Category

children & students

Sharing The Volunteer Experience

By | adults, children & students, I'm New, Sermons, Volunteer

Love for Crossings

When Tyler and Brittany Grubbs say that they have a love for Crossings that is all their own, they mean it. Tyler has attended Crossings since birth, and Brittany has attended since fourth grade. They’re one of the few couples who can say they met their spouse at Crossings, and one of even fewer couples who can say they met in elementary school.

We just loved the community Crossings provided, especially in high school.

Growing up in the church, Tyler and Brittany were both active participants in the student ministry. “We just loved the community that it provided, especially in high school,” Tyler says. “When we were students, we did not have Facebook, text messaging, or things like that. We always looked forward to seeing our friends at church,” he explains.

Some of the couple’s favorite memories as participants in the student ministry include volleyball nights, movie nights, and of course the group trips. “In high school, we both went on a mission trip to Mexico and came back dating, so that was definitely a benefit,” Brittany laughs.

Sharing the Volunteer Experience

The couple credits their experience in the student ministry to the many volunteers that invested in their lives. This led them to have a strong desire to give back. “From a young age, Crossings poured into our lives, and from that we have a love of Crossings that is our own. It meant so much to us we wanted to give that experience to others,” Tyler says.

Tyler and Brittany interned with the student ministry and then proceeded to serve as small group coaches for five years. They both had the amazing opportunity to go through each year of high school with the same group of students. “It is so rewarding to watch a student grow and develop spiritually over the course of four years,” Brittany explains. “You really do take on a big brother or sister role when you volunteer as a small group coach,” she adds.

Today, they continue to give back to the Church by leading a community group for young married couples. “Participating in and leading a community group has been such a blessing. It’s so great to be able to walk through the same stages of life with a group of great people,” Brittany says. The couple firmly believes participating in a community group is a wonderful way to get to know more people and to break down the size of the Church into a smaller, more intimate group.

Willingness to be the Hands and Feet

Their community group meets once a week, rotating between different locations. “Our group is amazing. We usually start around six o’clock, and some people end up staying until almost midnight. We just really enjoy hanging out together. I love that people show up each week. It is very come as you are, even if you’re just in workout clothes,” Tyler says.

Sometimes the group focuses on discussing Sunday’s sermon, and sometimes they do a study. “The great thing about leading a community group is that you really don’t have to be a scholar. We have great resources from the Church,” Tyler says.

Volunteering truly enables you to be the Hands and the Feet and to serve the Lord. You have the opportunity to make a difference in other people’s lives. It is truly good to serve.”

Brittany adds, “You just need to have a willingness to share with other people the things that are going on in your life. You’re there to help make the group a comfortable place and a support system for everyone.”

Tyler and Brittany had their first child last summer, yet somehow even with a baby and their many other commitments, they still find time to volunteer. “We love giving back to Crossings, as it has given so much to us,” the couple explains. “Volunteering truly enables you to be the Hands and the Feet and to serve the Lord. You have the opportunity to make a difference in other people’s lives. It is truly good to serve.”

From IT to Camp 56

By | Camp 56, children & students, Stories, Volunteer

Michael Foster Story - Camp 56As the Director of Information Technology for Crossings Community Church, Michael Foster plays an important role ensuring that software, computer systems, marketing, and many other crucial tools for church operations are running smoothly. Foster, however, would be the first to tell you that his personality really matches that of a fifth or sixth grade boy. “I’m right along that same wavelength,” he laughs. His personality, along with his love of working with children, encouraged him to get involved in Children’s Ministry – and you guessed it, he began to volunteer in Group 56 (fifth and sixth grades).

“The first time my wife and I visited, ten years ago, we truly felt the spirit of Christ here moving among people. We jumped right in, attending Sunday School and volunteering with the Children’s Ministry,” Foster says.

One of the things he was most excited about was volunteering at summer camp. “I always grew up going to camp, so after getting involved with Group 56, I kept asking when camp was going to be. I was quickly told, however, that there was no camp.”

