SPOILER ALERT: A long note from Chuck ahead!
Last weekend was packed with activity here at Crossbridge at 1049 Eldridge. Friday night we gathered our Servant Team (all leaders and volunteers) for “Team Night”. This is a night set aside to encourage and enrich our team. Then on Saturday, our Community Group leaders and potential leaders came back for “Group Leader Day” where we poured into them through training and encouragement for the new fall ministry season. We had awesome Sunday morning services and then a sweet commissioning service for our own Breanna Van Note, who we are sending overseas for mission work for the next two years. It was such a fun weekend and I’m so thankful for you, Crossbridge. You are a people who are so sweet to lead and shepherd in the things of the Lord and His mission He has called us to.
We announced some things just for our Servant Team to hear first on Friday night, although some of it we have already been talking about. So, I want to write to you this week and give you an update on the initiatives we have been working on since we rolled out our “Still BOLD” series this past February.
If you are unfamiliar with our BOLD journey and the one-year marker series called “Still BOLD”, I would encourage you to click here and learn about this amazing journey the Lord has had us on for over a year!
During “Still BOLD”, as new people joined in living our BOLD faith through their generosity and some increased their BOLD commitment, we told you our intent would be to do several things, but I want to highlight things pertaining to our “BOLD for our Mission” category. This is our general operating budget that keeps us focused on making growing followers of Jesus in Fort Bend County.
Since our church has been growing, our intent was to lease more space for our children’s and student ministries. We began negotiations with the landlord of the space next to our current family building (where Crossbridge Kids - Elementary and our Student Ministry have been meeting) and in the midst of the negotiations, they sold it. So, we began negotiations with the new owner and when we got to the price for the lease and the buildout of the new space, our Elders gave pause. To be honest, because of your BOLD generosity we could have taken and paid for it, but this bump in the road caused our Elders to ask “what is the Lord inviting us to?” and “have we exhausted every option with the space we have to do all we believe the Lord has called us to?” So, the Elders went to the staff and asked them to prayerfully come up with ideas on how we could do everything we feel called to do within our current space. And we believe God gave us ideas that will actually help us do a better job creating engaging environments for the next generation by using what we have, rather than leasing new spaces. We have been able to improve all physical environments here in our buildings to get ready for the fall ministry season, and for less money. You have noticed it already with the painting of our lobby and some of the changes in our family building!
So here is what is happening beginning this Sunday:
Promotion Sunday – This Sunday, Crossbridge Kids will be moving up to their new grade or age group.
Fifty6 – We are starting a brand new environment at the 11:30 service for 5th and 6th graders. The intent is to create an engaging environment that is age-appropriate and is encouraging and equipping these students in developing a faith of their own as followers of Christ! They will be meeting in the new “Fifty6 room” that was the former student room. Jennifer Krupa has assembled an amazing team of small group leaders! There will be live music, fun elements and much more! If you haven’t seen the room yet, poke your head in there sometime this weekend and see what your BOLD generosity is helping to create!
Double-Dippers – The DDs are the children in CK Elementary that are here for two services because their parents serve at one service and attend another. The DDs will be using the Fifty6 room at 10:00 to give them their own space.
Connexus Student Ministry – Our student ministry (7th-12th graders) is going to have a brand new environment on Sunday nights. Connexus will meet from 5 - 7PM, with doors opening at 4:30PM. They will meet at 1049 Eldridge. After our third service, we will have a team transforming our lobby into the ultimate student hangout and transforming the auditorium into an intimate environment for students to connect with God and each other. There will be large group time with music and teaching, and then grade and gender specific small groups meeting all over our campus to apply what they are learning. Our goal is to make Connexus the best night of a student’s week!
On Sunday mornings, we will be encouraging students to either worship with their families, to sit together if they want and to serve on one of our teams. Our students are not the church of tomorrow, they are the church of today, so we want to partner them up with an adult and have them serving in Guest Services or Crossbridge Kids!
If you have a child in one of these ministries, you have heard most of what I wrote above, but there are many of you that were unaware. We are very excited about these new ministry environments! Please join us in praying that God uses these environments to see children come to know Jesus and grow a faith of their own!
