, and then stop by our Hebrews Coffee Shop. Your first drink is on us. We hope to see you soon.”


9. How many people do you have on staff at your church, both paid and volunteer?


Another question not even partially answered on their website. The complete lack of information on this church is a little concerning.


10. What is the pastor's educational history?


According to Wikipedia, Pastor Corey Hodges has a Masters of Arts in Divinity from Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia.


11. How does the church discipline its members with their sin?


Another question that will require further checking to find the answer. Nothing on the website or Facebook Page tells us how the church handles sin discipline.

12. How is the pastor compensated (income, benefits, bonuses, etc.)?


As usual, no one will tell us this, and there’s no way to know for sure.


13. What is the size of your church and any other space the church owns for meetings and church services?


The Point Church’s Facebook Page has about 1,500 likes and follows, which means they probably have about 350-500 regular attendees. As for building size, we don’t know this either since it’s not listed anywhere, but you can see their building for yourself with a simple Google Map search.



Worship Service


Since this church includes its worship services in their sermon recording videos on Facebook, we were able to experience it as if we’d gone to the church in person.


Hallelujah!


If you’d like to see which worship service I’m referring to, you can watch it on The Point Church’s Facebook Page here.


The music style and delivery at this church’s worship services differs from most of the churches we’ve checked, probably due to its cultural diversity, which I quite enjoyed.


Unfortunately, with the beautiful soulful songs that are performed very well by this church’s worship team came all the same spectacles and experience-centric features of a typical modern American worship service.


The special lighting, the projector screens with abstract, emotion inducing images, and a full band. In my opinion, it all distracts from true worship and only serves to make it about us and our experience, rather than God.


As much as I enjoyed the music at this church, I have to stick to my convictions. I don’t care for churches that make spending thousands of dollars on creating a worship experience to stroke our emotions a priority.


Sermon


Sermon: Seduced By Another Gospel

Speaker: Pastor Corey Hodges

Date: 10/13/19


Is the sermon topical or a verse by verse study through the Bible?


This is a topical sermon entitled “Seduced By Another Gospel” focused on the passage in Galatians 1:6-10 where the Apostle Paul is addressing the church in Galatia for turning from the gospel to another gospel, which is really “no gospel at all.” Coincidentally, the same Scripture and topic for the current sermon series at SMCC as well.


While typically we don’t care for topical sermons since they tend to dilute and/or twist the Word in some way, this sermon seems entirely focused on the Word itself and doesn’t divert from the biblical message of the gospel.


Is it Biblical? How frequently is the Bible used? Is it interpreted in context or twisted to fit the narrative of the sermon?


It’s certainly biblical. The Scriptures used are put up on the projector screen for everyone to read and the pastor reads each passage aloud throughout the sermon. While only two or three main passages are used, they are interpreted contextually and a lot of time is spent focusing on the passages themselves.


What’s at the heart of the sermon? The Bible, the gospel, God, Jesus, or something else?


The Gospel, for sure. There’s not much else to talk about here. The message is clear and focused on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It’s a very milky message, but all about the gospel nonetheless.


Were you fed the Word of God, or the words of men?


It was definitely a much milkier message from the Word, but I was fed the Word of God. While this multicultural church has a much different style of preaching than the typical Utah Christian church, and by that I mean they’ve got soul, there was no diverting from the Word during any of the sermon.


All in all, a good sermon, just not deep enough into the Word for my own personal liking. It was biblical, all about the gospel, and in the Word in the end though, so the only negative would be its lack of more substance and meat.


Grace Scale


While we do see a few possible signs of legalism regarding tithing on the website and the affiliation with the SBC that might be a sign of legalism, we also heard a very gracious sermon, so this church almost balances itself in the middle of the Grace Scale.


We'll have to do more research to hopefully tip them further one way or another.



Political Scale


There are a few signs that this church is a little bit more politically biased towards liberalism.


First, while it's been taken down since I saw it on their Facebook Page, this church did in fact post a quote from the recently popularized Greta Thunberg regarding environmentalism.


Secondly, the pastor's dispute several years ago with Bill O'Reilly regarding something he wrote in the Salt Lake Tribune. Read the Wiki page on Corey J. Hodges to learn more about this controversy.



Scandals & Controversies


There are a few controversies to note regarding The Point Church in Kearns, Utah.


The first we've already mentioned a couple of times. A dispute between Corey Hodges and O'Reilly regarding something Hodges wrong about him in his Salt Lake Tribune column several years ago created O'Reilly to call him out on his Fox News show.


The second is regarding the Global Leadership Summit, which The Point Church hosts yearly. Here is a comment we found on the church's Facebook Page:



It doesn't seem this church has made any statements regarding the crimes of the GLN's founder, Bill Hybels, nor have they since decided to stop hosting this organization's events. For some, it may not be a big deal. For others, it's a huge deal. Why would they continue associating with an organization with this kind of reputation? I don't know, and it's a controversy churchgoers should be aware of.


Final Rating


All in all, we don't know nearly enough about this church to recommend them, and the few things we do know put us on the fence. While there are a few controversies worth considering, the sermon does preach the gospel and teach the Bible, and there was only one or two red flags in all of our research for this church.


This will be another church in need of more in-depth checking in order to hop off the fence on one side or the other, but for now, we'll stay on the fence.