Connecting at Camp

Foster was disappointed. “Camp to me was always a great way to reconnect with each other and with Christ,” he explains. It didn’t take long, though, until Foster was approached to start a summer program for Group 56. “With great ideas comes great responsibility,” he says. “I didn’t really know much about planning a camp, but with the help of some wonderful volunteers, Camp 56 was successfully started in 2006.”

Held each summer in Quapaw, Camp 56 is an exciting experience full of activities like horseback riding, swimming, fishing, zip-lining, and Bible study. Adult volunteers seem to love the camp, as well. “It’s really a four-day vacation each year with several hundred kids,” Foster jokes.

The camp also includes lots of fun and games, including a shaving cream fight. “I absolutely hate the shaving cream fight,” Foster laughs. “It’s one of my least favorite parts of camp. But during the chaos one year, I took a step back and saw a really neat moment. One child had shaving cream in his eyes, and you could tell his eyes were stinging badly and he couldn’t see at all. Another child took his hand and led the ‘blind’ child to water. This was really a revelation for me; so many people are blind, begging and crying out for water, and as Christians, we should be leading them to that ‘Water.’ We should be leading them to Christ.”

Blessings abound from Camp 56

Volunteering with Camp 56 has not only allowed Foster to help lead children to Christ, but it has also blessed him in many ways.

One of his favorite blessings to date is seeing some of the past participants in Camp 56 now serving as volunteers. “Several kids that started at camp are coming back as adult counselors. It is amazing to see them grow up from being a participant to being a volunteer, and it is so neat to see them pour everything they have learned back into these children.”

Perhaps the biggest blessing since volunteering with the Children’s Ministry, though, has to do with his own children. “Some of the students who participated in Group 56 when I first started volunteering are now my daughter’s Sunday School teachers. It’s amazing to see how the body of Christ works,” he says.

Foster has also been blessed by adult volunteers. “I have come to know several mentors through volunteering, mentors for both my spiritual life and family life,” he explains. “Sunday School is extremely important, but there is something about volunteering that allows you to get to know people outside of your normal life stage. Crossings is a big church, but volunteering makes it smaller. It is a phenomenal way to get involved with other people.”

Childlike Faith

For Foster, the Children’s Ministry is a perfect area to serve as a volunteer. “I joke about being along the same wavelength as a fifth and sixth grader, but childlike faith really speaks to me. It’s so neat to see them start to develop their own relationships with God. I feel like there is still so much that we can learn from a child’s Sunday School lesson,” he offers.

Crossings always needs more volunteers to serve on Sundays and Wednesdays in Children’s Ministry. “We want to have a better ratio of teachers to children so that we can pour into them. We really want to get to know them so that we can keep mentoring them and continue being in their lives even after they’ve left Children’s Ministry,” he states.

[blockquote align=”right”]Camp is a great time to get spiritually recharged. Your total focus is on Christ, and the relationships built with other volunteers are a really nice benefit.[/blockquote]

Foster believes an important key to volunteering with Children’s Ministry is to enjoy the age group. “If you do,” he says, “it’s really not work at all. You will have so much fun!” He understands that many people think they may not have the qualifications to volunteer. “A lot of people are worried that they don’t know enough about the Bible… they don’t feel worthy to teach children about God. This should not stop them from volunteering. There is no need to be an expert. When you’re learning, the kids are learning.”

Whether it is through shaving cream fights or Sunday School, Foster believes there is much to be gained through volunteering with the Children’s Ministry.

Ushering in Community

By | adults, Blended Traditional, children & students, I'm New, Stories, Volunteer

Tim Eisel When people feel connected to the church, God does amazing things…and it is through stories like Tim’s we see the fruit of what He is doing through all of our volunteers here at Crossings on a weekly basis.

All too often, when people hear the word “volunteer,” they shy away—and understandably so!

• How am I going to find the time?

• Am I going to fit into the ministry well?

• What happens when I’m ready to serve in another way?

These questions have crossed the Volunteer Central desk numerous times. If you have ever considered volunteering, but are nervous about taking the next steps and becoming a part of the “I Am Crossings” ministry, you are not alone. Tim Eisel was just like you. He had a lot of those same questions too, but he took the leap of faith… and today we tell his “I Am Crossings” story.

