God has been working in very obvious ways in the life of Crossings Community in the recent months. We are seeing all of the angles of growth. We are seeing a growing number of people who are worshiping with us on Sunday mornings. We are seeing a growing number of people engaged in our small group opportunities (and a growing number of groups meeting). Last, and most importantly to the vision of our church, we are seeing individuals and homes growing in their relationship with Jesus Christ. By God’s grace, we are seeing gospel transformation take place through His hand at Crossings Community.
The culture that God has created in our church is one that deeply cares for people and also deeply knows people. We have a deep desire to facilitate authentic community. That means we want people to come and find freedom from the suburban facade that binds them throughout their week. We want to create an environment where people can truly be themselves and will find others who are not trying to look like perfect people. but rather are open about their journey in following Jesus (the good and the bad). We have seen God miraculously transform homes through this pursuit of authentic community.
I have been asked before… and have occasionally heard the comment cloaked in laughter…. but those who enjoy this deep community often fear how things might change as things continue to grow. Our church was founded and continues to function with a great desire to see new homes engaged with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Yet we often hear that people experience something at Crossings Community which they have not experienced before and they want others to experience it with them, yet they do not want it to change.
The vision of Crossings Community is for gospel transformation and we believe the only way lives are transformed by the gospel is through authentic relationships motivated by discipleship. Our church was not planted to be a weekly gathering place for anonymous faces. To the contrary, we have always said that Sunday mornings are a tiny aspect of our church life. The seeds that are planted on Sunday mornings only find growth by the watering that happens in discipleship environments like small groups, one-on-one meetings, or organic family dinners in our homes.
The Elders (Pastors) pray that God will continue to bring people to experience what He is doing through the His Word and the great people of Crossings Community. We are also constantly praying and working to steward God’s vision of authentic community in the life of our church as well. God has shown us multiple ways to steward that vision well. First, He has shown us a need to expand our eldership. Our elders shepherd the families of our church by striving to pray, know, and support the needs, struggles, and victories of our families while working to connect them into discipleship relationships. Our vision demands a great number of shepherds to facilitate the vision God has given.
We also have been praying for a long time regarding the addition of a second paid elder/staff member. We continue to pray for God’s wisdom and provision in this matter. Third, we are praying that God would raise up great leaders who are pursuing the gospel transformation of others inside and outside of His church. Through equipping leaders, we will continue to multiply our small group community environments which facilitate great relationships in the life of our church. Last, before the first gathering of Crossings Community ever happened church planting was in the vision. Our pursuit is not a HUGE church. We greatly anticipate the joy of seeing churches multiply through what God continues to do through Crossings Community Church.
So, can a growing church be marked by authentic community? I would reply with a resounding YES if the vision is pursued with great obedience, intention, and humility. What do you think?