Our Core Values

Our Core Values | Worship

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The woman at the well was not thinking about worship when she arrived that day. She was there at high noon, likely hot and sticky, long past when the other women had all come and gone. She was eager to get her needed water and hurry back home, hoping to avoid the stares of judgement and pity from the townspeople who knew her story.

In John 4:1-30, we read that this woman’s hurried task was interrupted when Jesus, wearied and thirsty, spoke. “Give me a drink.” Astonished that he would speak to her, a Samaritan woman despised by the Jews, she engaged the Lord in a conversation which would address three barriers in her life that were keeping her from true worship.

 

Barrier #1:
She wondered aloud why he would ask her for a drink of water from the well. His unexpected response was that she should actually be the one asking for a drink of living water from his well—one that would ensure she would never thirst again. In other words, she was drinking from the wrong well.

Are you drinking from the wrong well? Are you seeking something that satisfies only temporarily? A new relationship? A better job? A nicer car? A better physique? What is it that you think will bring you satisfaction and contentment? How long will that satisfaction last? If it isn’t living water, sooner or later, it will disappoint, and is a barrier to true worship. Jesus says that only he can truly quench our thirst forever!

 

Barrier #2:
Jesus then asked the woman about her husband. She tried to avoid his probe by answering, “I have no husband.” But the Knower of All Things responded, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband.” Jesus knows our sin and our story. It is no surprise to him. But like the woman, we want to hide it. The only problem is that our unconfessed sin is another barrier to worship.

As believers, Jesus has paid the penalty for our sin on the cross. Because of his sacrifice, we have forgiveness and an eternal future in God’s presence. Even though we have been delivered from the penalty of sin, we still battle the power of sin until we reach our eternal home where we will no longer be in the presence of sin. Our eternity is secure, but the sin in our lives, left unconfessed and hidden, creates a relational barrier between us and God, affecting our ability to worship him as we should.

Is there something you’ve tried to ignore or hide from God? Is sin numbing your love for the Lord? Humble yourself and come clean before God. Confess it to him, repent, and receive forgiveness and restored fellowship with him. He longs for a “full disclosure” love relationship with you!

 

Barrier #3:
The woman then asked Jesus where people ought to worship, “on this mountain or in Jerusalem.” But Jesus responded by saying that it was not “where” that was important, but “what.” “You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know.” He pointed out the importance of not worshipping God in ignorance, but “in spirit and truth.” In the words of Matt Chandler, “God is seeking worshippers with inflamed hearts and informed minds.”[1]

Are you getting to know the God you worship? Is your pursuit of Him a passive afterthought, or is it a priority in your life? Do you pursue him with your intellect as well as with a whole-hearted passion? Each of us likely has a default mode. We are either inclined toward the heart or the mind. But rich worship flows through both. Make sure you are not only leaning on your strengths, but that you are also working those weaker “worship muscles.”

John 4:29-30 is the beautiful result of the woman’s time with Jesus. She had been set free, having overcome the barriers of idolatry, unconfessed sin, and ignorance, and she couldn’t contain herself. She left what she was doing and went back to town, to the very people she was avoiding, and invited others to meet Jesus. Her life had been changed by Jesus’ call to true worship, and it was contagious. Some even consider her to be the very first missionary.

A core value at Crossroads is worship, experienced both individually and corporately through praise, prayer, giving, communion and baptism, and the study of the Word of God. Are you experiencing true barrier-free worship, both in your time alone with the Lord and alongside the rest of your church family? True worship should change your life, and it should draw those around you to Jesus.

- Anna Clagett

 

 

[1] Matt Chandler, Sermon given at The Village Church, Flower Mound, TX.

Our Core Values | Outreach

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Outreach is fulfilling a command

Jesus’ final instruction in Matthew 28:19-20 is “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” The idea of sending missionaries isn’t merely a modern practice. This originated as a command from Jesus to his eleven disciples who were with Him just before his resurrection. 

