Hello, Crossroads Family!
I had the opportunity this week on Tuesday to attend a retreat for pastors from our Evangelical Free Church Central District who serve in Southwest Missouri and Northwest Arkansas. It was great to be with these men, some of whom I have known for twenty years or more. They came from Siloam Springs, Arkansas; Cherokee Village, Arkansas; Jefferson City; Springfield; Oak Grove; plus district leadership from St Louis and from Iowa.
One of our discussion sessions was on the topic of “Crucial Conversations.” Here are a few notes from that discussion for you to think about. These are good thoughts for any organization, including a church.
Crucial conversations are those moments when opposing opinions, strong emotions, and high stakes over some particular subject in a relationship, or within a group of people, make conversation necessary. Many times a crucial conversation is needed for the health of a relationship or organization, but we’re afraid to take that step, or we don’t feel able to do it effectively and with care.
When a team or organization finds itself “stuck,” it may want to ask, “What crucial conversations are we not having?” If you don’t talk something out, you’ll probably end up acting out the conflict (or misunderstanding) surrounding the subject.
There’s a myth that people must choose between (1) telling the truth and losing a friend; or (2) avoiding the truth and keeping a friend. The Bible disagrees with that, as expressed in Ephesians 4:14-16 (below). This myth is at the heart of some of the dysfunction within groups of people. Some churches are “stuck” because they have a feeling that candid conversation may result in broken friendships. It doesn’t have to be that way,… and really shouldn’t be that way among followers of Christ.
Three “crucial” subjects mentioned at our retreat that seem to often not be discussed in the church are these:
- Performance problems with volunteers or staff.
- Church members struggling with sin.
- Concerns with pastors.
You could think of other crucial subjects that are avoided in the church. A good question to ask ourselves at Crossroads is this: What are two or three crucial conversations that affect the health of our church but that we’re not having? If church members can focus on seeing crucial conversations as a pathway forward — and a way to foster stronger relationships — they can have a tremendously positive effect on the group.
The Bible is, in many respects, an entire book of crucial conversations! Throughout the Bible, people are having candid conversations about real life and eternal issues. May God give us a positive candor with each other that allows us to maintain good health and forward progress as a church!
Notes & Calendar
Dear Friends at Crossroads: Thank you for your 2023 Boomerang Bottle donation of $190.39. We appreciate your continued support. — Birthright of Nevada
Tyrell and Rachel and their family are missionaries we’re supporting at Crossroads. They have served the Lord for a number of years with Inner City Impact, reaching children in the city of Chicago. Now they have some new ministry opportunities in the Chicago area. What a great chance we have to connect with a major city that’s in the news today! Tyrell will be speaking to us Sunday, April 30, during the worship service.
On Sunday, May 14, we’ll celebrate the coming graduation of Kourtnee Vestal from Nevada High School. We’ll have cake and punch following the worship service and a chance to pray for Kourtnee. Congratulations, Kourtnee!
Bushwhacker Days are June 8-10 on the square in Nevada. Julie Kemper is on the organizing team and would like to help us have a greater presence there. She’ll be looking for Crossroads volunteers who can help serve at the concession stand … and maybe even help cook! This is a good opportunity for Crossroads to be present in our city, to rub shoulders with people, and to shine the light of Christ in Nevada.
Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
I hope to see you this Sunday for worship!
10:00 at the Community Center!