The Crossing’s Mission and Core Values

About a month ago at The Crossing we had a members forum where we updated where we are as a church and where we’re wanting to go. Kind of a “State of the Church” thing that also allowed for questions from the congregation that would receive candid answers. Judging from the feedback we received from a lot of people who attended, it was an inspiring meeting. And I always prefer that to uninspiring meetings. So that’s good.

One comment I repeatedly heard was how much people appreciated hearing about The Crossing’s Mission and Core Values. I guess I assumed that everyone heard them and remembered them. Stupid assumption on my part.

The typical comment after the meeting was along the lines of: “Wow! That was The Crossing’s Mission and Core Values 11 years ago? It’s so amazing to see how that really has become a reality now 11 years later!”

I remember 11 years ago when The Crossing was nothing more than an idea. Keith and I were sitting in a hotel room in Indianapolis at a church planting conference hashing out what our Mission and Core Values were going to be as a new church plant. We missed a few of the main meetings to do it, but we had them all written out by the end of that conference. That tedious and time-consuming effort really paid off as it helped us define and focus on who and what we wanted to be and do as a church. And it’s still the very same Mission and Core Values that has shaped who and what we have become and continue to be today.

“That explains a lot,” someone said to me after the members forum.

So I thought that in my blog entries for the next few weeks, I’d discuss our Mission and Core Values that we wrote down 11 years ago when The Crossing was still just an idea. Perhaps for you too it will explain a lot, and you’ll get a better idea of why we do certain things a certain way at The Crossing.

So here we go…
Our mission at The Crossing is to move the hearts and minds of more and more people to believe the gospel more and more by treasuring all that God is for us in Christ.

That phrase is purposefully redundant. Real belief in Christ—“saving faith” in the gospel—is not merely some past decision a person may have made at one point in their lives (although it involves that), but rather it is a present belief in the heart as well as in the mind that generates a growing and persevering desire for Jesus Christ and his glory and his righteousness (see 2 Corinthians 4:4, 6).

Real Christian faith is never a perfect faith this side of heaven—it stumbles and struggles and goes up and down. But biblical passages like 1 Corinthians 15:1-2, Colossians 1:23, and Hebrews 3:14 also make clear that true belief in the gospel ultimately keeps on believing and growing in the gospel (even if in a two-steps-forward, one-step-back kind of way).

That’s why we believe that all Christians—all disciples of Jesus Christ—need to hear and rehear and be continually challenged to believe The Gospel. In other words, the gospel message is not just for non-Christians. It’s for Christians. Only as a result of a growing and persevering belief in the gospel—in all that God is for us in Christ—do we become properly motivated and equipped for true obedience and maturity, and avoid the common pitfalls of moralism, performance-based spirituality, and guilt motivation. And we avoid the extremes on the other end as well, such as spiritual or moral relativism and passivity that people commonly fall into when they believe “saving faith” was merely some past decision or event in their lives.

Our mission at The Crossing is to establish a transformed and transforming community and presence in Columbia that is gospel-centered, biblically educated, and culturally redemptive. In other words, the more we believe the gospel, the more we live the kind of lives and become the kind of growing community that attracts more and more people to the gospel message. That’s our mission as a church.

Biblical passages like 2 Corinthians 5:14-21 teach us that the more we understand and believe the promises of the gospel for ourselves, the more we’ll be the kind of ambassadors for Christ that attract others to the gospel. This is the mission that overarches everything we do—everything we preach and teach—at The Crossing. We strive to be believers in the gospel more and more, and to be believing ambassadors of the gospel to more and more people in this community and throughout the world.

That’s our Mission at The Crossing. And in order to accomplish this mission, there are Six Core Values we have as a church that shape everything we do at The Crossing. Next week I’ll discuss the first of these (update: which you can now read here).

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