Pastor Andy Stanley of Atlanta’s North Point Community Church once again addressed criticism for not restarting in-person worship services, saying his congregation is “doing pretty good” spiritually and financially as they had recently given a record donation to the local community.
During the online service on Sunday, Stanley began his sermon by expressing his gratitude to the church community for tuning in every Sunday for services and for continuing to support the church financially.
The leader of the multi-campus church quoted Ephesians 1:15-16, “For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.”
“We have not met in the church building for nine months, and you gave more to ‘Be Rich’ than you have ever given before — over $7 million,” he told the congregation, referring to the church’s annual “Be Rich” campaign, an “initiative to partner with life-changing organizations in our communities and around the globe.”
When he was recently asked by a “high-profile media person,” who had taken some shots at him and the church earlier, how his megachurch was doing spiritually given that doors have been closed most of the year, Stanley said he responded: “Well, they gave over $7 million in 39 days to support the local charities and communities. And if Jesus was serious about that ‘where your treasure is there your heart is,’ then I think we’re doing pretty good.”
The pastor added that whenever the church is criticized for not being open due to the coronavirus, he sends them a 4-minute version of the “Be Rich” celebration. He continued that he’s often tempted to also tell them, “Our closed church just did a thousand times more for other people in 39 days than your open church has done in the past 10 years.”
Stanley announced in the summer amid the COVID-19 pandemic that the Georgia megachurch would suspend in-person services until 2021 because they cannot guarantee everyone’s safety.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Anugrah Kumar