Hello, Crossroads Family —
I look forward to seeing everyone this Sunday morning at 10:00 for worship at the Community Center. Our sermon will continue the theme of Spiritual Leadership. People everywhere are looking for leaders. Interestingly, the Bible tells us God is looking for them too. “The Lord has sought out a man after His own heart and appointed him leader of His people,” the prophet Samuel said, not long before anointing David as the new king of Israel (1 Samuel 13:14). Where are the leaders God is seeking today? How might God be equipping you to be a spiritual leader of others?
This week’s sermon should be posted on the Crossroads FB page by Saturday evening if you’re unable to attend in person on Sunday.
Recap of Our Congregational Meeting
Thanks to all who stayed and participated in the congregational meeting last Sunday. Here’s a brief review of that meeting:
Dave Reedy was elected to serve another year on the Crossroads Elder Board. Thanks, Dave, and thanks to the work of our Nominating Committee. Thanks to all who prayed about, and had input in, this decision. We’re grateful for Dave, Cris, and Shane’s service to our church as elders.
A financial report for 2021 was given, and the new church budget for 2022 was approved. We’re grateful for the generous giving of so many, for God’s provision for the church, and for having come through these past several months of pandemic in a healthy financial position. Thanks to Stacey Wilson for her good work as Church Financial Manager!
We received an update on recent discussions concerning possible property and/or buildings that could be used as a future church home. Thanks to the generosity of many, Crossroads has a Building Fund now of just over $30,000. A goal has been set to reach $100,000 in that fund. Thanks to all who have prayed, contributed to the Building Fund, and helped in the discussion about a permanent church home.
The theme of my Pastors Report was 1 Thessalonians 2:13:
“For this reason, we also constantly thank God that when you received the Word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it, not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the Word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe.”
In my opinion, the story of Crossroads Church over the last 6 1/2 years has been the faithful, attentive reception God’s Word has had in your lives,… and the work God has done in all of our lives as a result. We’ve changed and grown as people and as a church. We’ve become a “Scrappy Church” (a small church able to survive and thrive in a world of megachurches), and we’re becoming a Life-Giving Church (part of the vision of the Central District of the Evangelical Free Church of America.)
God was faithful in many ways in 2021. As a church, we’ve persevered through the pandemic; we made an important transition out of the YMCA and into the Community Center; we unraveled and found an answer to the question of who would serve next on the Elder Board; and many, many people at Crossroads served faithfully in 2021 in big and little, programmed and unprogrammed, ministry. Our presence on Facebook continues to reach people in meaningful ways.
I suggested that for 2022 we need to consider ways to make the life of the church more sustainable for the long-term. Part of that is growing a vision for a home of our own. Another part is becoming more intentionally outwardly-focused. (Who do we know that’s not with us that we would like to be with us? How can we reach people who are seeking answers and/or seeking a loving church family?) Preparing for — and praying about — greater ministry to children and to families would be an important part of a growing an outward focus and a sustainable church.
As we pray, let’s ask God to give us a mindset that He will send newcomers to join us on Sunday mornings. Being regular in our attendance, arriving early, and being prepared to meet the needs of newcomers are all helpful ways of making Sunday morning worship not just a time for ourselves but for others too.
Despite my joy in seeing spiritual growth among so many at Crossroads, I recognize that a transition is ahead for me personally. At the meeting Sunday, I asked the church family to pray for a vision for a new pastor at Crossroads, and I advised the church leadership to initiate the process of searching for a new pastor. The upcoming February 5th visit from Todd Brooks, our Central District Associate Superintendent, will be a good time to find out more about how that process works in the EFCA.
Let me try to answer some questions about my personal situation. Thank you for understanding and for praying.
Why step down as pastor?
As I shared Sunday, church ministry has been for me, from the very beginning (1987), a family ministry. When Diana passed away nine years ago, we became a broken family, and someone who was at the heart of our ministry was missing. You were gracious in 2015 to receive a broken pastor and broken family. Not only is my primary ministry partner gone now, but my team at home (so important to a pastor) have all left but one. After 35 years of ministry, six years of caring for an ailing spouse, nine years of raising kids by myself, and six years of working 2+ jobs, I find myself fairly depleted personally. I would love to have more of a vision for the outwardly-focused, growing ministry Crossroads needs, but I find I often lack energy, time, and some fresh brain cells to discern that vision!
What will I do?
I don’t know yet. I’m seeking God’s leading for that. It might be another ministry role, another job, or maybe, initially, some personal sabbatical time where I can better assess where I’m at.
When will I step down?
I don’t have a fixed date ; however, I am on my way out soon, and the process for finding a new pastor takes time ; so I urge the church to engage fully in that process as soon as possible. I would be happy to help as I’m able during a transition period. A dual search for a church home and for a new, younger (married?) pastor could be a really exciting, faith-stretching time for Crossroads!
Will I stay in Nevada?
Possibly. There’s much I like about Nevada, and it has become home to us.
Can Crossroads Church survive a change in pastor?
I believe it can. There are a lot of healthy, positive things about Crossroads right now. It’s a church where people are growing spiritually and learning to love each other genuinely and fully. We have an experienced Elder Board and some potential elders for the future. We all need to grow as spiritual leaders, and this is potentially a time for that to happen.
Someone said to me after the meeting, “Sometimes a big bump in the road can be a good thing.” I agree. God’s big bumps in the road can shake us up and spur us on to things that might not otherwise have taken place. I hope you’ll see this situation in that light. It certainly is a big bump in the road for me … and not an easy decision. God has given me a real tenderness toward all of you which is always the case when good things are happening in a church.
Let’s remember 1 Thessalonians 2:13 — God is performing a work in us as we receive and believe His Word.
Women’s Bible Study
All women are invited to a new 5-session Bible Study starting Sunday, February 20, at 9 a.m. called “Breathe.” The study teaches how observing the principle of Sabbath offers a fullness that helps us move from day to day with peace, joy, and more opportunity to breathe! If you’re interested in attending, please let Donna Rod or Heather Hall know by the end of January. This group will meet on Sundays at the Community Center right before the worship service. Thank you!
Invitation to a Movie Night at Nevada Assembly of God
Nevada Assembly of God invites us to a showing of “The Untold Story of C.S. Lewis,” Sunday, January 30, at 5 pm at their church building, 2247 North Osage Blvd. The cost required by the film company is $12 for adults and $10 for children ages 12 and under. The church will make no money off the showing; they simply want to offer a place to come and enjoy some good, clean entertainment.
Our Central District has invited pastors and elders from Evangelical Free Churches in Missouri to gather in Jefferson City on Saturday, February 19, 9 am – noon, for training and interaction on the subject of serving effectively as church elders. Our district superintendent , Mike Shields, will facilitate the training. This is an excellent opportunity for current and future elders to receive some great instruction, to be encouraged, and to meet some other people serving the Lord in the same capacity. The meeting will be at Living Hope (E-Free) Church, 3011 South Ten Mile Drive, in Jeff City.
Let’s honor the Lord with our worship this Sunday morning at the Community Center!
See you then!