Going All In

When Darren Coish and his wife walked into 5 Point Church in Easley, South Carolina, for the first time, Coish had been a nominal Christian at best. The son of a minister, he’d grown up partying on Saturday nights and singing in the choir on Sundays. There was no calling, no salvation. 

But the day he attended 5 Point, he felt something different. “At the time I was 51,” he says. “I had never read my Bible cover to cover. Since I came to 5 Point, I’ve read it three times and am going through it now a fourth time. [Senior Pastor Dean Herman] challenged us to read our Bible. He challenged us about a daily prayer life. He challenged us to engage in active worship. It changes your life. It develops a passion within you to really change the world. Our vision is to ultimately reach people with the love of Jesus and teach them to love like Jesus. 5 Point is a tremendous church to grow in your faith.”

Coish, now an elder who leads a weekly men’s Bible study, is just one of many who have found a deeper connection with Jesus and a deeper Christian walk after coming to 5 Point. 

According to Herman, people are drawn to the church because it has a God-given vision for the purpose and mission, engaging teaching and strong leadership. But perhaps its greatest strength is the determination to exist for those outside its walls, to serve the community by meeting some of its greatest felt needs. 

“At a Catalyst conference I attended years ago, Andy Stanley asked, ‘What would happen if they closed your church? Would anybody in the community even notice besides the people in the church?’” Herman recalls. “When he said that, it completely changed me. I thought, from this point on, this church will be built for those outside the church walls.

From the day the church was planted 16 years ago, he says it has tithed 10% back out into hundreds of global and local ministries, from churches in Africa to a nearby Christ-centered rehab program to local public schools. Inside the building, 5 Point also runs a food pantry that feeds thousands each month.

They were able to raise enough money to purchase the entire shopping center surrounding the church’s building. Herman says they plan to turn those buildings into a shelter for the homeless, including showers, washers and dryers, and a thrift store.

“We are head over heels in love with a radical relationship with Jesus,” he says. “I just want to push people into falling in love with Jesus, because when you fall in love with Jesus, then that changes everything. It changes the way you walk, the way you talk, the way you serve, the way you give, what you do and what you think.”

And if you’re like Coish, it gets you—for the first time in your life—reading your Bible, praying every day and raising your hands high in worship.

Jessica Hanewinckel
Jessica Hanewinckel

Jessica Hanewinckel is an Outreach magazine contributing writer.

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