Introducing Our Children’s Pastor

Posted in Church Structure by PCraig on May 29, 2014

I thought I would use this week’s blog post to allow you to meet our new kid’s pastor at Crossroads.  Last weekend, we brought them up front, introduced and prayed over them as a congregation. We’re excited to have the Miller’s serving with us as we head into an awesome time of summer ministry!

Hi, I’m Heather, the new Children’s Pastor at Crossroads Church!  My husband John and I are so excited to be a part of what God is doing through Crossroads!  We were born and raised in Speedway, Indiana, and I attended Lakeview Church until I was 18 and left for college. Both John and I earned our degrees from Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion.  I studied Children’s Ministry and Christian Education while John majored in Biblical Literature and Philosophy.  Upon graduation, we moved down to Noblesville in order to help start a church called Waterline.  After three years of being on staff there, we felt God’s calling toward something new.  That something – soon became apparent as we joined the team at Crossroads Church!

I have a passion for Children’s ministry because I believe that partnering with families is one of the most important things a church can do.  During these formative years in a child’s life, parents get thousands of hours every year to make a lasting impact on their kids. Most believers, when they make decisions for Christ, do so before the age of twelve.  As a Children’s Pastor, I get the opportunity to provide a safe and fun environment that fosters spiritual growth every week, and also am able to help empower parents to be spiritual leaders in their own homes.

That’s my story, but here’s a little bit about me.  I really enjoy playing sports of all kinds, especially soccer, but have had to put all that on hold recently because John and I are expecting!  This is our first and we are closing in on 12 weeks!  We are so excited and can’t wait to embark on this new journey.  While my hobbies have slightly shifted lately,  I can still do many things I love!  I can still sing, go to garage sales on the weekends, watch movies, and read, although most of my reading these days are baby-related. So now you know a little more about me, and I am excited to learn more about my new Crossroads community!

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Help For Weakness

Posted in Holy Spirit, Prayer, Victorious Living by PCraig on May 22, 2014

I was reading today how “the Spirit helps us in our weakness” in Romans 8:26.  Combine that with a book we’ve been reading as a staff and board called Overcoming The Dark Side Of Leadership by Gary McIntosh and Samuel Rima in which it discusses our “dark side” or weak areas.  This made me think all the more about personal weaknesses and how they impact us and what we can do about it.

Are you aware of yours?  Some are probably all too aware as you struggle to put down the drink, stay away from certain websites, keep your tongue in check or attempt to avoid skewing information to others in a deceptive way (lying).

We each have weaknesses and I guess the first step is to be aware of them so you can guard that area.  But, secondly, it’s good to know that the very Spirit of God is ready, willing and able to help us in our weakness.

One of the ways this passage tells us that the Spirit helps is in our prayer time.  Have you ever wondered how or what you should pray?  Like, “Do I pray for this job to happen or not?” or, “Should I pray that we break up or stay together?”  Sometimes we just don’t know what is best.  In those times, the Bible says that the Spirit intercedes for us.

I’m going to encourage you to read Romans 8 and ask the Spirit to do what is promised, and pray for you and through you.  This experience could be just what you need to help in your weakness and overcome!

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Jesus Said Rest

We for sure struck a nerve last weekend with the launch of the new series: De-Stress-Ed.  I don’t even know how many people said it definitely spoke to and challenged them.  Why?  Because it is such problem in our culture, so don’t miss this weekend for part two.

Along those same lines, I shared with our staff a devotional thought on rest this week as well.  I know I didn’t grow up thinking this way, but God intended for us to get our proper rest.  Here’s how we know:

  • He gave a command to rest (it made the top 10 – Exodus 20)
  • Jesus rested & taught the disciples to rest (Mark 6:31)
  • Jesus said he would give rest (Matt. 11:28-29)

Now, if God commanded it, Jesus promised it, practiced it and promoted it, then it’s probably something we should do.  At least that’s how I look at it.

In addition, medical studies have been done to conclude that disease, sickness, and mental weakness results from lack of rest.  Just two nights of improper rest will slow down your reflexes by 3 times normal response.  This isn’t even mentioning the irritability factor and other negative responses that can come.

So, do your spouse, your boss, your employees, co-workers, children, students, friends and everyone else within ear-shot a favor and get your rest.  You’ll be healthier, probably wealthier, and definitely happier.  And, you’ll serve and glorify God so much better.

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The Dark Side

Posted in Character, Heart, Integrity by PCraig on May 8, 2014

In meeting with our elders this morning, we were all reflecting on a book we are reading together entitled, “Overcoming The Dark Side of Leadership.”  Our discussion was about how each of us is responsible to know and watch over our “dark side” so we don’t become a casualty in leadership.  We’ve all seen leaders in government, religion and business who failed to do this.

Further conversation developed about our soul and how we hear very little about it these days.  Back in the day, there was “soul food” and a song “soul man” and having soul.  I don’t hear much about the soul anymore.

Mix this with my reading today from Matthew 26 where Jesus tells his disciples to “watch and prayer” so that they won’t fall into temptation.  This all came together with me on how important it is to watch over your soul (and its dark side) so you don’t fall.

Whose responsibility is it for your dark side?  Who is to keep you from temptation?  Where does the duty lie for keeping your soul healthy?  It’s the same for all of us – it rests with each of us.  In the words of an old hymn, is it well with your soul today?  I’m not talking about; if you die you’re going to heaven.  But, are you watching and praying and keeping your dark side from negatively impacting you and those around?  Is it well with your soul, man?

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It’s Never Too Late

Posted in Attitude, Change, Pursuing Jesus, Relationships by PCraig on May 1, 2014

Some people would rather be right than kind.  Which are you?  This is important to know for at least a few reasons:

  • It might explain why you don’t have long-term relationships
  • It could be the reason your business never seems to get ahead
  • You keep having less friends on Facebook or followers on Twitter

Aggressively advocating your position is wonderful in a debate, it might even win you an award.  But, in the realm of relationships, it will no doubt leave you lonely.  Do you look at many conversations as an opportunity to show your debating skills?  Do you see people as an adversary, when they may not be adversarial at all?  Turning debate into a contact sport can prove costly in the long run.

It’s easy to find tweets full of hurtful words and poisonous remarks.  Their humor is mocking, acidic and unkind.  Some are more concerned with being clever than with being kind.  To affirm this behavior they look to those nearby who will laugh at their slander and giggle at their jabs.

This is all well and good as long as you’re not trying to win friends and influence people; grow a church, business or ministry; expand your friendships and look more like Jesus.

It’s never too late to be more kind.  (Colossians 3:12-14)

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