Jesus’ disciples did a masterful job getting this discipleship thing going. Eleven ordinary men heard and obeyed Jesus’ command, and generations of obedient followers have remained faithful to that command. Today, His church remains strong and continues to flourish! This is the core of outreach, making disciples who will make disciples of others, so that everyone in this generation, and the generations that follow, will hear the Gospel and have a chance to know Him personally.

Outreach and missions are important, but …

Around the globe a lot of time and money are invested into missions, so surely it must be one of the most important priorities of the church, right? John Piper answers this so eloquently,

Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn’t. Worship is ultimate, not missions, because God is ultimate, not man.[1]

Until the end of this age, it is necessary to continue to make disciples, the work of outreach and missions. It is also important to regularly gather as a corporate body of believers to worship our Lord. It is equally important to spend time individually with the Lord, daily, in praise, worship and adoration of Him. Oh, that the whole world would know Jesus, to worship Him, and be counted as His friend.

That the World would know

At CBC we take the command of making disciples of all nations seriously, which is why we invest in planting churches and developing leaders.

Planting churches is a natural outgrowth of making disciples. When people are called to follow Jesus, those new believers will be drawn to meet together. If no church already exists for the new believers to meet in a location, then a new church will need to be formed, with appropriate biblically based leadership and governance. Crossroads partners with church planters to form new churches, providing encouragement, prayer, training, and support, until they are soundly rooted and standing healthy on their own.

Leadership development is also crucial for the growth and sustenance of the church. Whether working in another culture or with a future generation in our home culture, developing leaders native to the local environment is the best way to start and maintain healthy churches. As a result, our focus is to work alongside of, to train and encourage, local leaders to be the primary disciple-makers in their native-language and culture.

Where in the world?

Outreach is done somewhere other than “here," internationally, right? Jesus taught that “here” is just as important as “there." Some of His final words spoken on earth, in Acts 1:8, are “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” 

Jesus was speaking to the apostles in Jerusalem telling them they would be His witnesses in “the local city” of Jerusalem. Then to all of Judea, which is similar to saying “in our local state." He then references Samaria, which was a nearby, yet foreign, nation. And finally, to the end of the earth, to all people, nations, and tongues. Outreach is just as important in our own city as it is internationally, to our neighbors, co-workers, family and friends, whether locally or globally.

How and where is the Lord prompting you to make disciples? Is it across the street, in the office, with your college friends or sports teammates? Maybe He’s been prompting you to go someplace farther or bigger. Whatever the call, stop and give thanks to the Lord, praise Him for his faithfulness in your life, and listen to His voice, his call, to where He wants to use you for His outreach. Finally, obey His call in your life.

- Mark Grotte, Minister of Global Outreach

 

[1] John Piper, Let the Nations Be Glad!: The Supremacy of God in Missions, 3rd edition. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2010), 15.

Our Core Values | Equip

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When I was younger, I remember hearing my pastor tell the congregation that he wasn’t exactly a handy person. In fact, he said that on a work site when armed with a hammer he got the nickname “Lightning” because he never struck the same place twice. It true that for some people, myself included, the proclivity to wield tools does not come naturally. My guess is that some people feel the exact same way when it comes to sharing the Gospel. They feel as if sharing God’s word is outside of their skill set and better left to the professionals. Truth is that sharing the Gospel can be quite a daunting task. What if we say the wrong thing or we get a Bible verse wrong? What if in our fumbling we do a disservice to the principals of the Christian faith? The reality of attempting to lead someone down a road that leads to the cross can seem insurmountable and impossible to get right. However, it is something that we are called to endeavor to do as followers of Christ. So, then the question becomes, how do we share the Gospel successfully? How to we equip God’s people for a lifetime of faithful service?

When I think of the word “equipped” I can’t help but think of a tool belt. If you’ve ever seen a competent person on a work site they are not only equipped with a tool belt with every imaginable tool in it, but they know how to use those tools properly. When a need arises, their hands need go no further than their hips to find the right gadget to accomplish the job. It isn’t just about owning or possessing the tool itself, but about the experience and training that they bring when employing the object to fix a problem. Even when it comes to something as simple as swinging a hammer, it can be clear at a moments notice who has experience and who is likely to hit their thumb. God wants us not only to possess the tools that we need but to be familiar with how to best exercise his truth to achieve Kingdom results.

