As the father of three wonderful children of whom my oldest is a freshman in High School (WHAT?!?), I have a lot of first hand experience with the growth process. With all of the children we have had moments where it was obvious the kids were experiencing some growth pains. They experienced some uncomfortable feelings that seemed to be caused by their particular season of growth.
I have walked through many seasons of growth pains in the life of Crossings Community over the years. It is interesting to look back at each of them. In the early years they were purely logistical because people were so hungry to have more families experiencing life at Crossings Community. The conversations revolved around the arrangements in the children’s ministry or the volunteers needed to continue with His vision for the church to engage, equip, and empower homes for gospel transformation.
The vision, direction, pursuits, and values have always been the same for us at Crossings. I will never forget the days of wrestling and prayer as God slowly provided the documents we still call our vision statement, values, mission/purpose, and statement of faith. That is something that I have come back to in my own personal journey countless times to remind myself of the call that He placed on my life and His church regardless of all other obstacles and circumstances.
The discomforts of growth have changed shape with each season of church life. The discussion, questions, and objections from people change over time. In the beginning, because everything was so new, people had a great expectation for growth and change. As time goes on that expectation fades… it fades into the background as the incredible desire for comfort and the fear of the unknown swell. This is the natural ebb and flow as things no longer feel “new.”
We are in a celebrated day in the life of Crossings Community Church because we are continuing to see God bring that unchanging vision to life in robust ways. We are seeing Him do many of the things that were written on a page, posted on a website, and talked about for years. As we have continued to be a church that keeps the gospel central and proclaims the Word of God amidst everything we do, we have seen families come and find a thriving relationship with Jesus Christ. They have come from all over the world, brought by God, to be a part of His story at Crossings.
We worship an amazing God. His unchanging Word brings constant change into the lives of those who love Him and follow Him. He has given His church at Crossings Community an unchanging vision and that vision will bring constant change in the life of a church that follows Him faithfully.
Can growth be uncomfortable? YES! Growth can be very uncomfortable because we are sinful people who wake up each and every day with sinful and selfish desires. We wake up every day in need of the grace and mercy of our redeemer. Growth in the life of His church is uncomfortable because we are the same sinful people on Sundays that we are Monday through Friday. It is extremely uncomfortable to turn away from our own selfish desires and preferences and pursue His glory and Kingdom advancement above ourselves.
Growth will always be uncomfortable. When we submit personally to the transforming work of Jesus in our lives it is uncomfortable yet graciously glorious. When we submit as a church to the transforming work of Jesus as He continues to bring His vision to life in His church, it is often uncomfortable yet radiantly glorious.
The life of a Christ follower is a life of constant change. The life of a biblical church is one of constant change. May we be a people who yearn for the discomfort of change as we celebrate the daily defeat of fleshly desires amidst the exaltation of Christ Jesus.
I have never been more confident that our days ahead at Crossings Community are going be ones of great change because I have never been more confident that Jesus is working in exceedingly abundant ways.