It all began with Children’s Ministry

Tim and his wife, Kristi, walked into the doors of Belle Isle Community Church in early 1999 and were there only six months before it was time to open the doors to the brand new Crossings Community Church. I learned so much about God during my Bible study and preparation to teach those kids.

“I taught 4th grade boys Sunday school in the beginning … and helped come up with some of the games we played before the children went to their classes. I learned so much about God during my Bible study and preparation to teach those kids,” Tim shared.

Tim went on to share how much having the community of men around him for him to learn from and get to know really impacted him. We at Crossings are all about community. Our desire is that whether you are sitting in a service, getting a cup of coffee, or serving in a ministry, you feel connected. For Tim, he found great connection through teaching in many ways.

The remarkable part about Tim’s story is that he is a perfect example of someone who sought out different opportunities to serve others while being here at Crossings. A volunteer position isn’t a lifetime contract! It is a fun opportunity, and when you feel ready to try something else, you can!

“I had a lot of fun teaching 4th grade Sunday school, but after about 4 or 5 years, I decided to try something else. I got involved as an usher in the Sanctuary service, and I have been there ever since,” he said.

It’s all about the people

Today, if you walk up to the north side of the balcony in the Sanctuary, you will see that Tim Eisel has found his niche. He is not just an usher there, but he has cultivated a strong community between all of the attendees who sit in his section.

“I miss my section when I have to miss a Sunday,” Tim states. Over the years, Tim’s joy for his volunteer job has shown in many ways, but specifically in the way in which he cares for those he comes into contact. He shared with us that some of his favorite moments as an usher so far have been the ones when people tell him how they need prayer or share with him an exciting thing going on in their life. Tim is an example of a hard-working husband and dad who makes time to give back and gets humbling opportunities to see God working in and through the church because of it.

Blessed by serving

Every human is broken in some way, but everyone can serve and give back to the church.

When asked why he serves, Tim shared: “Every human is broken in some way, but everyone can serve and give back to the church. If someone has real concern about the time commitment, I would tell him or her it is so worth it. I only serve an hour a week and get so much blessing out of it.”

Need + Love & Action = Generosity

Need + Love and Action = Generosity

By | about us & resources, adults, children & students, Crossings Students, Missions, Stories, Volunteer

Need + Love & Action = Generosity
By Melissa Hiett, Pastor of High School Girls

Jesus-Generosity

Generosity can come in many forms, but the greatest is what I call “Jesus-Generosity.” This looks different from any other type of benevolence because it doesn’t give to feel good nor does it give just
to be kind. It gives to love. Anyone can be generous, but as Christians we must desire to give like Jesus did. In the Gospel of John, Jesus performs His first miraculous sign in an unexpected act of generosity. The well-known story of Jesus turning water into wine is an interesting example of seeing a need and acting upon it. Jesus walked away from the wedding without any of the wedding guests knowing about this miracle. When I think of what it looks like to be generous like Jesus, I think of this equation: Need + Love & Action = Generosity.

Last Christmas, Crossings High School Ministry found ourselves in a similar situation. We were not at a wedding and we didn’t do anything miraculous, but we saw a need and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to meet that need. Something extraordinary happens when you get a group of high school students together and give them a challenge straight from the heart. If you allow them to love on someone in need and bring a smile to a face, they will rise to the occasion every time. So that is exactly what we did. HSM has been consistently involved in partnering with a local organization called The Genesis Project—a place for young boys who are in the foster care program but can’t be placed into a home because of abuse. Each year, HSM hosts a Christmas party for the children, as well as visiting the Genesis House on occasion just to play and spend time with the boys. We also try to take them on a field trip to the Zoo or Science Museum each year.

Accepting the Challenge

While visiting last year, we discovered a need we couldn’t ignore. We noticed the boys were taking turns riding bikes that were in terrible shape. You see, these boys don’t have the privilege of going to a public school or spending the night at a friend’s house; they spend all of their time at the Genesis House—and playing outside is the highlight of their week. We wanted to make that highlight just a little bit brighter for them. We wanted them to play and laugh and have fun outside just like every little boy should. After talking to the Genesis House staff, we discovered that many of the boys had asked for bikes for Christmas!

