We’re glad to be associated the Evangelical Presbyterian Church because we think there is real value in being connected to a larger body of Christians. In fact, we think it is the biblical model established in the New Testament (see, for example, Acts 15). Being a part of a denomination provides The Crossing with accountability, encouragement, and opportunities to minister together with like-minded churches.
Having said that, we realize some people may have a negative perception of denominations in general. They associate denominations with pettiness and division. Unfortunately, there is plenty of evidence to support that claim. That’s why both the EPC and The Crossing seek to hold firmly to biblical essentials while showing respect to those who have different views on less important matters. In this way, we hope to avoid unnecessary controversies.
Likewise, there are those who are suspicious of Presbyterians in particular. They associate the name with a willingness to compromise biblical truth and the necessity of trusting in Christ for salvation. We want to make clear, however, that neither the EPC nor The Crossing is willing to follow that path. If you’re interested in knowing more about what we believe, please take a moment to view our doctrinal essentials.
What should I wear if I attend The Crossing?
When Jesus spoke to the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4, he proclaimed that true worshippers of the Father are to worship him “in spirit and in truth.” What he did not do is add a specific dress code. Along with many other biblical passages, that episode points to the fact that genuine worship is fundamentally a matter of the heart, not of outward appearances.
Most people who attend The Crossing dress in a fairly casual manner, and we invite you to feel the freedom to do the same.
Why isn't there always a cross in the auditorium?
We understand that many people—particularly those who have grown up in the church—find it odd that the worship auditorium doesn’t contain a permanent cross. Certainly, the cross can be a powerful representation of the most momentous events in human history: the amazing life, atoning death, and miraculous resurrection of Jesus Christ. As a result, it can be a significant aid in worshipping the one to which it points.
But while a cross can have a very positive role in a church community, it can also carry some notable drawbacks. There are those who walk through our doors who, for various reasons, have not had positive experiences with churches or Christianity in general. For them, the cross doesn’t represent the gracious work of God in Christ. Instead, it can represent anything from unwarranted judgmentalism to empty religion. For these people—as ironic and regrettable as it may be—a cross can be a barrier to knowing and following Christ.
Added to this dynamic is the fact that the Bible nowhere mandates the use of a cross in a place of worship. In fact, the first communities of Christians often met in their own houses, meaning they probably lacked many of the elements we identify with church buildings today…including crosses.
So to be clear, we’re not opposed to church communities and individual Christians employing the cross as an aid in following Christ. Nor are we in any way ashamed of the fact that it represents the suffering and death that was necessary to pay for our sin. We’re simply trying to create an environment where the distinctiveness owes less to certain physical elements and more to the worship and service of those who demonstrate, however imperfectly, the fruit of genuine biblical faith.
What is The Crossing’s view of baptism?
The Crossing practices what we call “covenant baptism.” This means we believe Scripture teaches that baptism is a sign that points less to our own declaration of faith and more to God’s promises to his people in the gospel. While we recognize that the sacrament of baptism is an important means of grace instituted by Jesus himself, we don’t believe that it saves a person. Only Jesus can do that. The Bible seems to clearly teach that there will be people in heaven who haven’t been baptized and, sadly, people in hell who have.
Baptism is a controversial topic that has unfortunately divided Christians for centuries. Because we don’t want those same divisions to affect The Crossing, there is plenty of room in this church for those who have a different view on this particular subject. For more information about the church’s beliefs on this important issue, please consider attending our Discovery Class.
How often do you celebrate the sacrament of communion?
The celebration of communion is an integral part of the life and worship of The Crossing. We typically celebrate communion once or twice a month, on what might be termed an “irregular” schedule; i.e., we don’t designate a particular Sunday or Sundays on which we regularly observe the sacrament.
We follow this practice mainly for two reasons. First, while the Bible certainly commands the church to include the Lord’s Supper as a regular aspect of its life and worship, it does not appear to mandate a specific frequency of observance. For that reason, churches should feel free to celebrate communion weekly, monthly, or on any number of other schedules.
