I’m grateful for the responses many of you have shared to last Sunday’s sermon, “When God Says ‘Go’.” Please continue to pray that God would give clarity concerning where he wants us to go, what he wants us to do. And pray that, like Abram and Sarai, we would…
(1) not make excuses; (2) not feel the need to fully understand; (3) do all we do with the purpose of being a blessing to others.
Here are two thoughts that were helpful to me, from members of our church, about Crossroads’ purpose and vision:
(1) Crossroads is a church of connections. The connections that happen on Sunday morning, and outside of Sunday morning, are important to members of the church. We are a church of people who are connecting with the Lord and with each other.
I think that word “connections” is an important one to keep in mind.
(2) Crossroads, unlike many churches of our day, is more of a “non-programmed” church … and there’s value in that. It’s a group of people whose devotion to the Lord takes priority over duty to a program. In building on Larry Osborne’s idea (in last week’s Monday Night Bible Study) that life has a “game plan,” Sunday mornings at Crossroads are a sort of “team meeting” at which we’re equipped for running the game plan in our different areas of influence … which are largely outside the church.
Can we continue to sharpen these and other thoughts about the purposes of Crossroads Church? We’ll need to if we want to build a church that lasts. Thank you for being part of what God is doing! What I’ve learned anew from many of you is that you value the church and you’re glad you’re part of it. It has an important place in your life and family. I’m glad that’s true! Let’s share that with other people in our community who need to connect with the Lord and a church such as ours.
Blessings of a Small Church
I read a couple of interesting articles this week about the blessings (even advantages, as these articles put it) of a small church. Here are a few:
- A row boat can make a turn more quickly than an ocean liner. Small churches can adapt more quickly to needs and emergencies that arise than can a large church.
- Family feel. In a small church, close ties among many church members are possible.
- Quick integration of new people. The pastor — and all members — can quickly connect with newcomers in a personal way. An elaborate system isn’t needed for integrating new people.
- Active members. A small church demands a more active involvement of its members. A large church often has a dedicated core of talented people who willingly assume responsibility, and a large number of passive members who willingly watch them do it.
- Simpler systems, greater informality. Informality, at a minimum, keeps things from becoming dull! However, we must be careful because informality, if pushed too far, can give way to carelessness and sloppiness.
- Close shepherding. The shepherding done by spiritual leaders of a small church can have a sense of being closer at hand, more personal, to the members. In a small church it’s possible you might be discipled by your pastor.
Some words of warning, though, were also part of these articles: Don’t use your small church as an excuse for mediocrity. Don’t let the small size of the church make you think it’s okay to operate on the fly. Maintain high standards. Have respect for the Church, which the Bible says is the Bride of Christ. Hold regular meetings of the leadership and ministry teams. Maintain up-to-date financial records. Communicate regularly and clearly. Make sure everyone is included. See that the church facility is attractive both inside and out. Small doesn’t have to mean dirty or disorganized, said one writer.
Is it okay that our church is small? One writer suggests that a better question is, “How healthy is our small church?” Size is not necessarily an indicator of health. Is a radish unhealthy because it’s small? Is an oak tree healthy because it’s large?
How can we maximize the blessings of the church God has given us now … and the church we will become in the future?
Worship this Sunday morning, 10:00, at the Y.
Join us for worship this Sunday morning. The message will be from Mark 4, looking for an answer to the question, “Can you lose your salvation?” … or, perhaps better : “How can I be sure I’m saved?” Good worship and fellowship for all who need it this Sunday. Invite a friend to join us!
Monday Night Bible Study, this coming Monday at 7 pm.
Our final MNBS on the subject of Spiritual Urban Legends. This Monday night we’ll discuss a belief that’s often shared among people when someone dies : “He went to a better place.” Is it true that people go to a better place when they die? What does the Bible say actually happens to someone when they die? An important study. Join us live on Facebook, or in-person at my house, 628 W. Arch St.
Tom time off.
I’ll have some vacation time from Tuesday, July 6 through Monday, July 12. If you have an urgent need during that time, please contact Shane or Dave.
July 11 worship at Marmaduke Community Building.
Due to the pickleball tournament at the Y on July 11, we’ll worship at the Community Building at Marmaduke Park at 10:00. Shane McCasslin will be preaching in my place. Plan on a good time of worship and fellowship!
I’m very proud of my son Billy who took his Medical Board exams this past week before he starts rotations at one of the hospitals in Springfield. Also my son-in-law Jason had his ordination interview with the Evangelical Free Church and was unanimously recommended for ordination. Jason currently serves as Director of Disciple-Making at Oakwood Church in Tampa, Florida. Thank you for your prayers for me and my family!
I look forward to seeing you on Sunday! The sermon will be posted on Facebook by Saturday evening if you’re unable to be with us Sunday!