This past Thursday evening Crosspath at East Ridge again saw the results of our commitment to become “unusual followers of Jesus Christ.” We had a number of families, the principal, and several teachers from Spring Creek Elementary School that gathered to hear about the coming of Christ into the world, to receive wonderful presents, and to enjoy a time of food and fellowship with the Crosspath Family. We are so thankful to the administration of Spring Creek Elementary School for their partnership with us in this Christ-centered endeavor. As you know, we provide weekend snacks for 325 children at a cost of $540, but this is the first time we have had some of the families here at Crosspath. This ministry is a Crosspath ministry; that means its success is not determined by any one person or group, but by the whole Crosspath family as we serve together in His name. We also receive necessary support from others. We have received gifts from a number of people locally and even as far as New Jersey. We are very thankful for recent gifts from Capital Toyota and Madaris Heat and Air. Some of the families here Thursday are a part of the snack Pack Ministry but others were not. It was a very special evening that God blessed in a wonderful way. Again thanks to all of you for your support and a special thanks to all that were here Thursday evening from our church to help with the event.
Church Growth and Church Giving are two factors that measure a church’s passion for Christ in the world of church today. Church growth is primarily determined by two things:
(1) Number of first time visitors (2) The number of visitors a church can retain as regular attenders. Our OLP Invitational Challenge and our OLP Outreach Teams and Prayer Teams are designed to help us address the two factors in church growth mentioned. It is critical that we all work together with an ongoing commitment to our Outreach Life Project. It is Christmas and the work may slow down but we must recommit and energize each other as we go into 2015. I don’t mean to be redundant but I feel that I must again share the need for budget reductions for 2015, not because we are spending too much, and not because we don’t have enough people, but because a number of our people are not sharing in the Stewardship of His church here at Crosspath (ownership in His name). This past week I listened to a pastor in East Ridge basically say that his church will have to close its doors in the near future unless there are changes in attendance and giving. We are certainly not that church, and we are not in that kind of financial shape, but we are nowhere near where we could be financially if more of our people would help. I told a couple of pastors from another denomination that we probably have about 15-18 percent of our people that give 10% (a tithe) and they both said, “If you are at 15% you are way ahead of where we are.” That was good news. I am glad that we excel in their eyes, but we are not excelling in God’s eyes. Everyone in the study group I was in agreed that the problem is not a money problem but a heart problem. When God captures the heart He captures our money. Set a goal to begin 2015 with a commitment to tithe, to give regularly and grow to a tithe, or to give as God has blessed you which may mean more than a tithe. There is much to be done in becoming “unusual followers of Jesus Christ. For sure we will not be unusual if we are not willing to support His cause in this community and the world (Lottie Moon Offering). We are thankful for your gifts. Without them we could do nothing, but with them and an increase in giving we can do much to impact this community for Christ. I love you and I am thankful for this great Church and our Great God that continues to bless His work at Crosspath.