We rallied our students and challenged them to raise enough money to purchase every boy a new bike and helmet. Then we got to see our students rise above our challenge! We needed 16 bikes to fulfill the Christmas wish. After just a few weeks of collecting funds, we had enough money to purchase 20 bikes and helmets! This allowed the Genesis House to store new bikes for incoming boys who would be entering their program. Like Jesus, our students were able to walk away knowing they had met a need with none of the boys knowing who had delivered the bikes. Our students felt wonderful about being able to do such a thing, but by no means did the feelings drive them to give. The students were compelled by a great desire to fill a need, which was birthed out of love for those boys. HSM delivered much more than bikes that day!

Finding A Need

It wasn’t about the money or the gift; it was about seeing a need and acting upon it. It was about being bighearted and putting other people’s needs before our own. It was about striving to be just a little bit more like Jesus Christ and remembering the words He spoke in Acts 20:35, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” In HSM, we can now count this verse to be tried and true! May you find yourself with eyes like Christ looking out at a world full of need, with a heart that desires to be like our Lord. What need do you see?

Need + Love & Action = Generosity.

“Need + Love & Action = Generosity” originally published by Melissa Hiett, Pastor of High School Girls, in the Winter 2013 edition of Crossings Magazine.

Doing the Possible

Doing the Possible

By | adults, children & students, Crossings Students, Missions, Stories, Volunteer

Doing the PossibleWritten by Donnie Peslis, Pastor of Middle School Ministry

Giving Back

When Crossings Middle School Ministry (MSM) isn’t sumo wrestling, eating pizza, or learning about the Lord, we love to give back! For three days, students head out into the heart of the city to make a difference through acts of service on MSM’s Spring Break Mission project.

Working with local organizations in the downtown area such as Water4, The Spero Project, Regional Food Bank, City Rescue Mission, and many more, students are shown first-hand that mission trips don’t just mean going overseas. These projects also help show students the different ways in which they can serve—from stocking shelves at the food pantry to cleaning to building relationships with those who just need to talk to someone.

Last year, the MSM staff and three (very brave) parent volunteers joined our 40 students on this awesome adventure in the downtown OKC area. Xuan Gibson, mother of now eighth grader Kali, joined MSM as a volunteer and loved seeing the kids in their element.

I enjoyed seeing the kids have fun; seeing how they just jumped right in and didn’t have to be asked was great.

While the goal of the trip is to minister to the students and those we serve, the trip also had an unexpected impact on her. “We went to a place called The Refuge in downtown Oklahoma City. A family who decided to sell everything and move to the area to minister started the organization. It was incredible seeing people with such courage and faith right here in our own backyard. It really showed all of us how big God is.”

As MSM continues to serve, our hope is that you would join us in prayer over this journey. Pray God works in the hearts of the students going, and they are shown the impact serving others can make. These students are seeking to make an impact locally in the name of the Lord, but we pray the impact is made far beyond just their work. Pray with us that these students “doing the possible” will allow God to do the impossible in our community.

“Doing the Possible” originally published by Donnie Peslis, Pastor of Middle School Ministry, in the Winter 2013 edition of Crossings Magazine.

Crossings Members Stacy and Kyle Williams

A Servant’s Heart

By | about us & resources, adults, children & students, Contemporary, Help & Support, Stories, Volunteer, Women

Crossings Members Stacy and Kyle Williams

Children’s Ministry volunteer Stacy Williams shares about her passion to serve and how God works in her life through volunteering.

In what areas have you volunteered in Children’s Ministry?

When my children were younger, I volunteered in Nursery Ministry. In the past three years, I’ve volunteered as a second hour Sunday School teacher and/or Volunteer Coordinator. I’ve served during Vacation Bible School and during the Single Moms Conference as well.

How does volunteering help you feel more connected at Crossings?

Volunteering gives me a sense of community. Crossings is a big place—it’s actually bigger than my hometown of Pawhuska. Through volunteering, I have built many relationships with others. I’m amazed at how many Crossings members I know because of volunteering over the years in Children’s Ministry, greeting and ushering, Women’s Ministry, and Mom’s Group. In Children’s Ministry for example, I pray for my Sunday School leaders and students. Praying for others definitely connects me with them on a deeper level.

