Tom’s Midweek Greeting
Crossroads Community Church
May 9, 2018
We’re very quickly winding down to the end of another school year. It’s hard to believe that my family and I have been in Nevada for nearly three years. (It will be exactly three years on July 1.) The time has flown by; it seems like only yesterday that we were moving into our pink (now green) house on Arch Street.
I was thinking about what has happened at Crossroads Church in three years: What have we done? What has God done in our midst? Here are some things that came to my mind (in no particular order of importance,… and I’m sure I’m forgetting something!) :
• Grown numerically. I count 36 people (including children) who are new to our church in the past three years. Several of these have gone through the membership course and are now members of the church. (We are sorry that Jami and Tori Schultz had to move away this semester, but we wish them well and hope to stay in touch!)
• Several people (I count six) have given testimony of their faith in Christ through water baptism.
• We completed two years of a Men’s Fraternity group in which many men in our church and beyond were blessed.
• We’ve had two successful women’s Bible study groups.
• We’ve started a small but dynamic Middle School / High School youth group.
• We’ve started a weekly Children’s Church program for the younger kids attending Crossroads.
• We’ve begun a weekly home group for strengthening bonds between us. (Home group will meet during June starting Wednesday, June 6, 6:30-8:30 pm, at the Rodriguez home.)
• A weekly prayer meeting takes place also, many times just prior to home group. (Prayer group on Wednesdays in May and June at 5:45 pm at Judi and Phill Edwards’ home.)
• We have at least ten people involved in a one-on-one discipleship program, “Ten Steps Toward Christian Maturity.” Many at Crossroads are growing spiritually in new and exciting ways.
• We’ve supported three short-term missions trips involving young people from Crossroads.
• We’ve been able to provide financial support to our local Birthright chapter, and also to many individuals and families through our Blessings Fund.
• We’ve moved many women and families out of the Moss House into their new homes!
• We’ve made connections with the Evangelical Free Church Central District through Al Frank, our Associate Superintendent; and we’ve made connections with, and have received support from, The Springs E-Free Church in Springfield.
• We’ve elected a new Elder Board.
• We have a new Church Financial Manager who is doing a great job with our finances.
• We’ve reached out at the Show ‘n’ Shine Barbecue, through a pool party, and by serving at the Pop Shop during the Vernon County Youth Fair.
• Several from Crossroads are getting in on the ground floor of a new Young Life ministry in Nevada, both at Cottey College and for Nevada high school students.
• We’ve developed a new website and have a church member operating it for us.
All this with a pastor who has been battling with anemia! Imagine what you could have done with a healthy (and normal) pastor!
I was quite amazed and grateful last Sunday morning as we said good-bye to seven wonderful Cottey College students who have brought a lot of life and joy into our church family. Congratulations to Rachel and to Hannah, both of whom are receiving degrees this coming Sunday. Congratulations to our two Nevada High School grads, Trent and Sam. Congrats also to four others of our Crossroads family receiving college degrees this month: Elena, Lindsey, Grace, and Billy.
God has been good to us, and faithful to care and grow the seed he has planted in our hearts.
Are we faithful to him? I enjoyed the following definition I read recently of “faithfulness.” “Faithfulness is the willingness to fulfill a responsibility day after day, year after year, without needing to be asked, without demanding praise or thanks, but simply showing up again and again to do God’s work until the work is done.”
I think God loves and rewards faithfulness. To be faithful is to be like him.
Looking ahead, what are some needs we have at Crossroads? Several important ones come to mind:
• We will need several people to help out at the Show ‘n’ Shine barbecue Saturday, May 19th, at Dr. Schowengerdt’s. We’ll have a stand there from around 8:00 a.m. until around 2:00 p.m. If you indicated you would be available to help, we will be getting organized this coming Sunday.
• We need additional helpers for Children’s Church & nursery. What an important discipleship ministry is a church’s ministry to children. And, if we desire our church to grow, it’s important that families coming to Crossroads know there is a place for their children. Currently, we have three CC teachers, but the Rea kids are serving every week as helpers. Could you volunteer to help, even just one Sunday per month? The schedule can be flexible, but we need two people each Sunday (a teacher who is over 18 years old, and a helper who is at least 14 years old). You’ll be glad you did!
• A vision for women’s ministry would be an awesome addition to Crossroads. My experience in church ministry is that a group of woman growing spiritually is usually the dynamo of a vibrant church. How would the Lord make that to happen? Starting small is often the way to go … then watching God grow it.
• Vision for outreach, and a commitment to being the Lord’s light and love in the community. Who has that on their heart and will put action to it ?
• I am looking for help with worship. Leading music every Sunday, and preaching every Sunday (and possibly teaching a class too) is likely a path to burnout for me. Would love some people who would like to do the following : a) help plan worship (pick songs, organize the service) ; b) help lead music ; c) use creative ideas for our space in the gym which needs refreshing from time to time.
• We need to become strong in our giving, understanding that our giving is a reflection of our love for God, and that the first step in planting a long-lasting church is to be financially self-sufficient (i.e., meeting our expenses ; not drawing on reserves, but saving those reserves for a permanent “home” for Crossroads.)
• We need people to be faithful to pray regularly … for ministry, for pure hearts, for unity, for our Elder Board, for the pastor. Thank you!
I’m thinking back to last Sunday where we read the statement of the Lord Jesus that it’s more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35). There are many statements of blessing in the Beatitudes in the Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount; here’s a statement by him of something that is more blessed.
By the way, thanks to those who gave generously last Sunday to the Blessings Fund to help Jon and Renee meet a few immediate needs following their house fire.
And congratulations to Adam and MacKenzie who became husband and wife last Friday afternoon!
I look forward to seeing everyone this Sunday morning. We’ll take a little break from Acts and instead look at a passage in the book of Ezekiel. The sermon will be on “Harry S. Truman, Israel, and the End of the World.” Hope you can be there at 10:00! No Adult Bible Study. No Youth Group Sunday night.
Last, but not least, this thank-you from Elena Rodriguez: “Dear Crossroads, thank you so much for the support in my upcoming mission trip to Costa Rica! I am thankful to have such an amazing church family. I am so excited to be reunited with the people of Costa Rica and to share the love of God! I look forward to sharing more about my trip when I return! Thank you again! Love, Elena.”