We told you during “Still BOLD” that the Elders felt we needed to add another full time pastor to our staff that would oversee connecting new people to our church and developing our Community Groups (which is our primary vehicle for intentional discipleship). We engaged an agency that specifically helps churches find staff members. We used this agency to help us find Jennifer Krupa, our Children’s Minister. Hundreds of people were interested in the position, but the agency vetted those for us and brought us the top four. They were all great guys, but we knew we couldn’t hire all four. We narrowed it down to one guy that we flew in from Denver to spend the day with us, and we loved him. What a great guy and we thought you would love him too. BUT…I felt that pause again like we felt above. Through prayer and conversation with wise mentors, we learned that if you want to change your church culture you bring in someone from the outside, but if you want to keep your church culture you hire from within.
We actually had a few guys within our church that were interested in the position, but after clarifying the position, all but one stepped back. This one guy led a college ministry at his former church that went from 4 people to 40. He helped launch and lead a Sunday evening worship service that was reaching young adults. By age 29, he was a bank vice president. And for the last few years, he has led our church in our connections team and as a Community Group Leader. After meeting with him and praying, we were convinced God was leading us to him. So last Friday night, we announced that our very own Kelsey Wakefield is our new Next Steps Pastor! Kelsey is in the process of selling his Allstate Insurance company right now, so he is actually working two full time jobs! Be praying that it sells quickly, as it is his desire to be solely connecting and developing others here at Crossbridge.
We were also able to hire two part-time positions from your BOLD generosity! We have hired Shelia Garcia as our part-time Guest Services Director. She oversees all guest services on Sundays and our special event Sundays, like our upcoming “LOT Party” on September 18th celebrating our 14th birthday! Jason Bollinger, who has preached for me some this year, is also going to be doing some part-time work for our church as our Mobilization Pastor. He will be working to keep us mobilized in the community as the hands and feet of Jesus and to mobilize us for some global trips in the coming year!
Friends, I truly believe that the reminder of God’s grace in the past is an encouragement for us to trust Him for what He plans in the future. Past grace points to future grace! God has been moving and working in us and through us these past few years. We are believing this will be our best fall yet, as we see men, women and children come to know Jesus and take BOLD steps of faith as growing followers of Jesus Christ!
Celebrate all this with us and come ready this Sunday to praise the one who paid our debt and set us free, JESUS!
Still BOLD with you, for Him!
THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW!
"ROOTED . . . Deep Roots, Wide Branches" sermon series continues this week!
GROUP LINK | August 21st. After Each Service
We encourage everyone to join a Community Group, where you can connect with others, grow your faith and impact your community. Let us help you find a group that's right for you. We'll have tables in the lobby with people to assist you in finding a group near you, or you can sign up HERE!
PARTNERSHIP CLASS | August 29
Discover more about our beliefs as a church, covering everything from theology to discipleship! Childcare (up to 5 yrs) and dinner will be provided. You can sign up this week on the Connect Card. This class is a prerequisite to join the church.
LOT Party | September 18 | After Each Service
Celebrate Crossbridge's 14th Birthday and the kick-off of our new series "Overwhelmed"! We'll have great food, fun stuff for the kids and much more! This is a great day to bring a friend to Crossbridge!
BAPTISM I September 18
Take your next step in following Jesus by going public with your faith through Baptism! Click HERE and we would love to connect with you, send you some information and answer any of your questions.
JORDAN TRIP I October 21-30 I $1,950
We are partnering with Urban Catalyst and Alliance Church for a 10 day short term Syrian refugee relief Mission Trip to Mafraq, Jordan. Get more information HERE!
AUGUST PRAYER POINTS
Access your copy of the August 2016 Prayer Points HERE!
BOLD Dashboard (3-1-15 TO DATE)
150 # of First-Time givers to Date
380 # of Total Givers to Date
$3,974,563 BOLD Generosity to Date
$6,075,442 Total BOLD Generosity Goal
March 2015 - March 2017
Thank you for your generosity to Crossbridge as we honor God by making growing followers of Jesus Christ! Share your BOLD story HERE!