Hi, Karl Faase here, and I’d like to introduce to you a national campaign in the lead up to Easter in 2018. It will start on the 25 February and go through to Easter Sunday. This is a great opportunity to influence our communities with the message of Jesus. (more…)
If you’re looking for something to read over your Christmas holiday break, or perhaps for a last minute gift idea, we’ve put together a list of Crossover’s top 10 books for the year and where to find out more. (more…)
Carols by Streetlight was birthed out of Rostrevor Baptist Church in Adelaide in 2014, when Astrid was inspired by God to start a movement of Christians singing the Gospel to their neighbourhoods. (more…)
How to maximise the missional potential of your children & family ministries
Turn To The Person Next To You Affliction
The Apostle Paul said the things he didn’t want to do he did and the things he did want to do he didn’t. Pastors are like that when it comes to the habit of inviting people to ‘turn to the person next to them’. Believe me, I get the whole theory of interaction, but I also get that its best done genuinely, rather than when forced to by someone who possesses the power of the microphone. Once the edict is given you face either the prospect of engaging in a somewhat artificial engagement (which you have no hope of finishing due to time limitations) or looking like the odd one out, or a grump (that’s me..).
Whenever a pastor says that cringe worthy phrase it’s a dead giveaway that their assumption is that the entire congregation are Christians. Otherwise more sensitivity would be shown. If there are people there who aren’t Christians the invitation can be problematic. The next level of ‘turn to the person next to you’ is the one with an added “and pray for them…”
An evangelistic church expects there to be people present who have a range of faith positions from card carrying through to just looking. Subsequently there is a greater mindfulness of how such invitations affect these visitors. We need to view the experience of our worship services from the perspective of the visitor with no faith commitment (and a great degree of nervousness). Expecting newcomers to engage in a level of intimacy they rarely do with a complete stranger sitting next to them is insensitive.
- Secret Buildings
Have you found yourself at a church you’ve never been to before, not sure of where the entrance is, or where you go after finding the entrance? You’ve found yourself at a church for insiders. Insider churches don’t need clear signage because everyone knows the location of everything. Nothing needs to be explained. Signs are a waste of money if everybody knows where everything is.
On the contrary, churches that have invested in clear signage expect to have visitors, and wishes to help them access the building with clear direction.
Signage on the outside of church likewise can tell you something about how much the church values letting outsiders know where it is, what it is, and how to get into it.
You never have to wonder where McDonalds restaurants are; every franchisee will be able to tell you how much they paid for the gigantic sign outside. Marketers say that the Golden Arches are more recognised than the cross. That’s hard to verify but get the picture: McDonalds are in the business of selling burgers and fries and churches exist to hold out to the world the hope of the Gospel. Whilst the presence of a church is felt more significantly through its people signage is important. An evangelistic church makes it easy for people to notice it and access it. An evangelistic church does not assume that everybody attending it is a member, but rather that a fair percentage will be new to the place.
- Bubble world
If your church provides enough events to bring its membership back into the building or in other gatherings on virtually every night and day of the week it may well be a church that exists in the bubble.
A church that takes its missional imperative seriously is sensitive about the amount of time it demands of its members, knowing full well that by drawing people in to wall to wall events, meetings, etc there will precious little time left to be engaged in the community with people outside the walls of the church.
The machine of church is often the primary focus of the heat, light and energy that goes into the place, rather than a broken and lost world. This is quite understandable: life inside the bubble is a wonderful experience for many. People find support and sustenance inside the bubble. As one parishioner bemoaned of me: “Pastor I come here because it’s a place of refuge from the world and now you want to send me back out!”.
It’s all too easy for a church to add layer upon layer of activity that requires ever increasing commitment in terms of attendance. That feeling of business conveys a sense of purpose.
An evangelistic church looks carefully at its calendar and gives consideration to whether or not it is hindering the evangelistic potential of its people.
So how does your church stack up? Are you a ‘turn to the person next to you’ kind of church?
Drive into your church car park as if you have come for the first time and try and experience it afresh. It is clear where you go?
Out of seven days a week how many times are you called back inside the bubble?
Stan Fetting, Crossover Operations Manager.
Crossover invested heavily in the 2011 National Church Life Survey to commission research to help understand the potential and opportunities that exist for evangelism and church planting within our movement of churches. In addition to the standard NCLS questionnaire Crossover commissioned a further ten Baptist specific questions. The findings will help the leadership at all levels understand more about how we are doing as a movement and what opportunities we can grasp. The good news on the question of church planting is that we have plenty of potential represented in the significant amount of people in our churches who are prepared to be engaged. The question posed was “If you had the opportunity, would you support and/or become an active participant in the planting of a new church?”. The results are encouraging. (more…)
This week I managed to catch a program I watch whenever I remember: Secret Millionaires, where millionaires in real life go undercover and pose as ‘normal’ people looking to lend a hand. The program I watched was based in America where a multi-millionaire couple who made their fortune from selling fast food went to New Orleans, still devastated in many areas by the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. It was the best witness for the Gospel I have seen on t.v. in a long time. (more…)
Christmas is almost upon us. The coloured lights are going up, the family gatherings are being planned, and the letterboxes are filling up with junk mail enticing us to overcrowded malls. Christmas is a wonderful Christian festival and most churches ramp-up for its celebration. It’s a great opportunity to be present in the community and declare the real reason for the season. But for many people in our neighbourhoods, Christmas this year will be tough. For these people, there is no joyful anticipation, only dread and sadness. It won’t be the whole family this year. Someone is missing. (more…)
When Busselton Baptist Community Church moved from rented rooms in a child care centre to their own purpose-built Community Centre six years ago, they wanted to make a splash in the community to mark the long-anticipated event. It was decided to hold a “Free Fun Fair” on the opening weekend and this “one off” event was such a success that it has happened every year since. The splash, you might say, is still making ripples. (more…)
My journey over the last few years has been an interesting one. On the one hand, I’ve achieved a lot; I’ve been stretched and challenged, and I’ve grown as a person. On the other hand, I have made sacrifices, lost friends, and been judged by fellow Christians. All this has happened through my work with coffee. Having been named “World Latte-Art Champion” and “Australian Barista Champion,” I now consult to cafes and coffee roasting companies around the world as a barista and sensory expert. (more…)