Why Are We Named “The Crossing?”

Keith and I answered that question eleven years ago when we wrote out our Mission and Core Values. When you start a new church, as we did eleven years ago, what you name it is kind of a big deal. It needs to capture the imagination of what and who we wanted to be as a new church.

This is the paragraph Keith and I wrote eleven years ago:

Why are we named “The Crossing?”

The Crossing invokes the image of an old ship on a journey to the New World. For those aboard, there was much hope and anticipation. They were driven by a sense of adventure and the promise of a new life. Yet there would also be fear and uncertainty. The threat of storms, unfamiliar waters, and many other sorts of dangers lay ahead. A safe and successful crossing not only demanded a sea-worthy ship, but also an able crew, accurate navigational instruments, adequate supplies, and favorable winds.

We think life is a lot like that. It’s a journey full of adventure and promise, as well as the realities of difficulty and hardship. For most, there’s a hope for the future mixed with the uncertainties of what time will bring. Sometimes we hit storms. Sometimes we get blown off course. But like the sailing ships of old, when we’re rightly equipped, we’ll safely and successfully make the journey and reach our destination.

The Crossing is a place where people are committed to making this journey together. No doubt there will still be storms, treacherous waters, and times of pain and trouble for all of us. But there are also the experiences of adventure and fulfillment. At The Crossing, we’re making the journey, but we’re doing it together. We’re all in the same boat, heading in the same direction. While none of us have yet to reach our destination, our course is driven by the promise of a new life. We hope you too will join us so we can make The Crossing together.

Looking back on that statement, now 11 years later, I still really like why we are called The Crossing. I like every sentence in that description. It really is a good metaphor that imagines a picture of our purpose as a church. We’re making our hopeful but dangerous journey together until we reach our destination of a “new world”—the Promised Land—the redeemed and restored earth and humanity and creation that Christ will accomplish by his death, resurrection, and return.

I particularly like this sentence:

“A safe and successful crossing not only demanded a sea-worthy ship, but also an able crew, accurate navigational instruments, adequate supplies, and favorable winds.”

Whether or not we make it to the New World depends upon making the journey successfully. Our “sea-worthy ship” is the church community—the local body of Christ. And to get to The Land, everyone must remain in the boat (Heb 3:12-15; Eph 2:19-22; see Acts 27:31 as a picture of this).

Our “able crew” is the biblically and theologically trained pastors and teachers in the church who rightly handle the Word of truth (Eph 4:11-15; 2 Tim 2:15). Good pastors and teachers are Christ’s gift to his church (Eph 4:11). So always pray for good pastors and teachers.

Our “accurate navigational instruments” are the scriptures—the word of God—the Bible—that constantly points us to the gospel and all that God is for us in Christ, so that we are able to keep our faith pointed in the right direction and reach the Promised Land (Matt 7:24-27; Luke 6:47-49).

Our “adequate supplies” are the many ways we as a church community are gifted by God to serve and care for one another, give of our income for the health of the church, and learn to teach and counsel and encourage one another in life’s journey (Rom 12:4-12).

And the “favorable winds” is the Holy Spirit—who is the only means by which we will successfully make this journey and arrive on The Shore (John 3:5-8; 2 Cor 1:21-22; Eph 1:13-14).

So we called this church The Crossing because the Christian life is a journey toward a Promise in Christ that is reached only by a persevering faith in him (1 Cor 15:2; Col 1:21-23). You cannot live the Christian life on your own apart from a church community (Heb 3:12-15; 10:23-25). So we sail together, through life’s storms and challenges, toward all that God is for us and has promised us in Christ. Together.

That’s The Crossing.

I’ve previously discussed our Mission Statement and our First and Second and Third and Fourth and Fifth and Sixth Core Values in previous blogs.

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