I don't know why, but, I feel like a new era of maturity and ownership of the ministry has begun.
Here are some of my observations:
- In our youth department this weekend the missions team unveiled the new youth missions strategy. This plan gives opportunity to students to participate in a youth missions track with the ultimate goal (over a period of time) a global mission trip. The thing I LOVE about the strategy is it is ALL about spiritual growth along the way. No one may participate that doesn't take part in mentoring, discipleship and local level missions first. By the time they meet all the requirements they are well on the road to being a fully developed Christ follower! Can you imagine the impact to our ministry? This holds a very personal gratification for me in that my daughter Jocelyn will be leading some of the trainings/mentoring. She went off to college and got a Bachelors in International and Community Development and is working on a Masters in International relations and religion focusing on Christianity policy and ethnomusicology and she got to come back to Crossroads and use her degree. God is good!
- Greater participation in worship. Our ministry is very geared toward the 'unchurched' feeling comfortable while learning about the Lord. We've worked diligently to create an environment that feels familiar yet NEVER compromises worship or the teaching from God's Word. When unchurched people fill the church you move them slowly toward maturity. I think the age of our ministry has taught us many things, and God has created a hunger in our congregation for more and more and we are now reaping the result of them growing in the Lord and participating more fully in worship.
- House Churches have helped to close the back door. People that longed for a more intimate setting can now get that at any of our house churches. The timing was CRUCIAL to our ministry and it has been a great addition to the main ministry! The time these families sacrifice in their own homes to serve our congregation is just unbelievable!
- Young Adults. Maybe it's because I have been involved with my hubby in most of our churches weddings, that I realize these young couples' marriages are also significant steps toward our ministry maturing. The marriages that are performed by the staff at Crossroads are pledging loyalty to one another as well as making plans to be involved as a couple after marriage. They give me hope for our future. This is a huge maturity step in my mind toward a long legacy at Crossroads- Young adults fully involved and taking ownership of the ministry!
- Longevity in serving. Although we are ALWAYS in need of more volunteers, I have seen a longevity in the areas of the serving in the ministry- that makes me very happy. When a volunteer takes ownership of his/her area it is so good for the ministry. What people that are not involved don't know is - volunteering is what God calls them to do. Not just to go to church, but to be a true part of the ministry. He created each of us to use our talents to help serve one another. There is no higher calling. In my department we still have some of our original volunteers still faithfully serving which helps tremendously to encourage others to use their talents! I am very thankful for this as well and it too is a sign of maturity.
I am forever thankful that He chose to bring us all together at Crossroads!!