Tom’s Midweek Greeting
Crossroads Community Church
Nevada MO 64772
June 5, 2018
A quick reminder: We will have Home Group this Wednesday night (June 6) at the Rodriguez home, 6:30 – 8:00 pm. Come for some summertime fellowship and spiritual encouragement. During the month of June, we’re going to take a look at the short book of Philippians. Philippians is God’s “joy letter.” “Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I will say it: Rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4). Mostly we’ll enjoy some good friendship time, snacks, and prayer.
5:45 pm – Earlybird prayer group.
6:30 pm – Home Group.
Cris & Donna Rodriguez – (contact us for directions).
Frequently I’m asked what is Crossroads Church’s vision… or what is my own personal vision … for life and ministry.
I’d like to give two short answers to that question, and one long answer. I hope you’ll read all three.
Short Answer #1: Inviting People to Experience Abundant Life
The Lord Jesus said he had come that people might experience life, and experience it abundantly. Those words are found in John 10:10. My experience as a Christian has been that it is, in fact, an abundant life; the Lord provides us – through a relationship with him — with everything we need for life. For example, the letter to the Philippians tells us about one of those things – joy. The book of Colossians tells us about another – wisdom. The book of Philemon tells us about another – forgiveness. We could go on and on. Everything that is essential to the life of a human being is found in Jesus Christ.
As a person, and as a church, I want to be about the business of inviting other people to experience such a life. That means we have to be experiencing it ourselves! … then we share it with others around us. Some of our neighbors and friends are not saved and have never experienced such an abundant life. Some of our Christian friends have never experienced either. For some, their Christian experience has been only one of do’s and don’ts, can’t-do’s and must-do’s … not the exciting everyday walk with Jesus the Risen Lord.
Short Answer #2: Making Disciples
Making disciples is really the only work the Lord left his followers to do. (You can read about it in Matthew 28:18-20.) He said he would build the church, but our job is to make disciples. Making disciples happens as we mentor, teach, and encourage others through as many means possible to grow in spiritual life. Real discipleship has intentionality to it. It might happen in a small-group Bible study, or in a smaller accountability group; it might happen in a Sunday School or Children’s Church class, in a family, or in a friendship. But it’s intentional; there is a goal in mind.
The Apostle Paul talks about the goal in this way: “So we tell others about Christ, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all the wisdom God has given us. We want to present them to God, perfect in their relationship to Christ. That’s why I work and struggle so hard, depending on Christ’s mighty power that works within me” (Colossians 1:28-29).
Being able to have a part in presenting people to God as the person he meant them to be! That’s a thrilling adventure!
Long Answer: A Dream for the Church
This longer answer to the question, “What’s our vision?” was written by a British pastor named Paul Beasley-Murray. Many years ago, as a new missionary to France, I was asked to translate some talks of Paul Beasley-Murray from English into French for a conference of French pastors at which Beasley-Murray was to speak. His dream for the church really summed up what I personally longed for in a church, and which had mainly been my own church experience. I think, with God’s help, Crossroads could become this kind of church. Take a minute to read it, and see if it doesn’t invite us into a joyful, deeper walk with the Lord and with each other than maybe we have ever experienced in the past.
I dream of a worshipping church:
• where worship is exciting and invigorating
• where people expect to encounter God at worship
• where Sunday is a day not to be missed
• where celebration and awe are both part of the worship service
• where worship is structured, yet also free and flowing
• where children as well as adults sense the life of the Spirit.
I dream of a Biblical church:
• where the Word of God is at the center
• where the exposition of God’s Word holds a place of honor
• where the whole Bible is preached
• where people expect to hear God speaking to them through his Word
• where study of the Bible is a matter of personal devotion but also of practical application
• where all are encouraged to keep on learning.
I dream of a praying church:
• where prayer is seen as a privilege rather than a duty
• where people expect God to hear their prayers
• where husbands and wives and families pray together
• where church members pray with and for each other
• where the leaders pray regularly together
• where the life of the church is prayed for, but the needs of the world are prayed for too.
I dream of a Spirit-filled church:
• where all are open to the Spirit
• where people expect to see God at work
• where people are unafraid to venture deeper in spiritual life
• where no spiritual gift is undervalued or overvalued
• where every member has a part to play, for every member has a gift
• where people feel free to express their love for each other and for the Lord.
I dream of a family church:
• where all feel they belong
• where all members are drawn together in home groups
• where all rejoice together and all suffer together
• where the needs of singles are met
• where the elderly feel wanted and loved
• where the casualties of family life are made welcome.
I dream of an evangelizing church:
• where new people are regularly invited by the current members of the church
• where people expect to see friends won to Christ
• where every month people are coming to know the Lord
• where young people are reaching out to their friends
• where new Christians are reaching out to their network of friends.
I dream of a serving church:
• where the members serve each other
• where the practical resources of the fellowship are shared
• where love for each other spills out to the world
• where members are involved in the community
• where those involved in the community are supported by others in the church
• where God’s love is seen in deed as well as in word.
I dream of a liberated church :
• liberated from traditionalism (“That’s how we’ve always done it.”)
• liberated from legalism
• liberated from self-centeredness
• liberated from duty
• liberated from pressures of time
• liberated from pride
• liberated to serve each other
• liberated to serve the world
• liberated to serve God.
Let’s dream and pray and take steps toward a long-lasting, impactful ministry through the people God is bringing together to make Crossroads Church!
Thanks to those who were such a big help with set-up last Sunday! Great job!
Thanks to those who are new to helping with Children’s Church and nursery!
Thanks to Erlinda and family for help leading worship!
Thanks to Dave and Kim for organizing and serving Communion on the first Sunday of each month!
This Sunday we will meet for worship in the lobby of the Y. There will be a pickleball tournament happening in the gym Sunday morning. Dave Wood will preach for us, as I will be conducting the wedding of my son Billy and his fiancée Hannah Thieme that afternoon. (Thank you for your prayers!) Dave is a good communicator of God’s Word, so I hope you’ll be there. 10:00 on Sunday.
On June 24th, we’ll have a carry-in lunch at the Edwards’ home immediately following worship if you’re free. Come enjoy some good fellowship together. Bring some food to share.
Also on June 24th, at 6:00, I’ll be offering the Crossroads 101 (membership) course at my home for anyone interested. Come learn more about the life and work God has given us together!
If you’re interested in going to the Cardinals-Royals game together on August 10, please let Donna know soon! She needs to know the correct number from Crossroads who are going. Thank you!
“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourself. Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus …” (Philippians 2:3-5).