Hello, Crossroads Family!
I hope you’ve had a good week and have experienced the Lord’s care and strength in your life. I hope, too, that you’ve been attentive to his call to repentance from sin and to new areas of spiritual growth. At Crossroads, we desire to be brought into an ever-deepening relationship with God and with each other.
I’ve been reminded this week that Jesus said, “Without me, you can do nothing” (John 15:5). That’s a humbling thought, isn’t it? But also a liberating one that drives us back to him!
Here are some reminders about what’s coming up at Crossroads:
Worship Sunday morning at 10:00.
I look forward to being back together at the Community Center this Sunday! What a good Easter Sunday we had last week! Thanks to everyone who prayed, invited, cooked, prepared, set up, and led worship! This Sunday will be more “ordinary,” but I expect God to show up and minister to us in fresh ways! Would you pray in advance of Sunday, and let’s continue to keep our eyes and hearts open to those who could benefit by being with us! Thanks for reaching out so well to newcomers last Sunday!
Fellowship evening Sunday night, 5 pm.
The purpose of our fellowship evening this Sunday at Nevada Assembly of God is to get to know some other brothers and sisters in Christ in a relaxed, fun atmosphere. I’ve enjoyed getting to know Pastors Mickey and Robin this school year and consider them to be friends of mine. They pray for us, and their desire is to build relationships in the community. The plan for Sunday evening looks like this: Some from our Crossroads worship team will start the evening off by leading some music ; then there will be a time of table games and getting to know each other. Bring a snack to share if you can. 5:00 at 2247 N. Osage Blvd.
Garage Sale, May 6-7
Mark and Michelle are having a church garage sale May 6-7 at their home. Items can either be donated to support Crossroad’s building fund, or you can let Michelle know and she will track your items so you can make some extra money. Please price items you’re bringing to the sale. Items can be brought to their home or put in the back of their truck on Sundays. Anything leftover will be donated to the Moss House. *Contact us for their information* Thank you!
We’ll meet Sunday, May 1, at 7 pm, at my house, 628 W. Arch Street, to share some of the work we’ve been doing — text selection; main idea; Fallen Condition Focus; bombarding the text with questions; key words. Anyone is welcome to join us, even if you missed the first session.
Notes From My Pastors Retreat This Week
I enjoyed spending Tuesday this week with Evangelical Free Church pastors from southwest Missouri and northern Arkansas at our annual spring retreat in Springfield. I’ve known some of these pastors for many years, so it’s always good to reconnect. I was grateful for breakfast Tuesday morning with Diana’s hospice chaplain who now lives in Springfield and who continues to care for me and our family all these years later.
The theme of the retreat was “Living Well: Growing in the Practice of Self-Leadership.” A part of the shepherding that a pastor or other spiritual leader must do is the shepherding of self. We can’t develop in others what we don’t possess ourselves.
I’ve jotted down some of my notes below. They may are somewhat random and out of context, but I hope there will be something for you, too, that causes you to think about how we shepherd ourselves and each other at Crossroads Church.
- A proverb: “If you want to run fast, run alone. If you want to run far, run together.” Makes me wonder, are we interested in running fast or far?
- “If a pastor falls (due to discouragement, fatigue, moral failure, etc), many people — even generations of people — will go down with him.” Are we caring for pastors?
- Questions about elders and other leaders in the church:
- The congregation needs elders who care more about unity than about their own vote on any particular decision.
- Is the leadership of the church about control or about empowerment (i.e., empowering the members of the church to do ministry)?
- At any meeting, 10% of what’s on people’s minds is left unsaid. Get into the habit of asking: “What’s the 10% you left unsaid?”
- The work of leaders is (1) vision; (2) alignment (aligning people and roles; teamwork); (3) execution of the vision or plan. Most church leadership fails at point # 3.
- A lot of progress is made in a church at great personal cost. If we’re going to make it in ministry, we have to learn to live better (i.e., shepherd ourselves better; practice Sabbath; care for our families; etc.).
- There is a difference between “productivity” and “fruitfulness.” What a shame to look back and say, “I got a lot done, but I’m not sure how much spiritual fruit there was in the midst of it.” Fruitfulness comes onlythrough abiding in Christ: “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing,” said Jesus (John 15:5).
There are some opportunities to hear good music at Cottey College this weekend and next week. The Chamber Singers will give their spring concert this Friday evening at 7:30 pm. The theme is “Indigenous Peoples,” and the concert will include unique music ranging from the Brazilian rain forest to the Sioux and Huron tribes of North America. In the Missouri Recital Hall at the Center for the Performing Arts on the Cottey campus. Masks are now optional on campus.
This Sunday at 3 pm, and next Monday at 7 pm, the vocal and instrumental music students will give their spring recitals, a different group of students each day. The vocal selections will include jazz, pop, and classical. You’ll enjoy the evening (each recital should last about an hour), and I’d love for you to meet some of the students I’ve been working with this spring at Cottey College.
I look forward to seeing you this weekend, especially Sunday! Let’s come praying and prepared! Powerful preaching presupposes prepared people! See you then!
“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:29-32).