In what ways are you utilizing your spiritual gifts through volunteering?

Years ago, in the Foundations Sunday School class, we did a study on spiritual gifts called Network. My spiritual gifts are hospitality, teaching, leading, and intercession. This year, I am able to put all of my spiritual gifts into play. I’m a Volunteer Coordinator; therefore, using my gift of leading. I also teach a second grade boy’s class, so I get to use my gift of teaching every week. In addition, I get to use my gift of intercession by praying for my team and students. As for my gift of hospitality, I serve as hospitality coordinator at my son’s school.

What do you feel your children are learning through watching you serve?

Kyle and I have two children: Claire and Austin. Serving has been ingrained in them, just as it was with me as I grew
up watching my parents serve. I want our children to grow up loving the Lord, and I want them to see that love put into action through serving. They’ve already learned to greet and serve as ushers—they help Kyle and me in the 9:30 Venue service. It warms my heart each week to see them smile and welcome people to church.

Explain how the Lord is leading you now to continue to volunteer in Children’s Ministry.

Through prayer, I ask God where I can best be used for His Kingdom. As a former teacher, teaching is a passion of mine. There are always needs in Children’s Ministry, and I know that full well because one of my responsibilities is to recruit children’s leaders. I can have a great impact on tender hearts. I’m blessed by showing up each week and letting God use me to plant seeds into the hearts of the precious children I serve.

How has God blessed you through your service?

I have been showered with blessings through volunteering at Crossings. When a child is baptized, my heart is overjoyed. When our second grade boys sang the Old Testament aloud in large group a few weeks ago, I was so proud. When the Holy Spirit speaks through me as I teach the Bible lesson in Vacation Bible School to a roomful of 100+ students (where you can hear a pin drop because they are intensely tuned in to God’s Word) … there just isn’t any better feeling than that. Following God’s calling through volunteering is greatly satisfying!

“A Servant’s Heart” originally published by Jennifer Bardell, Director of Children’s Ministry, in the 2014 edition of Crossings Magazine.

Mark Hollingsworth and MSM boys

Paying it Forward

By | adults, children & students, Crossings Students, Stories, Volunteer

Mark Hollingsworth and MSM boysWritten by Donnie Peslis, Pastor of Middle School Ministry

In Middle School Ministry (MSM), we are the first to admit we can’t do it all on our own, and that’s why we’re so thankful for our amazing volunteers! I sat down with one of our small group coaches, Mark Hollingsworth, and talked to him about what brought him to MSM and what convinced him to stick around!

How long have you been a volunteer with MSM?

At the end of this semester, it will be two and a half years.

What led you to volunteer on the third floor?

God had been leading me towards volunteering for a while. My best friend is actually the man who was my junior high small group leader. He started with us when we were in 7th grade and made a huge impact on me then—and still does to this day. I realized it was time for me to do the same. I wanted to make an impact.

What have you learned through your time volunteering?

It’s harder than it looks! But, in all seriousness, it’s been a great experience. Once I started investing in the guys, I was amazed at how much I enjoyed seeing their growth.

Has it taught you anything about yourself?

Well, as you teach others, you really begin to learn about yourself. Leading has really shown me how frail we all are. I came in expecting to teach the students, but I’ve been amazed by all of the times they’ve taught me something. We never really stop learning!

How has it helped your personal growth?

One of my favorite verses is Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Leading in MSM has allowed that verse to become real for me.

Any last words for the readers?

These students just need someone to pour into them! I’m so thankful I’ve had the opportunity to do that! Also, go buy Southern Okie Gourmet Apple Spread in the Crossings Bookstore! (I told my wife I’d put a plug in for her!)

We are so thankful for Mark and all he brings to the MSM team! Leaders like Mark make a lasting impact on students’ lives for the Lord! If you have any interest in volunteering in Middle School Ministry, we would love to talk to you! Stop by Volunteer Central any Sunday or Wednesday to get started!

Leading has shown me how frail we all are … We never really stop learning!

