We’ve been gathering in homes for five weeks now, during which time I (Pastor Logan) have had numerous opportunities to share with others CrossPoint’s new approach to ministry. The question I’m asked most often is, Why change things? However, long before I was first asked that question, I was looking at CrossPoint and wrestling with the following questions:
Is what we’re doing biblical?
I don’t mean to imply that we were doing anything sinful, but I had become increasingly convinced that the things we were doing came at the expense of what Jesus says matters most—the Great Commandment (Matthew 22:34-40) and the Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20).
We were not loving each other very well. Relationships, mine included, seemed superficial. We spoke to each other briefly on Sundays (How was your week? Crazy weather, huh? See you next Sunday!) and seldom saw each other in between. Though we had activities and groups scheduled during the week, they were poorly attended. What was most concerning was that everyone seemed okay with all of this. I remember reading John 13:35 and crying. There Jesus says, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” No one would look at the our relationship with each other and stand in awe of the supernatural love of God.
We were not making disciples very well. A disciple is someone who follows Jesus in their daily life. Discipleship is marked by continued growth and spiritual maturity. While we had many people coming through our doors each week who knew Jesus, I couldn’t see much growth taking place. No doubt part of the problem was our structure. The come-and-sit-and-listen-to-me-for-an-hour approach catered to consumerism and spectatorship. Sunday was essentially a show, a rerun we were all very familiar with and could tune in and out without feeling like we missed anything. However, what we were missing was the gifts God had bestowed on everyone else in the room. Peter tells us, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace” (1 Peter 4:10). We were essentially robbing ourselves of what God had blessed us with.
Is what we’re doing sustainable?
What God was showing me as I thought through the first question was reason enough to introduce big change. Yet there was also a financial component I couldn’t ignore. As a church planter, I had spent sixteen months on the road raising financial support. That money was meant to move my family to Utah, cover startup costs of the ministry, and then the living expenses of my family. CrossPoint’s ongoing operating and outreach expenses were to come from our weekly offerings. Thus, the ministry pays for itself. Unfortunately, no doubt due to poor discipleship and that spectator mentality, many who came to our services each week didn’t give at all. While salvation is certainly not contingent on one’s giving, how we hold our resources does reveal the affections of our hearts (Matthew 6:19-24). People’s hearts didn’t seem to be in the ministry and though I had mentioned our financial situation several times, I felt I was met with indifference. At that time, CrossPoint was a multisite minisitry with two buildings and all the related expenses: mortgage, insurance, electric, gas, water and sewer, trash removal, snow removal, HVAC maintenance, and on and on. We were bleeding money and could not keep doing what we had been doing.
Is what we’re doing reproducible?
If what we were doing wasn’t biblical, it didn’t need to be reproduced. If it wasn’t sustainable, it couldn’t be reproduced. But reproduction is what God calls us to. The Great Commission is Jesus’ charge to His disciples to make more disciples. In 2 Timothy, Paul writes, “What you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also” (v. 2). That is four generations of disciple making disciples—and it didn’t require a seminary degree or necessitate sixteen months of fundraising. To achieve the rapid multiplication the New Testament talks about, every believer simply needs empowered and released to give to others what they have received themselves. I was bottlenecking the ministry!
Why change things?
Because what we were doing wasn’t biblical. It wasn’t sustainable. And it wasn’t reproducible. Because God has given us a vision for something far greater than assembling and entertaining a crowd for an hour a week. In the next five years we want to turn fifty neighborhoods upside down for Christ. My question to you is will you come be a part of it?