Easter Letter 2015

Posted in Evangelism, Events, holiday, Serving, witnessing by PCraig on March 24, 2015

Hey Crossroads family,

Easter is coming in just a few weeks and I couldn’t be more excited about what God is going to do in each of our services.  Let me share a few things I’d love to get your help with this Easter:

That weekend kicks off our new series, LIFE TO THE FULL.  This is a great opportunity to bring along people you know as it focuses on what it means to be Christian.  In the few minutes it takes to invite a friend, you could play a role in changing someone’s eternity.

Use the various tools that are available to invite others to Crossroads.  You can use your Facebook account to encourage others to come to one of the Easter services.  We have small “Invite Cards” available every weekend at the Information in the lobby.  These have a map to the church and feature the service times as a reference help for those desiring to come.  I would suggest you keep these cards handy in case God opens a new door of opportunity to share.

We’re preparing for lots of new guests to be with us for Easter.  It would be great if you could

  • Serve for an extra experience (maybe attend 1st and serve in 2nd?).
  • Attend the first service – which is usually less crowded.
  • Make an extra effort to give a warm welcome to the people you meet.
  • Park far away from the doors to make room for guests to park close.
  • Sit in the middle of a row, so guest don’t have to step over you for a seat.

Thanks for being a part of what God is doing at Crossroads.  It’s a privilege to partner with you!

Craig White, Lead Pastor

P.S.  Don’t forget to invite folks to our 1st Helicopter Easter Egg Drop on April 4 at 10 a.m.!

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Every American Christian Should Do This

Posted in Impact, Involvement, Missions, Perspective, Serving by PCraig on June 12, 2014

Every American Christian should go on a mission’s trip at some point in their lives.  I know not everyone will be able to do this because some have family commitments, work schedules and physical limitations.  But trust me, anyone and everyone who is a Christ follower in the U.S. should get out of here and experience another part of the world, and most of us can make it happen if we really want to do it.

I just returned from another missions trip to the Dominican Republic, and here is why I feel strongly about it:

  • American Christians should see how spoiled & rich they are.
  • Seeing this will help battle consumerism & lack of contentment.
  • It will show you that you can communicate with people who speak a different language through love.
  • The bond you develop with the team serving together is special.
  • Knowing you made a difference in another part of the world is an incredible feeling you will otherwise never experience.

Those are just a few reasons why I hope you will consider going on a trip.  Just talk to the other people who served and you’ll see why many of them are hooked.

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Posted in Evangelism, Serving, witnessing by PCraig on April 10, 2014

You probably don’t need any encouragement to think more about yourself.  If you’re like the majority, we do that really well.  We seem to all be born with a huge dose of selfishness.  More likely, we need to be challenged and reminded to think more of others.

This selfish problem is not just outside the church by the way.  Christians are pretty good at wanting the music they want, the seat they want, the feeling they want when they come to church.
In this Easter season, I would like to remind us that our leader, model and Savior said that He did not come to be served, but to serve and give His life as a ransom for us all.  To make the effort to be more like Jesus, let’s take much of the focus off ourselves – what we’re going to where for Easter, or eat, or get for our kids.  Instead let’s think more about: OTHERS.
Let’s not only care about their outside needs of clothes, shelter and food.  But, consider their greater need of eternity.  Jesus came to give His life for all, so let’s be mindful of that this Easter season.  As we build toward the celebration of the resurrection, keep your eyes and ears open to people who need the Lord.
After all, you weren’t just rescued from your sins for you – it was also so you could reach others.
Easter is a great time to invite people to go to church.  Statistics say that about 80% of Americans would consider going to church if only they were invited.  Let’s be about others!
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The Line Forms There

Posted in Generosity, Impact, Missions, Serving, Thankfulness, witnessing by PCraig on March 13, 2014

It is better to serve than be served.  That may sound counterintuitive, but it’s true.  Last Sunday, I began my message by asking the question:  “How long will the line be in heaven to get to you (by people) to say thanks for serving and giving to the Lord”?  The goal was to think about the power of our influence on earth that will be fully realized in heaven.

When you give to a missionary here, you have no idea who all might be reached through their ministry.  However, when we get to heaven and are enlightened, people will want to show their gratitude for sending the missionary.  That means a line may form to get to you and me filled with Africans, Asians, South Americans, Europeans, Islanders and all manner of people to say thank you.

The longer I live the more aware I am of the hollowness of outward stuff.  And, the more convinced I am of caring, and not being cared for, having the greatest value.  As we get into heaven, I think we will wish we had changed more diapers, served more meals, carried more bags, held more doors, lightened more burdens, and given more away.

The line to get to you on earth is not nearly as significant as the line that will form in heaven.

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Motivated By Gratitude

Posted in Attitude, Giving, Happiness, Marriage, Serving, Thankfulness by PCraig on March 6, 2014

Gratitude is a great source of motivation.  Recently, when Shaunti Feldhahn was with us, she talked about how this works with marriages.  She said that her research revealed that highly happy couples keep score.  No, not of the things their partner didn’t do.  Instead, they keep track of the good things their partner did in an effort to show gratitude and appreciation later.

