Crossroads Fellowship

Thursday, May 31, 2007

What Does Outreach Look Like?

This past week I spent time at General Council of the C&MA. This is a meeting that takes place every two years where pastors, elders, and other lay leaders from the Alliance all come together for a time of preaching, worship, and ministry strategy. One of the speakers present during the week was Scott Slocum. A pastor and speaker, Scott Slocum has spent the last nineteen years serving at Essex Alliance Church in Essex Junction, Vt. Recognized as one of the fastest growing congregations in New England, Essex Alliance Church has defied the odds in a region of the country known as the “graveyard” of preachers. Passionate about reaching lost people, especially those who are anti-church and anti-Christian, Scott and his wife, Diane, focus their ministry on demonstrating how the Church and Christianity are applicable to life today. “If the Bible is relevant,” says Scott, “and it is—and if God is relevant, and He is—then the Church had better be relevant (and it isn’t always)!” During his time speaking Scott posed and interesting question. I want to repeat it here.

Where can someone who is left-wing liberal, who believes in abortion, has a gay son or daughter, and marches to the beat of a different drum go to church in our town and be loved and accepted for who they are and where they are at, and not be judged and rejected. This is a complicated question, which has a very complex answer, but I want to make it as simple as possible. Is Crossroads Fellowship a place where people whose lives reflect that come? Will we as a church reach out to people who may not look quite like we look? Will we be the arms, legs, hands, and feet of Jesus to a lost and dying world? Or will we be like the church that Scott one time asked that same question to and someone stood up and said, "Not this church, not ever!" I hope that we are the first church, the one who meets people where they are at and brings them the good news of a savior, and the message that we can have life enternal with him through repentance and faith. What are your thoughts on this?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Orlando Anyone?

The alarm clock went of at 3:15am Monday morning and I got up a little groggily out of the bed. It was time for me to start my day as I got myself ready to head to Nashville to catch my flight to Orlando for National Council for the C&MA. Originally I had not planned on attending council, but it seems as though the Lord had been working some things out because it is where he wanted me to be. The night before it was a little strange as Richard had prayed about my flight being cancelled, and he prayed that the Lord would have his way and that God would show me that any cancellation or delay that happened was because of His will. So when I showed up to the Nashville Airport on Monday morning to find that my flight had been cancelled I tried to take it in step, and Richard’s prayer resonated in my head. At that moment I began to look for why it was that God was delaying me.

Lots of crazy thoughts came in my head from the Lord keeping me off a flight that was doomed to crash, to perhaps him putting me on a flight that was doomed to crash so that I might share Christ with those folks in their last few minutes of life. My imagination is sometimes a little fertile and over active. As I settled down and got a new flight on a different airline I began to just hand out gospel tracts to those I met, because of my last minute flight change I got selected for extra searching and got to share a brief witness with the guards. Is this why God had changed my flight? On the plane the man that was seated next to me slept as I did on the flight, but when we got off the plane I witnessed to some high school students. My seat mate overheard and we rode the tram in the Atlanta Airport together as I shared about the Lord with him. Was this why God had changed my flight?

Once I made it into concourse T at the Atlanta airport I went to the gate for the flight. Well us the Lord would have it the gate changed, and so I had to keep moving. As I walked the concourse a Smoothie Shop came up on the right and so I stopped to get a smoothie, and two young men were working the booth. I had a couple hour lay over I so I just shared my faith with those two young men as they asked me question after question. Probing me with hard thoughts on the claims of Christianity, challenging my faith as I relied upon the spirit, and one of them even asking me to give him the bible that I had offered to his friend.

Where was I going again? Oh yeah – Orlando via Charlotte but somehow I ended up in Atlanta witnessing to two dudes who made my smoothie as I went to the gate that my flight I never should have been on had been changed to. You know it’s really kind of funny but the one young man that I was sharing my faith with was named Orlando. Maybe I was going to Orlando after all – just not the Orlando I thought. Is this the reason I got rerouted, cancelled, delayed, gates changed, and all the other crazy stuff that was happening with this trip. Who knows on this side of eternity – but someday in heaven I think we will know. That is why Christ told us that while we were going we were to be making disciples of all nations. By the way after I finished my conversation I went to the gate and my gate got changed again back to the end of the concourse I came in on. If I had never had that gate change I may never have met Orlando. Sometimes I wonder at what God is doing, but I know that His ways are better than mine, and so I will trust in Him for His ways are far better than mine.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

A Weekend of Evangelism!

This coming weekend starting on Friday evening we will be having a special time that has a strong emphasis on evangelism. I have a deep rooted need to share the gospel with everyone I meet, and many people don't understand why sometimes. That is why I want to share this brief letter of testimony with you. After reading this testimony I want to encourage you to come to the planned events this weekend at the church and learn better how to share you faith.


Thanks for preaching the message you preached this last Sunday. I listened to it today and it spoke to me full force. I kept hearing you do the WOTM and I knew or felt like I was saved. I am a liar, theif, adultress, murderer......I just looked at it as well I prayed the prayer already. Well when I began to listen to this message, online, I was like, God are you trying to tell me something? I believe he was. Maybe this was a re-dedication but I know without a shadow of a doubt that I am God's child, not worthless, but someone God wants to use. I want to be molded in his image and do HIS will for my life, not my own.Yesterday when we had cell group I realized that it's hard to be a follower, way hard!
I want to be the leader, all about me, pride, selfishness.When I began listening to the sermon and got to the end I wrote God a note, a note of forgiveness and my eyes started to water up and my heart hurt because I am a sinner. Jerry I don't know if I am telling you that I got saved or re-dedicated but what I do want to say is THANK YOU!!!THANK YOU, for letting God use you. Thank you for saying, ok God I will serve you(on the operating table). Because of God working through you I know God, I am closer to God because of the church and because of God using you to speak through. Thank you!

Tia Hurt

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Caught In The Flow!

I have found here recently that I keep getting caught in the flow of stuff. It seems that I find myself doing things that I would never have considered doing just a few years ago, but as I have grown with God things just seem to keep happening. For instance just a couple of years ago I was adamantly against street preaching, but now those who know me know that I am a street preaching machine. I love to go out on the streets and share my faith even though it is probably one of the scariest things I have ever done. It wasn't something I set out to do, but I just got in the river of evangelism I found that eventually I got carried away in the flow of reaching out to the lost.

This is kind of like the river of life that flows out from God. It is not just a river of physical life, but it is a river of spiritual life, and as Ezekiel describes in chapter 47 of the book of the same name the further we go with God the deep the waters get until we can not cross them anymore, but merely have to swim in them. The longer I walk with God the more I find that I can experience His grace, love, mercy, and empowerment for ministry in ever increasing ways. It reminds me of a little song I heard called Deep and Wide. The fountain of life that flows out from the throne of God is deep and wide, and in it is life, joy, peace, and assurance of a future and a hope.