Sunday, March 12, 2006

CrossRoads Church

Today we made our way down Hwy. 61 to Cottage Grove and visited CrossRoads Church. I was surprized at how quickly we had gotten there from where we live. It's a straight shot following the river 10 miles, one left turn, go 2 miles and pull into the parking lot.

I had never been to this church before, and as I pulled in, I could see already that they were in need of a new building. Not because anything was wrong with this facility, but because I know how many people they've been packing into this place on a weekly basis, and at first glance, I knew they were constrained by space. Once inside we found a very inviting atmosphere. The people were friendly, the signage was adequate, and there was a cool promotional running in the lobby for Covenant Pines Church Camp. We were greeted at the door with a handshake, and everyone we talked to seemed open and inviting. They also have really good free coffee. And cookies. Chocolate Chip cookies. M&M's Cookies. Did I mention they were free? And quite yummy.

The crowd was late arriving, most pouring into the sanctuary for the 11:00 service in the last 5 minutes. We got in early and got seats near the front where I like to sit, and by 11:00 there were nary a seat to be found empty. I would guess 90% full from what I could see. It was a FULL house. I learned at the end of the service they have started a new building campaign that will be a great improvement for the operations of this church when completed.

The worship was solid. It wasn't at the level of Eagle Brook Church, but few churches are. My wife (Banana) especially like their selection of songs. The stage was surprisingly small, and it felt a bit cramped for the band and singers. I am all to familiar with this from my time in Northridge Baptist Church (the old building) on the worship team where we nearly stood on top of the bass guitarist amp/half stack for lack of space.

Phil Print preached on Joshua 2, the story of Rahab the Harlot. Phil absolutely rocked it, and I expected nothing less quite honestly. Phil is enormously gifted in preaching, and I was blessed to sit in on his message today. In just one message I saw dozens of things I could do better as a communicator of the Gospel. Very humbling. Banana found the fact that Phil had made this message fairly interactive with the congregation very interesting. She said she hadn't experienced a service like this before. Phil's message was longer than I was expecting, and each and every moment of it was good stuff. The main point that he made was that God's mercy and grace is far greater than anything in your past, and that Jesus shed His blood so we can be freed from our past. Phil is right. God is more interested in our future than our past. Phil built up his main points with verses from James 2, Hebrews 11, Matthew 1, Revelation 1, Ephesians 1, and Isaiah 1. All verses were enormously relevant and placed exactly where they needed to be in the sermon. A message crafted at a level I only dream of reaching.

After the service I had the opportunity to speak with Phil for a few minutes before we left, and I was reminded just how great a man he is. CrossRoads Church is very fortunate to have someone who is so gifted, yet remains enormously humble. Phil has assembled a very talented team around himself, and I believe CrossRoads Church is going to be used in big ways by God over the next few years. If you are in the SE Metro of Minneapolis/St. Paul, I highly reccommend you stop by and visit CrossRoads Church and see how God is working in this community and church.

CrossRoads Church
7955 IvyStone Avenue South
Cottage Grove, MN 55016
Phone: 651-459-7111
Fax: 651-459-1561

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