“Paying It Forward” originally published by Donnie Peslis, Pastor of Middle School Ministry, in the Spring 2014 edition of Crossings Magazine.

Just Jump In

Just Jump In!

By | about us & resources, adults, children & students, Clinic, Help & Support, Missions, Stories, Volunteer, Women

Just Jump In
I drive by the location of our new Community Center and Clinic every day to check on the progress of our new facility, and it brings back many childhood memories. I grew up in the Village and we looked forward, with great anticipation, to the summer time when all the neighborhood kids would walk up to the Village Pool and spend the day. As I looked around, people were on the high dive, the low dive, the shallow end. Some were dangling their feet in the pool, some were reading under the umbrella and others were hanging around the concession stand. While “everybody” went to the pool, the part of the pool they enjoyed or spent their time was different. Years after the pool closed, I realized that at some point, we have to be active; we have to take the initiative and “just jump in” to experience the fun and the rush.

The Bible contains a similar kind of principle for us in Psalm 34:8. It simply says, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” Enjoy how some of your Crossings brothers and sisters have decided to “jump in” and are “tasting” and experiencing the full goodness of God through their service in our local community.

Disaster Response Team

  • I would have to say the entire trajectory of my life has changed as a result of volunteering … everything from the things I value most to the people I enjoy spending time with to the priorities in my life … I really feel like I am a different person. —Debe Allen (Disaster Response Team, Clinic)

Whiz Kids

  • Through volunteering, I have learned to rely on God for His strength and wisdom and not my own. I have learned to ask for His words and not rely on my own words. God is the ultimate compassionate volunteer who I feel walks beside me. Volunteering has made me realize God is everywhere, even in the smallest details, if I only look. —Kay Tangner, Whiz Kids Tutor
  • My life is full of joy in helping mentor and improve the reading skills of my student through Whiz Kids. I believe we become our best when we are serving others and have the chance to demonstrate the love of Jesus. —Howard Hunt

The Clinic

  • One of the great things about serving at Crossings Community Clinic is the opportunity to pray with my patients without worrying about institutional guidelines or someone looking over my shoulder. Taking a few minutes to get a sense of where the patients are emotionally and spiritually is really worth it to offer a meaningful prayer that meets them where they are. Sometimes, though, it’s hard to figure that out, and I may offer a fairly generic prayer and wonder if I really did anything useful. Occasionally in those circumstances, I have been profoundly impacted when that same patient will ask to pray for me. That patient, who does not know me personally or any of the details in my life, will then ask for the Lord’s help for me in a particular area with which I am struggling at that very time. So God Himself is ministering to me directly through the person I am ministering to myself. It is a great faith-builder to see how He is always in control and continually blesses me in ways I cannot comprehend and often cannot see. —R. Michael Siatkowski, MD
  • Volunteering in the medicine room at the Clinic has given me the opportunity to know more people who need prayer, and it has deepened my joy in praying for others. —Louanne Trueblood

Community of Faith

  • God brought four amazing Rwandan students into our life at Crossings one Sunday four years ago. Before that encounter, I viewed volunteering as a “when I feel like it” duty if I found the “perfect” time and place to volunteer … so we kept asking (and delaying) but never serving. However, once we got our hands dirty, God began a transforming work in our lives. As a host home to the Rwandan college students, I began to see others rather than focusing exclusively on me. Contrary to public opinion, you are not committing the rest of your life, but for my family, everything changed once we committed to something that required an ongoing sacrifice. —Alan Spies
  • Through volunteering, I feel like God has blessed me with an inner joy that has made me want to be closer to Him and love Him even more. This joy has made me want to listen, follow and serve Him so others can see Him through me. My first opportunity to serve was 21⁄2 years ago serving lunch to the homeless at Community of Faith. I’m still doing that, and I absolutely love it. I am so glad Crossings has so many opportunities for serving! —Camille Glasshof
  • Volunteering as a teacher-partner with one of our inner-city school partners makes me feel like I’m doing a small part of God’s work here on earth. It is fulfilling, and through it, God has shown me that my time and effort spent volunteering reaps many more benefits than pursuing my selfish motivations ever could. —Stacy Townsdin
  • Volunteering with formerly incarcerated women at the Hope House has resulted in the receipt of letters, emails, texts and new friendships. When I began volunteering, I had no idea I would soon become a widow. However, God makes provisions for our need even before the need exists. Imagine what a blessing it was that my sudden loneliness was helped by the letters I received from my pen pals. I’ve become so much more aware of God’s mercy and grace toward me and have grown in my desire to express that same mercy and grace to others. —Julie Blevins

