Thursday, October 07, 2010

Crossroads Church KC Summer 2010 Update

If you didn't know, my family has been working to start a new church in downtown Kansas City, Missouri, an adventure that has been exciting, exhausting, and very rewarding–pretty much everything we signed up for. Here's our latest update.


Lindsay and I were standing in an outdoor concert venue when Fall arrived. Like the Holy Spirit, it caught us by surprise and gave us chills. Autumn trends to snow and ice pretty fast in Kansas City, but it does give me an opportunity to glance back at the summer and write a long overdue update.

Stop-Motion Summer (Choppy but Good)
In our 1.5 year experience starting Crossroads Church, summer has been choppy, with our team on a rotating vacation schedule as the city heats up. However, Jesus has been good to us, and we’ve seen slow and steady growth happen in the last several months. John and Hailey are a recent addition to our team, both making their presence felt. John, a talented musician, is helping lead our worship services and Hailey is helping stage our services and City group with a great eye for aesthetics.

We’re still meeting for informal services in the Arts Incubator (AI), which has been a great location for us, imbedded in the arts community. The director there has continued to work with our team and has made a couple additional spaces available as our needs have changed. We’re slowly getting acquainted with several artists, and praying for more relationships. Matthew, who has recently jumped in at Crossroads Church with his wife Karen and three kids, has just been approved as an artist at the AI, and we’re looking forward to how seeing how God will work through this.

We’ve seen a steady stream of new faces at our informal services, and some of those people have stuck around and bought into the vision we have for seeing downtown KC transformed with the landmarks of the gospel–prayer, preaching, life together, belief in Jesus (Acts 2). Our team, which originally could have met in a closet, now could fill a coffee shop venue nicely. Others are entering the community and considering what it means to be involved at Crossroads–including some who have been outsiders to the gospel until now.

Fewer Moving Parts (= Fewer Broken Pieces)
We’ve multiplied our most basic discipleship piece, Core groups, which are 3-4 men or women meeting together weekly to pray, get in the Bible and hold each other accountable to our mission: Love Jesus, connect people, transform cities. We now have five of those groups operational. I’m thrilled that Mark, who committed his life to Jesus over the summer, is part of my Core group.

We’re also poised for our first City group multiplication. City groups meet in houses for food, prayer, and Bible. They also help us hit the streets to serve our city by adopting local causes (like the Arts Incubator, beautification projects, and children’s art programs). Along with our services and Core groups, these make up the building blocks of Crossroads. We like the “fewer moving parts” idea!

Social Currency (This is a Team Sport)
A couple days ago we hosted a “First Friday party” at our house, inviting a bunch of friends over for a colossal bar-b-q before downtown KC’s biggest monthly event, the First Friday Art Walk. If you’d showed up you would have seen a packed house of people hanging out, talking together, and enjoying the cool evening on our back deck, which overlooks the Crossroads District. This is the kind of party we love to host. It gives us opportunities to spend time with the people we think Jesus would befriend. In the next month, we’ll be repaving a community basketball court, helping clean an art gallery and volunteering at a fundraiser for the local arts scene. We’re looking to meet genuine needs, invite our friends along, and speak the gospel with our actions as well as our words.

At the moment, Crossroads Church is rich in leaders and servants if not in dollars. God has sent us some people who love the gospel enough to let it challenge and shape them, who increasingly see gospel as a life-changing mission and the church as more than a social club. These are people who get up when they get knocked down, accept challenges as part of the game, and love KC and each other. We’re proud of them and eager to tackle the future with these men and women.

Chaos Lives Here (At Our Address!)
On a personal note, Lindsay and I have become somewhat acclimated to the chaos of simultaneously starting a church, remodeling a house, and raising solar-powered, action-figure boys. Since the church is still growing, we’re still demolishing walls, and we are pregnant with baby #4 (due March 14), none of this will end anytime soon. When you have a minute, pray that God will keep giving us times of rest, peace, and renewal in the middle of all this. We appreciate it.

Also pray for Crossroads that we’ll be people who are committed to steadily living the gospel. In the most important sense, the next months hold more of the same. More championing the gospel in sermons and conversations. More modeling the gospel with our hospitality and generosity. More inviting our friends to join us in pursuing Jesus.

Thanks for your prayers, and may God bless you wherever you find yourselves.


Arie (AJ), Lindsay, Aidan, Asher, Ezra, and boy? baby #4.

Crossroads Church Kansas City

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