Today was a Crazy day at Crossroads Church in Cottage Grove, MN. Crazy in a good way. One year ago this church embarked on a campaign to change their friends, families, community, region and world. Crossroads is a church doing great things, but a church enormously limited by their facilities. So limited that the Sr. High School students cannot meet on campus, instead they meet down the road in another church where space is rented. But in spite of those space constraints, the church has continued to grow. Over a hundred people have come to know Christ as their Lord and Savior as a direct result of this church's ministries.
So they started a campaign, and called it Crazy. Crazy is raising millions of dollars above and beyond the normal church tithes and offerings. This money is being used for multiple things, first a new building, but more on that in a bit. Second, it is being used to buy books to help kids learn to read and enjoy reading more. Over $100,000 is going directly to local schools to buy books and items to help children read (District 833). Thus far $30,000 has already been given, and as contributions come in, donations will continue to be given to schools. Additionally $10,000 was contributed to a local elementary school to put the school over the top in fund raising for a new playground for the children to play on. I looked at the playground on the way home from church, and it is very nice, almost enticing me to want to play on it.
Another important component of the Crazy campaign is a partnership with World Vision to impact a community in Swaziland Africa. They are building a clinic, helping educate children, and digging wells to ensure people have clean and safe drinking water. More than 1/3 of the population of Swaziland is infected with the AIDS/HIV virus. Hundreds of thousands of children are orphaned, and most people live on less than $1 per day there. Poverty and destitution at levels most Americans cannot imagine. So the church is sending money and supplies, sponsoring children through World Vision, and taking missions trips to make a difference as part of their Crazy campaign.
Back to the new building. The current facility seats roughly 350 people, and the new one will seat 800 with plans to eventually expand to 1200 seats. The first stage will be 45,000 square feet, with room and plans to add on as finances allow and needs mandate. The first stage will also include space so that the High School students will be on campus again, and room for adult ministry for the first time in years.
Today was a day to focus on being Crazy. Pastor Phil Print re-vision cast the idea of Crazy in all church services this weekend. He clearly defined and reminded why they are doing this, to share Christ with the world. As part of this weekend long focus the church gathered this afternoon at Grey Cloud Elementary and rode buses to the site of the new facility.
At the new facility in Woodbury (or as it is currently known, the soybean field) there were prayer walks and hay rides. There were "tours" of the future facility that was flagged out with construction tape (though not to scale). And of course there was hot chocolate, cookies and all the coffee you could drink!
People took rocks and wrote the names of their friends, family and coworkers who do not know Jesus and placed them in a pile near where the future alter for the new sanctuary will be. There was a time of prayer for those people, and a commitment by those in attendance to work to bring them to the church and help in any way possible to share the love of Christ with them.
All in all, a great day. Crazy things are going on, and with God's blessing they will continue in ways we can't yet imagine!
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