It has been 6 weeks now since we announced that we would be planting a church in Keene, NH. We have been praying, and God has been graciously and generously answering our prayers.
We praise God for…
- The quick sale of our home. I was tempted to worry that we would have to drive from Windsor to Keene for a long time while we waited for our house to sell. Realtors told us it would take around 200 days to sell our house, but God was gracious. He gave us buyers after only 41 days!
- Financial stability. God has moved in the hearts of men and women from CCC and Crossway to continue to give. Though the economy is failing, God has shown Himself faithful! Praise God for motivating His people to give even when times are tough. This is the power of the gospel at work in the hearts of men.
- Rich fellowship and strengthened relationships among the Crossway family. A group of around 40 people (including children) has been meeting together for worship, fellowship, and teaching for the last 5 Sunday evenings. Blake and Amy Wullbrandt have graciously opened their home to us for our meetings.
God is our only hope. If Crossway Church is going to grow, it will have to be by God’s doing. We are totally dependent on Him. We praise Him for His blessings and we boldly plead for more – for His glory!
What we’ve been doing
Our meetings on Sunday nights have been thrilling! It’s an exciting time for the 40 of us to spend time getting to know one another. For the first hour of our Sunday night meetings, we eat and talk. This time is so awesome since many are just beginning new relationships with each other. You can feel the electricity in the air as we share with and learn about each other. We’re getting to know our new family members!
After we eat, we gather in the living room for songs of worship. Bill Calhoun leads us with his guitar in some hymns and worship songs. Our chairs are arranged in rows, and we are squished together. It’s quite cozy! This past Sunday, Andrew Sage set up a projector so we could see the words on a screen as we sang. We’re already high-tech. :)
After the singing, we bring everyone up to speed on the latest concerning our search for a public meeting place, the sale of our home, our search for new home in Keene, other’s search for an apartment near Keene, and various other things.
The teaching time is next. The first week, I taught on the purpose of the church, challenging the group to focus on God’s glory so that we can fulfill our purpose of glorifying Him. The second week, we looked at our mission: to make followers and learners of Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:19-20). The third Sunday, we began looking at our God-given priorities: worship, instruction, fellowship, and evangelism. Lord-willing, we will complete our study of these priorities this coming Sunday night.
In weeks to come, we will consider our core values and distinctives as a church. Of course, our purpose, mission, priorities, core values, and distinctives are the same as those for CCC. We truly are an extension of CCC. What an incredible privilege it is to extend the ministry of CCC to the Keene area!
Before the evening is through, we pray together. Typically, we have a few men lead us in prayer. We pray that God would be gracious to us; that He would cause us to be zealous for His glory; that He would give us unity in the gospel; and that He would draw many unto Himself through ministry of Crossway.
Much work to be done
This past Sunday, I listed many opportunities for members of the Crossway family to serve. In addition to the normal taskes like working in the nursery, uploading sermons to the website, participating on the worship team, giving a call to worship, and teaching in the children’s ministry, we talked about a few outreach ministries that need to be organized and carried out. We want to reach out to families in the Keene area who have new babies, families who are new to the area, and families who have made a visit to a Crossway worship meeting. We plan to reach out to them be giving them a gift, information about Crossway Church, and an invitation to come (or, return) to our church.
In addition to all of those ongoing ministries, there is much to be done when it comes to launching the church. Once we have a public place of worship, we can print the church address on flyers, brochures, proclamation cards, and other materials. With those materials in our hands we can go to work letting everyone in the Keene area know about Crossway Church. This will be a huge effort. Please plan to help us! Let’s team together to spread the word!
We are dependent on God
We continue to work and to pray…
- Tiffany and I are still looking for a home. Pray that God gives us a home that is inexpensive and conducive to decades of ministry. Pray for wisdom.
- Several people from Crossway have been looking for a public meeting place for Crossway Church. We have chased down every lead that we can. A couple weeks ago, God brought 161 Emerald Street to our attention. We couldn’t believe it when we saw it. Seemed too good to be true! The location is great (right off of Main Street, right in the center of Keene). The parking is great. The amount of space is great. The lease price is feasible. However, modifications need to be made to the building in order for us to meet code. It looks like we will have to redo the bathrooms (make them larger and handicap accessible), add another door/exit, and make other smaller modifications. These things cost money. Please pray for wisdom as we make plans. Pray for God’s blessing as we try to move forward. God is sovereign.
- We continue to work on various legal church documents. Pray that we are able to have these matters settled in the next 6 weeks.
- We continue to plan ways for all of us to reach out to Keene area residents to tell them about Crossway and invite them to come hear the good news of the gospel of Christ. Pray for wisdom as we make these plans. Also, pray for God to raise up an army of servants from CCC and from Crossway who are zealous for Christ and excited to plant a church for His sake!