Tom’s Midweek Greeting
Crossroads Community Church
Nevada, MO 64772
May 4, 2020
Dear Crossroads Family,
I hope you are well and that you were able to enjoy the beautiful weekend we just had. Each one of you is important to the Lord and to the church family. A few in our congregation are battling physical and emotional struggles; please know you are being prayed for and that we are trusting the Lord with you for all your needs. He said that all authority has been given to Him in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18). We rejoice that Ethel Voigt is using a walker now, instead of a scooter, as she continues to recover from surgery on her ankle.
Monday Night Bible Study, 7:00 on Facebook
Tonight at 7:00 we’ll continue our Bible Study in the book of Numbers. The study will be live on the Crossroads Facebook page. In addition, my kids and I would love for a few of you to join us at our house for the study if you would like! We’ll have some snacks, and take time to visit after the study. I promise you won’t be put on camera or asked any questions! Let’s keep going into this exciting section of Numbers that we’re calling “New Beginnings.” Is there some area of your life where you need a new beginning? Let’s find out what helps are in the book of Numbers. Join us on Facebook, or at 628 W Arch Street, tonight at 7.
Sunday Morning Plans
We’re grateful that the Osage Prairie YMCA is slowly starting to re-open. As a church, we want to join them in a cautious approach to resuming activities at the Y. Cris and the elders are submitting a plan this week for how Crossroads could little by little work its way back into Sunday mornings at the Y.
Here’s the plan we’re hopeful will meet the needs and expectations of the Y:
This coming Sunday, May 10, we will worship in our homes via Facebook as we’ve been doing for the past few weeks. A sermon will be posted Saturday evening so you can have a time of worship and reflection with others at Crossroads on Saturday night or Sunday. Please feel welcome to join Jessica Baker, too, for worship music Saturday evening at 7:00 on Facebook.
We hope to have a small group of Crossroads people return for worship at the Y on Sunday, May 17. This will likely require using the side entrance to the building and being very careful to sanitize chairs and anything else we use in the gym. If this is acceptable to the Y, then we would rotate small groups into the Y for worship over the remaining Sunday mornings in May. The leadership at the Y is hopeful of a full return to normal operations by June 1.
So, thank you for being flexible and patient during this process! Please know that our plans may change from week to week during the month of May. The Elder Board will be sure to keep you informed by Facebook, text, and email. If there is a warm, sunny forecast for an upcoming Sunday morning, we might try an outdoor worship service at the Y for everyone. Whatever the case, there will be a Facebook livestream of any worship services at the Y, and a pre-recorded sermon available either on the Crossroads Facebook page, or on my personal Facebook page, or both, every weekend.
Let’s consider how we can have some creative fellowship during the month of May! If you have space and time to have a few people over to your home to visit or play games, … or to meet at a park, … let’s make time to do that and be a blessing to each other!
We’re all eager to be back together! At the same time, we want to be prudent, helpful to the Y and to the community. Please be praying for the Lord’s provision.
New Church Directory
Heather has updated our church directory, and I look forward to getting that to you by email this week! Keep an eye out for it! Thanks to everyone for helping Heather with updates!
Thank you to those who have been committed to the financial support of the church! Our method of giving is old-fashioned, but it’s reliable: P.O. Box 23, Nevada MO 64772. Thanks for being faithful in this part of our service to the Lord and His work!
Nevada High School Cruise
The Nevada High School seniors are going to cruise through town in their cars on Saturday evening, May 16, beginning at 7 pm. Let’s find a place for Crossroads people to meet to watch the parade that evening! Also, as a church, we’re contributing bags of potato chips to the brown bag dinner the seniors will be given that evening for their parade … and a congratulatory note from the Crossroads family! Let’s encourage our seniors and be a blessing to them as a church. We have three from Crossroads who are graduating – Esther Rea, Konner Sisseck, and Adi Wilson.
The Fight for Normalcy
Larry Austin, our Central District EFCA Director of Church Health, has put out another really good article about how the church is being impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. I thought you might like to read part of it. Think about how Larry’s article matters to you personally, and to us as a church. I’m thankful that some at Crossroads are discussing how we can grow stronger as disciples Christ during this unusual period of quarantine, etc.
“The Fight for Normalcy”
Over a month into a lifestyle of social distancing, how are you doing? The new normal isn’t quite normal because it feels so unnatural, and frankly, exhausting. The tough news is that days of quarantine may last a while longer. Another reality is that the road back to a fully gathered church will be slow and incremental. The good news is that our mission – making disciples – hasn’t changed. How we’ve done that mission has been disrupted. What if this pandemic is a strategic pause from “the how” of making disciples to evaluate what we’ve been doing and how to be more fruitful on the other side of this pandemic?
The key to building a movement is thinking small. We may think we have this one figured out because our church has small groups. Yet when most of the extroverts and reluctant introverts are gathered into small groups, what percentage of your church is really represented? It’s tricky to use worship attendance as the denominator because that weekly number doesn’t reflect all the people who consider your church their spiritual home. That “influence” number has grown as your online services have found even more such people during this pandemic.
Did you know that Jesus spent half of his public ministry quietly investing in a small number of disciples? Jesus spent his first eighteen months rubbing off on a core group of future movement leaders (John 3:22). Jesus thought big by starting small. The bulk of the gospels chronicle the more active second half of Jesus’ public ministry. Yet it was the first half where the foundation – the core values of his movement – were laid. Throwing activity at people without attending to culture that sustains it is a recipe for exhaustion. We will spend lots of energy trying to convince people to join in or to stick with it.
I wonder if any of what Larry has written here resonates with you? He goes on to give some resources at the Central District for disciple-making. Let me know if you’d be interested in exploring those.
How does disciple-making look in your life right now? Is there a small group of people you’re pouring into on a regular basis? How are you doing that? What culture are we building at Crossroads to sustain disciplemaking? Are you currently getting any training as a maker of disciples? As Larry mentioned, one positive coming out of this pandemic period is the opportunity to evaluate whether or not we’re on mission.
I was reminded this weekend, through a worship service from another E-Free church, that three things are necessary if a person is building a strong physical body:
- A program. Building up your body through random, occasional exercise won’t make a lasting difference. The same is true of disciple-making. There needs to be a “program” of some sort that we follow.
- A coach. Athletes and body-builders need a coach. Who is currently your trainer / coach for spiritual growth? Who are you coaching?
- A team. Working alone isn’t nearly as effective as working with a team of people who have the same commitment and are making similar sacrifices.
What’s our program? Who’s your coach? Are you on a team with other people?
I would love to hear back from you as to how you/we can positively benefit from the pandemic experience we’ve just been through!
God bless you in this new week! I look forward to connecting with you (either in person or via the Crossroads Facebook page) tonight at 7:00 for Monday Night Bible Study!
“Be strong and courageous.” Joshua 1:6
“Be strong and courageous.” Deuteronomy 31:6
“Be strong and courageous.” Deuteronomy 31:7
“Be strong and courageous.” Deuteronomy 31:23
“Be strong and courageous.” 1 Chronicles 22:13
“Be strong now, be very strong.” Daniel 10:19