1. The Transforming Power of Scripture
God’s authoritative Word, the Bible, is the Holy Spirit’s primary means to transform lives. Our passion is to help people understand and apply the Scriptures in a manner that shapes the way they live life in today’s world. We seek to take seriously our call to “make disciples” by “teaching them” the truths of Scripture (Mathew 28:19-20), as well as how to study Scripture for themselves. In this way, they “will be able to teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:2).
We want the truths of the Bible to guide and permeate all of our teaching and worship. We value the faithful preaching of the Bible as one of the primary responsibilities of our pastoral leadership and the principle means by which a pastor spiritually feeds believers in the church. For this reason, each pastor at The Crossing holds a Master’s of Divinity degree from a theological graduate school that upholds the authority of the Bible and belief in the gospel. In a spiritually healthy and growing church, the Word of God must be taught fully, accurately, and with conviction. This includes relevant and realistic application that encourages genuine faith and confronts the unbelief that undermines trust in God. In this way, those in the church will be led to greater maturity in their faith.
2. God Centered Worship
True worship is the right response to whom God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—has revealed himself to be in the Scriptures. Because worship is a response, our ministry will seek to engage hearts and minds in order to encourage faith and love in increasing measure. Because worship is a response to God, our passion is to help people delight in his holiness and grace, trust in his unfailing promises, and rely on his incomparable power. In this way, our worship will be both an acceptable offering before God and a witness of his glory, so that “many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord” (Psalm 40:3).
3. Cultural Engagement
The way we do ministry must reflect our commitment to bridge the gap that often seems to separate the church from the culture of our day in unnecessary and damaging ways. This means that our language, forms, and style of ministry must resonate with our culture, while at the same time never compromising the timeless truth of the biblical message. In doing this, the ministries of our church will not be “culturally driven” but rather “culturally sensitive,” enabling people to hear and understand God’s Word in a fresh and relevant way. This is a biblical mandate for us as a church in our community, in our culture, in our time.
Our commitment to cultural engagement will also mean that our standards must meet the level of quality and excellence expected by those outside the church. In this way, we hope not only to win the respect of others, but also honor the Lord.
As a result of this approach, we hope to be a redemptive presence in our culture, encouraging the transformation of every area of life—both of the individual and the larger community—toward greater conformity with God’s will.
4. Winsome Outreach
We recognize that effective, biblical outreach certainly includes the verbal presentation of the gospel. However, we also value the scripturally mandated process of sowing the relevancy of the gospel into the culture through acts of love and words of wisdom, touching people’s lives in significant ways. We seek to reach out in a manner that is relational in approach, intellectually informed, and willing to engage in genuine discussion. We’re passionate about treating all people with respect, tearing down stereotypes, and building bridges. In this way, the truth and attractiveness of authentic Christianity will be displayed to those outside the church. This is the church’s role in biblical outreach.
5. Faith That Serves
The Bible tells us that the only kind of faith that counts with God is a “faith working through love” (Galatians 5:6) and “faith without deeds is dead” (James 2:26). Saving faith necessarily expresses itself in deeds of service and love. In turn, such deeds actually feed our faith. That’s why we believe that every member should, in some way, be involved in service opportunities in and through the church—serving Christ by serving the body of Christ. Jesus knew that it is very difficult for us to look to the needs of others instead of merely our own. Therefore, in order to move our hearts to serve, Jesus made many promises. He said that the last will be first (Matthew 19:30; Mark 9:35), that the Father will honor those who serve his Son (Matthew 20:26; 23:11-12), that everyone who sacrifices in service for Christ will be rewarded greatly in heaven (Luke 18:29), and that it is far more blessed to give that to receive (Acts 20:35). We value helping each person at The Crossing find an appropriate place to serve Christ by serving others—matching service opportunities with interests and skills.
6. Transformational Community
God created us to live in relationship with one another. That’s why our passion is to be a loving, magnetic, and transformational community. This means much more than just being a church of friendly people. It means being an interdependent community in which we enjoy deep, authentic friendships. Many important things happen when we commit ourselves to a genuine, loving church community. This kind of environment provides the context in which we grow spiritually, minister most effectively, and become truly attractive to outsiders. It allows us to experience a blending of giftedness that we cannot achieve merely as a collection of individuals.
Genuine, loving community always requires a real commitment. While we are a church that eagerly welcomes newcomers—without asking for any commitments on their part until they are comfortable—we also believe that growing in a church body is a process of growing in commitment, both of the individual to the church and the church to the individual.