In other words, the happy couples said things like, “Hey, I’ve been noticing how you’ve been knocking yourself out for the family lately and doing more than normal because of sick kids in the house, so I want you to take this Saturday and go get a massage, go shopping with friends and I’ll watch the kids.”  She said the couples felt a feeling of indebtedness to each other when one was doing a lot.  (Try it out on your spouse and let me know how it goes over)

If gratitude toward our spouses causes us to serve one another all the more, then what should we do when we look at what God has done for us?  Through Christ we have been forgiven, restored, renewed, released, accepted, and have eternal reservations with Him in heaven.  What more could you ask for?

I mean Jesus died on the cross because of your sin and mine and forever paid our debt so we can be free.  What does that feeling of indebtedness do to you?  I don’t know about you, but I don’t have enough hours in a day to serve Him, nor can I give too much money in support of kingdom work to repay Him.

Truly grateful people keep score and look for ways to pay it back.  It can help a marriage and it is the only reasonable response to a Savior who gave all for us.  Does the way you serve and give show gratitude?

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The Importance Of Getting Off To A Good Start

I loved watching the recent Summer Olympics.  Like many Americans, and perhaps many outside the U.S., I was intrigued with Michael Phelp’s march to Olympic history.  In every race, the announcers seemed to make comment about the importance of getting off the block quick to obtain a good start.  The feeling was that the team or individual who got off to a good start had a better chance in the race.

Perhaps the most important part of anyone’s day is the start?  The first moments of each day can set the tone for how we perceive the rest of it.  For example, if you get up thinking this day is going to be lousy, you’ll probably be right.  If you get up and read emails from work, read the bad news in the paper, and think about what’s not right in your life, then you’re getting off to a bad start.

What are some ways to get off to a good start?

  • Don’t check your email first thing.  If something’s that important, they’ll actually call you.
  • Be grateful.  You’re alive, there’s possibilities, hope and promise for today.
  • Read the Bible.  Start off with some good news.  Underline the promises you discover and claim them for yourself.
  • Meditate on things that are good.  Surrender your day to God in prayer.  Gain peace as you sit in silence before Him.  (Phil. 4:8; Ps. 46:10)
  • Exercise.  Get your blood pumping, your heart rate up and science confirms that you’ll feel better about yourself.
  • Don’t eat junk.  Garbage in garbage out – no brainer.
  • Try to do something for others as early in the day as possible.  Nothing makes you feel more confident and good about yourself than serving others.

There’s nothing like getting off to a good start.  So, what do you do to start your day?  Tell about it in the comments below.

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Serving Together

Posted in Serving by PCraig on October 10, 2010

It was awesome to see so many people involved in ministry once again this weekend.  Every Sunday I’m amazed at how many jump in together to create an atmosphere where God can change lives.  All you have to do is read the book of Acts to discover how the power of the Holy Spirit is released when God’s people serve together. 

It is so inspiring to watch those who weren’t connected in church at all a few months ago, now giving their time, talent and treasure to reach others for God.  Thank you Crossroads family for being so amazing and demonstrating what can happen when we serve together.

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Get In Your Area

Posted in Ministry, One Year Bible, Serving by PCraig on July 13, 2010

Is there anything worse than listening to people who can’t sing?  I confess that my family and I get drawn in each year to many of the episodes of American Idol.  What amazes us most each year is how many people truly believe they can sing that carry a tune in a bucket.  I know Simon sounds cruel at times when he makes comments like, “Who told you that you could sing?”, but he is really doing them a favor.  No one wants to keep moving forward in a position that they are not skilled to do.

When David was bringing the ark back to Jerusalem in 2 Chronicles 15, it states that he appointed musicians and singers to be part of the celebration.  It even states in verse 22 that the head Levite was “in charge of the singing…because he was skillful at it.”  There, that’s it!  What’s wrong with allowing people to do things they are skilled at and the rest stay out of the way? 

I’ve grown up in the church world where people have been allowed to sing because they had a good heart.  My thought is that a good heart is not worth as much as a good ear in singing.  Besides the unbelieving world looks in and thinks, “Do these people not have enough intelligence to stop that person from singing?”  How can we be taken seriously when we do such foolish things?

Here’s my proposal, let’s allow those gifted to sing hold the microphones and the rest blend in with the congregation.  While we are on the subject, let’s allow those gifted to teach to stand behind the lecturn and share.  And, wouldn’t it be great if those gifted to help came alongside others to lift the load of ministry? 

This is actually the way I believe God intended it.  People doing what they are gifted to do in an area that they can serve with passion.  How do you know what this is for you?  Here’s some simple suggestions:  What are you good at? (let people help confirm that one)  What excites you or motivates you?  What do you do with more ease and enjoyment without having to be pushed?  The answer to these can give you some direction on areas in which to serve. 

A final word: get in the area of passion, giftedness and talent and then give it all you got!

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