This takes time and effort and can profoundly push some outside of their comfort zone. It might mean risking a reputation and being known as the “church guy” or to risk being comfortable as sharing the Gospel is an uncertainty in how it’s received. For some the idea of talking to another person or finding themselves in a tense conversation is a nightmare realized. For this we can take heart because God has equipped his children with a myriad of skills. For some the best way to equip others is to be a mouth piece and to verbally share his gospel, but for many more I suspect that the best Gospel presentation will simply be a life lived in accordance with God’s will for your life. We should never underestimate the incredible power of acting in a manner worthy of the Gospel. I think that faith genuinely lived out is the biggest precedent for others being attracted to a commitment to Christ.

            So, know that God has called you above and beyond what you thought was possible. Know that he wants you to love him enough to seek his voice and to trust him enough to act when he calls upon you. God never wastes gifts or talents and whatever gift he’s seen fit to give you he will use to further his kingdom if only you will let him. Be confident in your faith, and be familiar with his truth. Know how to utilize the tools that God has made available to you and most importantly use to those tools to help build a community that changes the world.

- Kellan Peterson, Student Ministry Director

Our Core Values | Serve

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One of my favorite things I enjoy as a pastor at Crossroads is that I get to watch people serve.  I peek in the doors of the children’s classrooms and watch volunteers care for children. Some are pacing the nursery as they hold babies who have fallen asleep in their arms. What I see in their eyes is ... joy. At the other end of the building, I shake hands with door greeters or go out into the parking lot to chat with the parking crew. I discover the same thing. Joy! Crossroads' volunteers experience joy as they serve in the ministries of our church. 

I have the privilege of overseeing the Welcome Team. I like to think of it as the first impressions team. We have 15 ministries made up of 300 volunteers. If there is one thing I hope our guests notice first when they drive onto the parking lot and walk through the doors is joy on the faces of our people. I have watched numerous times how people new to our church come in smiling. It all starts by someone rotating in, filling a spot, shaking a hand and sharing a smile.

One of the 5 core values of Crossroads is serving. Serving is in our DNA; it’s what we do. We love serving needs and putting smiles on people’s faces. The reason is because this is what Jesus has done for us. He serves us and meets our needs . . . our need of forgiveness, of acceptance, of a reconciled relationship with God and reconciled relationships with others.  He gives us joy.

I encourage you to make our church core value a personal core value as well, as a Christian, as a follower of Jesus. Here’s why:

  1. Think of Jesus! He said “Even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for others” (Mark 10:45).  When we serve, we are most like Jesus, because he did not come expecting people to serve his needs. He served theirs, and gave himself as a sacrifice for sin.
  2. Something will always be missing in your life if you come and sit but don’t serve. God has wired us as Christians to serve. He saved us and set us free – from sin and from ourselves – so that we might serve. We read in Galatians to not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, for self-gain, but to serve one another in love (Galatians 5:13). Christ died to save us not just from our sins but from ourselves. You will always feel some spiritual constipation if you’re not serving in some area of ministry.
  3. Lastly, a practical reason, the best way to meet people and connect at Crossroads is by serving. Nursery workers get to know one another as they care for the little ones, swap phone numbers and set up play days for their kids. I have seen how people new to our church start by serving in the café or greeting at the doors. They meet a lot of people.  It’s not long before they feel connected. New friendships form, and it all started by serving!

If you would like to take the next step in serving, take a minute and talk to someone at the Welcome Centers in the main foyer and MAC or the Check-In Desk in the children's hallway. Someone will be there to help you find a place and get started to serve. 

