Tag Archives: The Crossings Church

2010 Campus Ministry United Workshop Audio – #CMUW

As promised, here is all available audio from the 2010 Campus Ministry United Workshop at Harding University:

A few lessons did not make the recording (namely Mitch Wilburn’s, Clint Hill’s [edit: Clint’s lesson was re-recorded and uploaded at a later time], and one of Patrick Mead’s) – our recording equipment wasn’t cooperating in the beginning. Sorry about that.

Despite minor technical issues, this was our best workshop yet overall. About 160 very excited people were in attendance, and most left fired up to reach their campuses for Christ. Mitch Wilburn was awesome, Patrick Mead was both informative and hilarious, Monte Cox was insightful, Robert Cox was challenging, and all of our other speakers did a wonderful job.

Benson Hines‘ class on brainstorming proved to be a hit, as did Orlando Henlon’s class on learning to focus on reaching outsiders. Of course, Lynn Stringfellow, Kerry Cox, and Clint Hill brought heat as they always do.

2010 was a great year, and we’re praying 2011 will be even better! Go ahead and mark your calendars now – the 2011 CMU Workshop will be held July 7-10, 2011 on the campus of Harding University in Searcy, AR.

To access audio from all of the past CMU Workshops as well as other CMU events, visit the CMU Audio/Video Page. We’ve developed quite an archive.

Enjoy! 🙂

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What its all about

I just got done chatting a bit with Kerry Cox – the campus minister for The Crossings Church who heads up A Cross Between – The Crossing’s campus ministry serving Lindenwood University. Kerry’s ministry serves as one of the training centers for Campus Ministry United. That is, when someone calls me telling me they’re interested in campus ministry and would like some training, Kerry is one of the next people I’ll send them to.

Kerry tells me that since January, A Cross Between’s ministry has resulted in 16 people giving their life to Christ and putting Him on in baptism. In addition to that, there are another 18 people currently being studied with who are considering the commitment themselves.

This is what its all about, folks.

Sadly, if current trends continue, over half of the exisiting Church of Christ campus ministries will reach one person or less this year. Over 30% won’t reach a single person at all! The reason for this: most current Church of Christ campus ministers never received adequate training before entering the field to run their own ministries.

I realize that’s going to sound elitist to some (especially current CoC campus ministers), and I want you to know that’s not my intention, nor is it my intention to belittle anyone personally or their past/present work.

The conclusion I shared with you is the result of careful, meticulous research.

If you’re interested in this topic, I encourage you to listen to the lesson I presented at 2008’s CMU workshop, and I also encourage you to listen to Dr. Flavil Yeakley’s presentation as well. Here are the  links (note: for more like this visit CMU’s audio/video page:

  1. Wes Woodell“2008 CMU Report: What Makes a Ministry Evangelistically Effective?” (53:47) (Characteristics PowerPointCharacteristics Handouts)
  2. Dr. Flavil Yeakley“Why Should Churches of Christ Care About Campus Ministry?” (57:43) (Yeakley PowerPoint; Q&A with Dr. Yeakley)

For each lesson, you’d benefit from downloading the powerpoint presentations and following along as you listen.

If someone wants to start an evangelistically effective campus ministry, they’ll best learn how to by working within an evangelistically effective campus ministry – not by going to a brotherhood Bible college (which will really help a person learn the Bible, but won’t really help them learn the nuances associated with certain types of ministries like campus work), and not by working within an evangelistically ineffective campus ministry.

Apples produce apples, oranges produce oranges, and training within evangelistically effective campus ministries produces evangelistically effective campus ministers.

Tomatoes don’t produce grapes, and bananas don’t produce squash, yet in studying this issue, the general attitude towards training new campus ministers has made me think a lot of people have never thought about this concept.

This ain’t rocket science, but it most certainly is important to point out.

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Sunday morning’s visit to The Crossings Church a break from the norm

As I mentioned in my previous post, I visited The Crossings Church near St. Louis over the weekend, and had a great time.