Eugene Field

  • I serve with the art teacher at Eugene Field. She has been going through so much personally this year; over and over, I keep seeing how God’s power is made perfect in her weakness. She has lots of kids crammed into a room with little to no resources, yet from her teaching, these kids are really getting exposed to great art … both learning about it and creating it themselves. Just to see the students’ faces as they excel in their artwork and like what they are creating has been so cool. I love how it isn’t dependent on the supplies, the space she uses for her room or her lack of patience … God can do anything He chooses wherever He chooses to do it. I thought I’d be so much help to her, but in reality, she amazes me in all she is able to accomplish with so little. God’s power is made perfect in my weakness, too, and getting to work with Donna this year has shown me that the only real stumbling block in my being used for eternal purposes is me. So if I am obedient and willing, He will use me, and ultimately that is what I long for… that and a sense of His presence in my day-to-day life. Thanks for this great connection! Loving art with kids at Eugene Field. —Stacey Allen
  • We worked for years to get to the place where we could retire and work for free, and we found true wealth. Through working with children in the inner-city, we have been made aware of MANY THINGS we take for granted. At Thanksgiving, we discovered 23 of our 26 students had never had pumpkin pie! Ed told them it was the best vegetable they’d ever eat! Supporting teachers with prayer and presence filters down as HOPE to children who would otherwise be hopeless. We initially wondered if we were “qualified” to work with kids … it turned out we had attention & kindness to give, and it was exactly what they needed most. —Ed & Allie Frankfurt

The Club

  • I have volunteered at The Club for five years. This afterschool program at Crossings Community Center serves middle and high school students from John Marshall. Every year, I see myself growing in my faith through sharing it with the students in my small group. My love for them grows along with my sense of purpose and blessing from God. This year, I am mentoring a single student outside The Club time, and it is such a precious relationship! I truly feel God is working in me as much as He is allowing me to touch the lives of these students! —Lisa Gilbert
  • I have a passion for kids who, through no fault of their own, are growing up in an environment that puts them “behind the 8-ball” in this world. I began addressing this passion years ago with the semi-conscious idea that I was doing it to make up for the bad things I have done. However, through the volunteers who have entered my life (Sunday School teachers, Men’s Bible study leaders and Crossings’ pastors), I now understand, CONSCIOUSLY and with eyes-wide-open, I can’t possibly do enough to make up for my past wrongs. I learned grace. THAT … has led me to volunteer more passionately than ever before! —Steve Kalmeyer, The Club Inner-City Small Group Leader

“Taste and see that the Lord is good.”

“Just Jump In!” originally published by Pam Millington, Pastor of Missions and Outreach at Crossings, in the Spring 2014 edition of Crossings Magazine.

Serving in the Zone

Serving in the Zone

By | about us & resources, adults, children & students, Stories, Volunteer

Serving in the Zone

Hearts for Service

Though my husband David and I previously attended a loving church on the south side of Oklahoma City, we discovered that as our family grew, our needs changed. Crossings offered us format flexibility, involvement opportunity, and greater availability of services, while at the same time filling our spiritual needs. It took us a few years of attending services at Crossings before we were ready to volunteer on an ongoing basis. We were new parents and were transitioning to only one of us working outside the home, and those adjustments took all we had for a while.

But we have hearts for service and knew we wanted to get more involved when the time was right. One Sunday morning, late last summer, we read about the need for Wednesday evening children’s teachers (and there is still a significant need!), and it seemed like a great place for us to start. When we decided to get involved, several things led us into volunteering with the Children’s Ministry. First, the spiritual development of our son Cole is so very important to us. We want him to grow in the Lord each and every day, and we want to walk and grow with him on that journey.