Several years ago, Stu Weber spoke at a conference we hosted, and he said this: “I am following the King of kings who came as the Servant of servants, so I must serve.” He’s absolutely right. Jesus did not come to be comfortable. He came to serve, to meet our needs, to set us free. He hands us the servant’s towel and says “It’s your turn!”

Jim Wright, Pastor of Connections

Our Core Values | Connect

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In various seasons of my life I have been known to withdraw and isolate myself from my closest relationships…from community. I have done this because I’ve not wanted to be a burden to others. I’ve done it because I have been fearful of being judged and to protect myself from receiving unsolicited and uninformed feedback from “well-meaning” people. I have isolated myself in these seasons because I believed that I could, or I needed to, get through my stuff on my own.

How many of us default to dealing with life, and all that it throws at us, by ourselves - with a belief that we must pull ourselves up by our own bootstrap? How many of us, either by default or design, are living in some form of isolation right now?

We live in a culture where we can access community with the swipe of a finger. We have “community” coming out of our ears, but it is increasingly becoming virtual community.

We can be “followed," “friended” and “liked” by 1000 people yet truly known by no one. It’s quite possible to be “trending” and still live a life of desperate isolation.

Some of us remain isolated from community because we are better able to control the image of ourselves we project out to the world when we don’t allow anyone to get close enough to know us as we truly are…flawed, broken and wonderful.

Whoever isolates (themselves) seeks (their) own desire; (they) break out against all sound judgment. (Proverbs 18:1, ESV)

Not only is it emotionally and spiritually unhealthy for us to isolate ourselves from community…it is unwise. In isolation, we are absolutely left to our own devices, our own perspective, our own biases, our own judgment and our own strength to get through life.

I don’t know about you – but, my situation doesn’t get better when I isolate. In isolation, I always seek after my “own desires”. The longer I remain isolated the more unsound my judgment gets.

No one’s life gets better in isolation. Yet, many people in our culture live in varying forms of isolation - unknown as we truly are and not truly knowing other people as they truly are.

We all long for community. We all long for a place to belong.

Why is community so critical for us? Because we were created in the image and likeness of a God who exists in community. Because our life, our calling and our purpose, as people who are meant to follow Jesus, are incomplete if we are isolated from Biblical Community.

None of us needs another “thing” to do. What we need is each other. We need each other if we are to grow in faith. We need each other if we are to care for, and be cared for by, one another. We need each other because our mission is to be living expressions of Jesus’ love to the people we encounter every day.

Are you in need of Community?

Join a Community Group near you; Click here.

Our Core Values

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“Know where you’re going.”  

Helpful advice, huh? New to this area last winter, my wife, Anna, would have appreciated knowing where she was going one dark and rainy evening. She was driving on EAST Lake Sammamish Blvd, growing increasingly frustrated as she searched for her destination, only to find out she needed to be on WEST Lake Sammamish Blvd. We can laugh about it now, but that night the confusion resulted in tears.

It is just as important for a church to know where it is going. Core values set its direction and priorities, impacting how it invests its time and resources. The core values define what’s important and what really matters—the big ideas. For a church, core values not only determine the priorities of the church leadership, but they also describe what each member of this faith family should be valuing individually.

Crossroads Bible Church describes the Christian life in five big idea words that we call our core values:

  • Worship 
  • Connect
  • Equip
  • Serve
  • Outreach      

These values summarize the essential characteristics of biblical discipleship in our faith family. The way in which we live out these core values forms the foundation of what we do in ministry and how we're known by the community we serve. 

As we join together in a passionate pursuit of these values, watch out planet earth!  There is great power when a team rows together in the same direction. This common purpose will help us achieve our mission of building a community to change the world.

Over the next five weeks and periodically throughout the year, we'll be sharing more details on how we're putting our core values into action here at Crossroads.  You can also read a summary of our core values here: Core Values.  Our goal is to help us each to be more aware of our core values, and to identify ways we can live them out in our personal walk. 

We pray as you read and study these values, evaluating the current level of priority they receive in your own life, that it will become a season of new growth for you and our church family.

 

Tom Clagett
CBC Executive Director