The church meets in a rented space that’s part of a strip mall:

A lot of work went in to turning this old storage space into a worship center:

I especially like this pictorial parody of the Oprah Winfrey endorsed modern day heresy popularly known as The Secret:

Only one tragedy befell me during my time there. I left my Bible on top of the minivan after services were over, and drove off without realizing it until I got home (300 miles away) later that evening. This wasn’t just “a” Bible – this was “THE” Bible as far as my own personal use goes. That was the Bible that was given to me as a gift by my best friend shortly after becoming a Christian, the Bible that I’ve carried with me to every seminar or workshop I’ve ever been to, the Bible I’ve used in 90% of the evangelistic studies I’ve had with people, and the Bible that I used in every single class I had at Harding University. It’s not strictly for sentimental reasons that it pains me to have lost that Bible – the main hurt comes from this: pages upon pages of my notes are to be found in the margins of that Bible, and those jewels aren’t easily replaceable. Anyway, we’ll see if by some miracle it turns up. I doubt it will.

To the topic of Sunday morning – my time at The Crossings was great. As I mentioned yesterday, 20 freshman showed up as a result of the campus ministry activities over the weekend. They were greeted Sunday morning at The Crossings with a warm handshake, a hot cup of coffee, an exciting atmosphere, and a practical lesson by Robert Cox.

The programming on Sunday morning is a bit different at The Crossings when compared with more traditional Churches of Christ. I’ll walk you through a couple of quick observations I made, but first check out this video of the service:

1) Worship/Singing

The Crossings is a church plant that’s three and a half years old. The congregation has grown from twenty something members when they started, to well over two hundred in a relatively short amount of time. Quite a few in church planting circles today don’t believe it’s possible for a church to do that without a killer band, but The Crossings is acappella.

Every time I visit, I’m impressed by the level of energy and excitement that goes along with the singing at The Crossings. Visitors have a great time too.

2) New Christians are given special attention.

How many churches have you been part of that pay special attention to new Christians in the worship assembly?  Sometimes a sentence is printed about them in the church bulletin, but in many instances the larger church body doesn’t realize who the new Christians are. I really appreciate how new Christians are introduced to the larger body at The Crossings, and believe this is a very healthy thing for churches to practice.

3) The “invitation”

Robert does the invitation a bit differently at The Crossings than most other churches. Every person who walks through the front door is given a folded bulletin with a card inside. The card iteslf is pretty large (the size of a half-sheet of notebook paper). When Robert gets to the end of his lesson, he doesn’t call for people to come to the front of the assembly where everyone can see them if they’d like to respond. Instead, respondants are asked to fill out the card and turn that in, and a member of the leadership team will contact them promptly to address their need.

I think a lot of people hear a lesson in a church and feel the need to respond, but often don’t because they are embarrassed about going up in front of everyone. Using the card isn’t the only way, but certainly one way to avoid that.

4) No communion on Sunday mornings – reserved for small groups.

This is another key difference you’ll find at The Crossings. Communion isn’t taken on Sunday mornings – it’s taken on Sunday evenings in small groups. Small groups are the lifeblood of The Crossings Church. Members aren’t members unless they commit to being part of a small group, and the groups themselves are reserved just for the members. From what I understand, guests are not invited to the small groups that meet on Sunday night (their are several other meetings throughout the week that are for members to bring guests to).

I can see the benefits of having a meeting reserved strictly for those who’ve made the commitment to follow Christ. It would allow your group to delve into deeper teachings without as much fear about leaving anyone behind, and would also serve as a “safe” place for the discipling relationships to flourish. After all, if someone needs to tell me in a group setting that my marriage sucks and I’m not treating my wife like I should, I would prefer they do that in front of others I’m comfortable with and can trust rather than a person I’ve just met and who doesn’t know me and I don’t know them.

Anyone have thoughts to share regarding any of these things?

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