Popeye’s 90th

Today my grandfather, Popeye as we called him, would have been 90.  Dude.

It’s funny how we give our grandparents odd nicknames when we’re really young, and then they seem strange to everyone else but perfectly normal to us.  It wasn’t until I was about 20 that I realized that there aren’t too many other grandmothers out there called NeeNaw.

Just shows how my grandparents are extra unique!

Published in: on February 25, 2010 at 10:30 am  Leave a Comment  

Celebrate & Serve: Goals & Strategy

This past Sunday was the third part of the Celebrate & Serve series at CrossWay.  We talked about our goals and our strategies for achieving them.

Yesterday I wrote about our five core values: Community, Reverence, Outreach, Service, and Spiritual Growth.  For each one of these values, we have a goal for 2010–and only one, so that we can stay focused.  These goals are not huge, but they will require that God stretch us.  Since it’s useless to have goals without a plan to accomplish them, we’ve developed a strategy for reaching each goal.  Here they are:

Community: Our goal is to have 75% of our regular Sunday attenders become participants in a community group.  We will do this by encouraging people throughout the year to plug into a group, encouraging group members to constantly invite others, starting new groups, and training new leaders.  75% is about three times the national average.

Reverence: Our goal is to average 75 people in attendance on Sunday mornings.  Right now we average about 50.  Again, this is not a huge goal, but it’s a very significant increase.  Does this mean we’re all about numbers?  Of course not.  But remember, our vision is to be a place where anyone can understand and respond to the Bible, and the more people we have with us on Sunday mornings, the more people are presented with an opportunity to understand and respond to the Bible.  We will work toward this goal by starting a second service (it launches the week after Easter), encouraging and equipping people to invite others, reaching out to our community, and consistently improving the quality of our worship services.  If we reach 75, that would be a 50% increase.

Outreach: This goal is our easiest one for this year.  We aim to personally invite 2,000 people to attend the worship service at CrossWay Church (starting next year, our Outreach goals will be measured differently… more about this later on).  We will do this by creating and distributing 2,000 invite cards for five key series throughout the year, and giving them to our members and attenders to use as a tool to personally invite others.  We will also do outreach events such as Summer Bible Camp, an Easter Egg Hunt, Christmas KidsFest, and others.  (Got ideas?  Please leave a comment or email me!)

Service: Our goal is to have 50% of our regular attenders use their God-given gifts to serve others.  We will do this through classes, such as our upcoming membership class, as well as providing ample opportunities for everyone to discover and use their gifts.  Everyone will be encouraged to serve in some capacity on Sunday mornings, in community groups, and at outreach events.  We will also work with people to discover if there is a new, unique ministry that God is calling them to.  50% may not seem that high for something that seems so simple, but it’s more than double the national average.

Spiritual Growth: Our goal is to have 50% of our people reading their Bible and praying at least five days a week.  We will do this by teaching about spiritual habits and giving people the tools they need to put them into practice.  For example, we offer a daily reading guide in our worship bulletin each week, and we make free Bibles available.  If half the people devote this much time to soaking in God’s Word and praying, our church and community will never be the same.

Each month I’m going to compile a progress report to assess where we are with these goals, and we will dedicate several sermons throughout the year to evaluating where we are and recasting the vision.

This Sunday we’re wrapping up the Celebrate & Serve series, but we’ll just be getting started with living it out!

Published in: on February 24, 2010 at 5:03 am  Comments (2)  

Celebrate & Serve: Core Values

Since I haven’t blogged about the Celebrate & Serve series, I’m playing catchup here.

The second week of the series at CrossWay we talked about our church’s core values.  Since we’re God’s people, what is most important to God is what should be most important to us.  So we looked to the Bible and found some good summary statements in Matthew 22:37-40 & Matthew 28:18-20.  Based on those passages (as well as a ton of others), we’ve come up with five core values that are the basis of everything we do as a church:

Community: We love people by building friendships with them.  This is done primarily in our community groups, which are groups of about 4-12 people that meet in homes during the week for prayer, Bible study, and discussion.  The aim of these groups is to deepen relationships through sharing life together.

Reverence: We love God by worshiping Him with His family.  We take our weekend worship services pretty seriously.  We encourage everyone to make it a very high priority to be there on Sundays so we can worship God together.

Outreach: We love people by inviting them to encounter Jesus personally.  We have various outreach events in which we focus on this, but we also encourage people to make it a part of their personal, daily lifestyle.

Service: We love people by helping them.  We use our God-given gifts to serve them.  This happens in various ways on Sundays mornings, in community groups, at outreach events, and in countless ways throughout the week as we look for opportunities to help others.

Spiritual Growth: We love God  by developing intimacy with Him through healthy spiritual habits.  These daily habits include Bible reading and study, prayer, meditation (not that kind of meditation–this simply means quiet reflection on God’s Word), and other spiritual practices.  These “grace practices,” as I’ve heard them called, help to form the character of Christ in us and prepare us for community, reverence, outreach, and service.

Published in: on February 23, 2010 at 5:48 am  Leave a Comment  

Celebrate & Serve: Mission and Vision

Yesterday at CrossWay Church we continued with our series called Celebrate & Serve.  This was supposed to be our vision series that would launch the first four weeks of the year, but with the snow and vertigo, it’ll take us to the end of February.  Oh well.

The first week of the series we read Nehemiah 8:1-12 and talked about our mission and vision.

Our mission at CrossWay is to make lifelong followers of Jesus Christ throughout our community and around the world.

Our vision (which is a picture of what it would look like as we accomplish the mission) is to be a place where anyone can understand and respond to the Bible.

That passage in Nehemiah talks about an occasion when thousands of people heard and understood Scripture and responded by celebrating and serving.  So we’ve adopted Celebrate & Serve as our theme for the year.  We’re going to do those two things as much as we can: celebrate by having fun together, and serve by using our God-given gifts to help others.

Published in: on February 22, 2010 at 11:48 am  Leave a Comment  

Unique Fat Americans

This morning I was listening to the podcast from North Point Community Church.  Andy Stanley had this great quote:

“We’re in a recession, and we’re still fat….  That is uniquely American.”

Published in: on February 16, 2010 at 10:19 am  Leave a Comment  

SonRise West OC

A little update on the new satellite church campus coming soon to West Ocean City:

It’s going to be called SonRise Church West OC.  Pastor Kyle McDaniel, the executive pastor at SonRise, will be leading the ministry there and preaching weekly.

They’re going to be located near Waterman’s, across the street from WaWa.  I’ll keep posting updates, including a link to their website, when I find out more.

Published in: on February 4, 2010 at 3:50 pm  Leave a Comment