Secondly, different frequencies and/or schedules of observance have their own advantages and disadvantages. The particular manner in which we celebrate communion is intended to help lessen the possibility of the sacrament becoming merely a routine part of worship—something that those who attend the church do almost as an afterthought. Though the Lord’s Supper is never out of place in a Christian worship service, a more irregular schedule allows us to practice its observance when the themes of the sermon, music, readings, etc., will help those worshipping grasp its significance in particularly vivid ways.
How does The Crossing ensure financial integrity?
We believe that the church should adhere to the highest standards of financial integrity. That’s why we have established several internal financial controls to promote accountability among our staff. In addition, we have an external audit performed by the accounting firm of Marberry, Miller, and Bales at the end of each fiscal year.
How do we hire staff at The Crossing?
There are two types of staff at The Crossing. One type is our Support Staff. Members of our Support Staff help behind the scenes to assist our events and programs and operations to function well. Examples of Support Staff are church office assistants, tech staff, graphics artists, facilities staff, bookkeepers, etc. Whenever we hire a person to be part of our Support Staff at The Crossing, we place a high value on the following three criteria:
Competence: The person must have the necessary knowledge and skills so that they can do their job with excellence.
Character: They need to be people who have the kind of personal character that represents a commitment to quality, integrity and humility.
Team Chemistry: The Crossing’s emphasis upon a team approach to ministry is dependent on people working well together. A staff member at The Crossing must be a particular person who is committed and able to work relationally with the other staff. They need to be work well in a team environment. And other staff need to enjoy working with them.
The second type of staff member at The Crossing is our Shepherding Staff. They give leadership to and teach in a specific area of ministry at The Crossing. And so, in addition to the top three criteria, we also place a high value on these additional three criteria for our Shepherding Staff:
Genuine, Personal Faith: Shepherding Staff need to have a growing relationship with God so that they are able to do their job with humility and integrity. They need to have the kind of life that demonstrates a growing belief in and commitment to the gospel.
Theology: Shepherding Staff must share a commitment to The Crossing’s theological perspective, the core of which is laid out in the Discovery Class. They need to see how theology and life constantly intersect, and their teaching needs to show how theology is always immediately practical in discipleship and daily living.
Ministry Philosophy: Shepherding Staff need to be comfortable fitting in well with the way we do ministry at The Crossing.
Because these criteria are so foundational to The Crossing’s ministry, we’ve found that it is usually best to hire new staff from within the church or our network of relationships. We believe that part of this church’s success is due to the fact that Dave, Keith, and Shay have ministered together for over twenty years. In addition, they’ve known and worked with all but one of The Crossing’s Assistant Pastors for at least fourteen years. And every member of our current staff team was either hired from within the church or through already existing working relationships with the pastors and staff. The reason that we’ve chosen to build our staff team in this manner is because we’ve found it to be the most reliable way to determine whether a person fits the criteria listed above. In most cases it just seems to be too big of a risk to hire from outside our existing community, especially when there are so many qualified and proven people already within The Crossing.
A significant number of our current staff first served at The Crossing for several years as highly committed volunteers. This is true in regard to the pastors’ wives who work for the church on a part-time basis, as well as our most recent hires of Jim Beaty, our fulltime Director of Operations, and Andrew Baier, our part-time Facilities Director. In each of these cases, these staff members first “proved” themselves as committed and hardworking volunteers who eventually were putting in far more hours than is reasonable to expect on a strictly volunteer basis. Whenever that happens, the elders examine the needs of the church and the work that’s being done to see if it is in the church’s best interest to create a part-time or full-time staff position for that person. If so, that person is hired as a new staff member at The Crossing.
As God blesses The Crossing and it continues to grow, we are not saying that we will only hire from within. There might be occasions when we will bring on someone from outside The Crossing and our network of relationships. But we are committed to always hire people based on the same criteria: Competence, Character, Team Chemistry, Personal Faith, Theology, and Ministry Philosophy.