Sunday, March 09, 2008

Thanks to Crossroads Church and Pastor Phil Print

I just want to thank Pastor Phil Print and everyone at Crossroads Church for their encouragement and prayer. Today to close our 11:00 service Phil asked my wife and I to come to the edge of the stage where he introduced us, explained that we were leaving the church to serve in a new church, and then led the church to pray for us. That was really awesome, and I deeply appreciated it. He didn't have to do this, but he understands having been there before, and cares enough to disrupt the "normal" flow of a weekend worship service to pray for us. I'm both humbled and blessed.

I'm going to take this opportunity to brag on Phil Print for just a couple of paragraphs. Phil Print is without question the most gifted preacher I know personally. His ability to regularly craft sermons is at a level few others can hit with their very best sermons, and no, I'm no where near that level. He is a preaching freak. If you could rate preaching ability, he'd score at the top of the charts. Not only is he gifted in preaching, but he raises the level of everyone else around him as well. James Brown, Brad Kindall, Ryan Lunceford, Jake Kirchner, James Racine, and everyone else who serves under Phil get the opportunity to learn and be refined by one of the best. Beyond that he is a great leader, having done amazing things at Crossroads Church in Cottage Grove, MN. Phil is passionate about Jesus and making Jesus known. He also leads his family well. I both respect and admire Phil for who he is, and what he has done.

If you would like to hear Phil preach you can download sermon audio. They don't (yet) have the fancy iTunes setup.

A bit of background to my knowing Phil Print:

I first met Phil at Bethel Seminary - he had been called in to grade one of my sermons for an Intro to Preaching course everyone is required to take. He gave me a good grade, but had some piercing insight into how to improve my preaching. A year later I found myself as his Teaching Assistant, as he had taken over the Intro to Preaching course from Pastor Bob Merritt of Eagle Brook Church (Phil and Bob are friends).

At first I wasn't sure what to make of Phil. He comes off as both focused and unassuming. He's a fairly high energy guy with a laid back approach. He has a runner's build, a well trimmed mustache, and a voice that is very unique. As I served him, I came to see his genius. He is a truly gifted communicator. Little did I know then at how gifted he is in preaching and crafting a sermon. I always told Phil that I'd like to visit his church, but Cottage Grove is more than just a short trip from where I was living (on campus) in Arden Hills. I also was on staff of another church, an additional 15 minutes away from his church.

When I got married, I moved to East Saint Paul, a short 15 minute ride from Crossroads Church. I had been telling Phil for the better part of 3 years that I would someday come visit his church, and now I had nothing holding me back. Crossroads Church has been our home since that first visit.

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