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I’m New

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.”

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.”

Stephanie and Chico Rogers

Giving Generously

By | about us & resources, adults, Help & Support, I'm New, media center, Missions, Stories, Volunteer, Worship

Stephanie and Chico Rogers

Interview by Cheri Weaver, Pastor of Volunteer Ministry

In what areas of Crossings have you been generous to volunteer your time and God- given talents?

Stephanie: I began volunteering in Children’s Ministry by decorating for special events. Our family has helped with the Fall Festival for many years, and this past spring, we served on the disaster relief team in Moore. Next, we look forward to helping build a Habitat for Humanity house with Crossings.

Where have you seen generosity displayed at Crossings?

Stephanie: People get so excited to pick up backpacks to fill for the children in our inner-city partner schools. I mean, you have to stand in line to get a backpack, and then the church runs out! Last year, when we saw all the backpacks filled and returned, the enormous pile was stunning. When we think about Wednesday night dinner, we think, “Without the volunteers, dinner wouldn’t happen.” It takes a lot of people.

Chico: Before I began attending Crossings, I knew it had a reputation of generosity in the community. The church gives to those who are in need, and it is incredible.

Explain how the Lord is personally speaking to you now to lead in Volunteer Ministry.

Chico: Our family has been very blessed, and we are fortunate. This was the perfect time to come across volunteer opportunities, and we are ready to give back. We know God wants us to participate at Crossings, and we want our children to understand we are not supposed to just collect items and give money, but we need to give our time as well. It takes more than your checkbook, and in fact, it is harder to pull up your sleeves than write a check. We need both.

The development of a Volunteer Ministry will help people understand where to go and get a jump start to become involved in the life of the church through volunteering. This came at a great time—It is God’s timing. I’ve been thinking about where I could plug in; helping other people find a place to volunteer is the perfect fit for me.

How does the Lord bless you through volunteering?

Stephanie: I’ve enjoyed all the people I’ve met through volunteering. It makes this large church feel small, and I’ve met a lot of really nice people. In volunteering there is meaning, and it makes me feel like I’m making a difference in the lives of others. I want to make a contribution!

Chico: We don’t want to depend on others. We want to be involved and use our talents and time. There is more to church than worship, and volunteering helps me develop a better relationship with God.

If it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. (Romans 12:8)

“Giving Generously” originally published by Cheri Weaver, Pastor of Volunteer Ministry, in the Winter 2013 edition of Crossings Magazine.