Around Crosspoint, one thing we talk about is that we desire to have a Kingdom mindset. That we’re not out to build Crosspoint’s Kingdom, but God’s Kingdom. We’re not in competition with other churches that preach the Good News and who are founded and built on Jesus and His Word, but we’re in partnership with them. Unfortunately, in our American culture of individualism, sometimes, we have brought that idea into the Body of Christ, the large C church. But Biblically, we don’t see that territorial and fierce individualistic mindset.
Instead, what we see, for instance in the example of Ephesians 4, is God’s desire for unity with His Body. Unity around some key doctrinal and Biblical truth and unity around the shared mission to go and make disciples.
Ephesians 4:1-6: I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
The longer I go in ministry, the more I become convinced and convicted of this Biblical truth. And I am eager to maintain and guard the unity God has given to us by His Holy Spirit. Too often the Body of Christ is marked by divisions and splits over petty or secondary matters which lead to a poor testimony to the world around us, and my heart is that Crosspoint would never be marked by such divisions.
All that to say, is that over the past nearly four years, I have developed a growing friendship with Tom Swanson, the Senior Pastor at Eureka Bible. We’ve met together regularly for conversation, sharing, and prayer, and it has been a mutually encouraging time for us.
At the same time, the Spirit has opened up some doors for Crosspoint and Eureka Bible to serve together. There has been a spirit of cooperation that has grown among our two churches. For instance, we’ve partnered together on events such as a missions night called Afflicted, which helped raise awareness of global issues that God’s Word speaks of. Our student ministries have combined for a series at one point. There is a friendship among Pastor Erik, and Pastor Aaron, their student pastor which has been encouraging to those men. We’ve done a concert together a few years ago, and both support a couple of the same missionaries and mission organizations.
These cooperative ministries have grown out of an understanding that we are very much alike in our understanding of Scripture and its authority, in our approach to ministry through relationships, and in our desire to reach our community and the world. You could say there is a kindred spirit among us.
Because of this the idea has been growing to explore ways in 2016 to better express the unity we have in Christ as churches. The elder teams from both churches have met together to discuss and pray about this a couple times, and we have determined the Lord is leading us to proactively search for ways that we can serve and partner together in the coming year.
We don’t know exactly what that might look like yet, but we’re exploring some different ideas. If you have ideas, we’d love to hear them. One of the first ones we’ll be doing is a combined Good Friday service that evening. We’re still working out the details, but we’re looking forward to being together for that evening to remember the cross, to celebrate communion, and to worship together. As the Lord opens up further opportunities, we’re going to seek to say yes to those, and live out the unity Ephesians 4 speaks of, in order that we might pursue the Great Commission and Great Commandment in greater ways in the year ahead.
So as your pastor, I’m excited about this, and am trusting the Lord to lead and work as we follow Him as our Chief Shepherd. If you have questions, ideas, or thoughts at all, feel free to let me know.