By: Terry Jacoby For Digital First Media
POSTED: Tuesday, June 5, 2018 - 2:58 p.m.
UPDATED: 3 DAYS AGO
As pastor of Lifepoint Christian Church in Waterford Township, Rick Bosnack is a religious man. As the youngest of 22 kids, he's also a practical man. Those two sides brought Bosnack to an untraditional, some might say radical, idea.
"More than 300,000 churches in America meet on the same day at roughly the same time and maybe it's time for a different option," Bosnack says. "It occurred to us that switching our normal Sunday morning service to Saturday morning in the summer might be a welcome option for families in the community."
Bosnack has spent 18 years with Lifepoint, which has long been known for its generosity to the community. In fact, it's one of the church's three mission statements: "Loving God honestly and unashamedly," "Loving people sincerely and intentionally" and "Serving our community actively and joyfully." One of its outreaches is the annual Longest Breakfast Table, where the church has raised more than $100,000 for the Waterford Police and Fire Benevolence Funds.
The idea of moving weekly services to Saturdays during the summer months is about serving the community.
"Our decision isn't a religious one, it's a practical one," Bosnack says. "Michigan summers are short and sweet and we feel Saturday may offer a `longer' weekend for churchgoers. Attendees will get out of church by noon and have the whole rest of the day on Saturday and all day Sunday to enjoy family and nice weather."
While some churches do offer Saturday services, Bosnack is not adding a service but replacing its Sunday service - there will be no Sunday service at Lifepoint.
"Over the past year it occurred to us that it might be meaningful for some folks in the community to have an option for church, especially during the summer months," Bosnack says. "After careful Bible study and consultation with some smart friends, we are convinced that the Sabbath is not a day at all, but a person. Jesus Christ is our true Sabbath. He is the One who provides rest from having to work to earn God's favor.
"I know some may disagree, but we do not feel that it matters what day we choose to worship. We can worship God on Saturday, Sunday or Tuesday afternoon."
Bosnack admits the decision wasn't easy and required plenty of discussion, debate and even divine intervention.
"It took a little while for our congregation to get used to the idea," he says. "After all, we have enjoyed church together on Sundays forever. But our congregation is flexible and eager to provide a fresh option for the community, so we're all in. Some will have to adjust work schedules, among other things, but we feel it is worth the effort. It's only for 12 weeks after all. We can do anything for 12 weeks, right?"
Bosnack, who was born in Pontiac, was the youngest of six children. His father died when he was 1, and his mother married a man who had seven children. When the second marriage didn't work out, she married another man with nine kids. "While they didn't all live with us, I grew up as the youngest of 22 kids," he says.
Bosnack attended Pontiac Northern High School until the beginning of the 11th grade when he dropped out and took a factory job. He soon suffered from alcoholism and depression, then he "heard from God."
"One winter day, battling relentless thoughts of suicide, I heard a clear voice within that said, `Take my hand and follow me,'" he says. "While I wasn't a churchgoer, I somehow recognized the voice as the voice of God. I quickly drove home and asked my mom to `Get me to a church.' She brought me to Lifepoint (formerly Calvary Temple), the church I pastor today in Waterford. That was 34 years ago."
Now married with four daughters, Bosnack says pastoring is like fathering.
"It takes a long time to see the results of your labor," he says. "And like parenting, there are no guarantees. The rewarding part of my work is seeing individuals and families embrace their faith and live for Jesus, serving Him, loving each other and serving the world around them."
Lifepoint's Saturday service will run at 10:30 a.m. from June 9 until Sept. 1, and includes a live band, children's programs and Bible teaching.
"We are not big fans of organized religion, so if you're real churchy and religious, you probably won't care for our approach," Bosnack says. "We try to keep it real and practical. We have found strength in knowing that we're not alone in life and that the Bible gives good, practical guidance for life's challenges.
"We hope that lots of people will give the Saturday service a try."
For more information, visit lifepointchristian.com.