We fully believe that you receive from church what you put into it. We knew it was time for us to get more involved and give a little, so when we read of the need for Wednesday evening KidZone teachers, we felt it was the place for us.

Precious Blessings

Volunteering to be a part of that is just the right thing for us to do as a family. Second, we fully believe that you receive from church what you put into it. We knew it was time for us to get more involved and give a little, so when we read of the need for Wednesday evening KidZone teachers, we felt it was the place for us. Volunteering in KidZone has affected us in countless ways. Not only has it given us a new opportunity to study God’s Word with our son using a structured curriculum, we have been blessed immensely by each precious little one in our class.

Additionally, we are building new friendships with parents and other Crossings volunteers, which is really nice. If you ask Cole, he says, “KidZone is great!” We should also add that being involved in KidZone has given us greater insight into Crossings. The Children’s Ministry holds back nothing in providing a rich environment to foster excitement for children to learn about God’s love, Jesus and God’s Word. The curriculum, the planning and organizing, the music, the sensory experience in KidZone, the games, the whole experience … observing all the effort for kids is awesome.

Breaking the Bubble

Being part of KidZone has been such a blessing to us. Sometimes in life we get very comfortable with our routines and our ‘bubbles.’ However, our routine before volunteering didn’t really inspire growth. By being involved with Children’s Ministry, we are stretched—we get outside of our comfort zone and get challenged. We are not trained educators, and honestly, we were a bit nervous about leading a classroom of children (some evenings we still are when it’s a full house!), but if we just love the kids, make it structured and fun, and help them feel God’s love through encouragement, smiles and sincere teaching, it makes our experience—and hopefully the children’s—a wonderful one.

“Serving in the Zone” originally published by Paula Yockel, KidZone volunteer, in the Spring 2014 edition of Crossings Magazine.

CCC KISS Week

Knights in the Service of the Spirit

By | 4yrs - 4th grade, about us & resources, adults, children & students, Stories, Volunteer

CCC KISS WeekOver the 14-year history of Crossings Christian School, volunteers have worked tirelessly in support of the mission to develop Christ-centered servant leaders. Our students have learned by example and are truly living out this mission every day.

Being Christ-Centered Leaders

Last year, the CCS Student Council introduced K.I.S.S. Week (Knights in the Service of the Spirit), an annual event which dedicates a week to living out our mission of Christ-centered servant leadership by reaching into our community—volunteering our time and resources to others. Students participated in over 1,683 hours of service during the inaugural K.I.S.S. Week and have set a goal to serve over 2000 hours in 2014.

Service opportunities will include volunteering at the Regional Food Bank and Habitat for Humanity—lending support to these ministries that meet the most basic needs. Others will spend time with patients at local cancer centers and nursing homes, allowing students the opportunity to provide prayer and emotional support.

Heeding Their Calls

Still other CCS students will live out Christ-centered servant leadership while working with children at local elementary schools and animals at equestrian riding centers.

CCS students are also proving that service to others is a task we are called to do daily. Two CCS siblings, a kindergartner and first grader, recently hosted a coat drive. The coats they collected will be cleaned and distributed to those in need.

Going the Extra Mile

Not long ago, a group of middle school girls went the extra mile while serving at a local food bank: when a father, who had fallen on hard times, was unable to carry the groceries on his own, the girls accompanied him to the bus stop and waited for his bus to arrive—in spite of the snow and sub-zero temperatures.

It is evident God is using the students of Crossings Christian School to continue His mission of serving others.

Developing students into Christ-centered servant leaders is part of our mission statement at Crossings Christian School. Student Council is the perfect forum for this process to develop. It has been a blessing to me, as Student Council Sponsor, to see the presence of Christ weaving through the minds of students as they make decisions and plan events for our school. They are learning the value of working hard and serving through leadership. As we know, Christ is our ultimate example of servant leadership, and as we keep our eyes on Him, it serves as a great reminder of what we should do and how we should carry ourselves. Our student leaders have risen to the call to lead our school through teamwork, sacrifice, and compassion.

—Jill Bailey, Student Council Sponsor

“Knights in the Service of the Spirit” originally published in the Spring 2014 edition of Crossings Magazine.