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Volunteer Blog

Baptism Blessings

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Koch-Family-for-WebThe Koch family knew Crossings was their church home in 2009, especially when they met Josh Edington, Pastor of Contemporary Worship in the Venue, and linked up with him to help lead worship in the two Sunday morning Venue services. Ryan Koch, a drummer, and wife, Kacia, a background vocalist, both love being able to use their talents for God. Kacia says, “I love going to the Venue service because the atmosphere is so approachable, humble, and relevant to all ages. I find it to be very welcoming and focused on Jesus.”

As much as they are blessed by volunteering with the worship service in the Venue, they had no idea how much more blessed they would be this year when their seven-year old daughter, Jersey, decided to accept Jesus as her Lord and Savior at Vacation Bible School. When asked what Jersey loved about VBS, she replied, “I love everything! I count down the months every year until it comes again. I love the music, the games, crafts and all the friends I meet. I also like all the friendly teachers.” Ryan and Kacia appreciate how each day Jersey was able to come home and remember in detail the Bible lesson. “I was impressed that they had her attention long enough for her to remember the stories in such detail!” Kacia added.

Jersey’s decision to make Jesus the Lord of her life thrilled her family, but Jersey still had questions and was a little afraid of what baptism meant. “We had to sit down with her, and explain what it was and what it symbolized. When she understood that it was an opportunity to show her church family about her decision, she was excited and ready to follow through immediately,” Kacia explained.

The Koch family contacted the church and prepared for the next step for Jersey. Kacia recalls,

The baptism experience was very organized, laid back and extremely memorable. From the monogrammed towel to the photographer backstage, it was something I will never forget. I love how we were just able to be still in the moment and soak in this precious encounter with God, without any worry of capturing it on video or taking pictures.

july-19-baptism-(2)Jersey’s baptism made her feel special the whole day, and it caused her to realize how important and celebrated this stage of her faith is. The Kochs are inspired by Jersey’s baptism and try to explain the importance of keeping Christ at the center of your life every day. The family appreciates all the activities and classes at Crossings that help you better disciple yourself. “Crossings really appeals to our whole family. There is something for everyone, and knowing that our kids come out of their classes loved and bursting with more Bible knowledge makes us so thankful for our church. We look forward to what else God has in store for us through Crossings!”

“Baptism Blessings” originally published by Danette Boswell, Crossings Volunteer Writing Team Member.

The Eternal Importance of Digging In the Dirt

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Bonnie-Jump-for-Web

At Ease and At Home

What do a pew rack stuffer and a dirt digger have in common? Bonnie Jump! These are just two of the ways she gives back to the community. Bonnie’s story begins six years ago when she and her husband, Curtis, decided to change churches to Crossings so they could worship with their children and grandchildren. Hesitantly, Bonnie went to church alone that first day and rode a golf cart – driven by a volunteer named Mike – from the parking lot to the front door. Mike was so encouraging and so was the volunteer door greeter, Tom, who put her immediately at ease as he showed her where to go. Ever since that first day, Bonnie has loved being part of the church and knew she wanted to volunteer too.

Learning to Serve

It was several years ago when she first signed up to help refill the pew racks each week with pens, cards, Bibles, etc., and she really enjoys that work. But Bonnie, a Dietician at Mercy Hospital, also loves organic gardening, because she knows the impact food has on the human body. One Sunday, she read in the bulletin that gardening help was needed. Bonnie believes, “We all have something we are passionate about, and I thought this way I could serve God in the process.”

It turned out this gardening help would provide fresh fruits and vegetables to Britvil Community Food Pantry (which feeds approximately 30 families daily). Every Saturday morning, Bonnie meets other volunteers at 7:00 a.m. at a gardening plot at Chesapeake Energy to plant, pull weeds, and learn. Seven churches (one is Crossings) work together on this project, and a TLC Nursery employee meets with the workers and guides them in the planting process. The team is now planting cold weather crops, which will yield spinach, turnips and radishes – just to name a few. She loves meeting the others who dig the dirt with her and says, “It’s not work because I love it and feel complete!”

Making an Impact

Bonnie is thrilled to give back to the community through the church. She feels whether you drive a golf cart, greet at the front door, fill pew racks or dig in the dirt, you’re making an impact in the lives of others in a huge way! Because she sometimes works Sundays at the hospital, she is still able to plug into worship and sermons through the live streaming or videos. She’s thankful Crossings encourages everyone – as a church – to give back and serve in many different ways. Her motto: Just do what you are passionate about and the joy will overflow to others!

“The Eternal Importance of Digging in the Dirt” originally written by Misti Aduddell, Volunteer Writing Team Member.

Sharing The Volunteer Experience

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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, Volunteer Blog | No Comments

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, volunteer & missions, Volunteer Blog | No Comments

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.”

Called to Serve

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Foley family

Ministry Opportunities

The Foleys had been part of a smaller church for several years; Cori and her husband both grew up in small churches as well. They never imagined they could begin attending a large church like Crossings, much less be able to get involved. It seemed overwhelming to them! That fear quickly turned to relief, as they realized, after just a few visits, how easy it is to get involved and how many opportunities there are to minister to others.

That fear quickly turned to relief, as they realized, after just a few visits, how easy it is to get involved and how many opportunities there are to minister to others.

They love the fact that they are part of a church that means just as much to their children. Their kids look forward to being at church and growing their own faith. Jason and Cori constantly leave challenged by Marty’s sermons and find it incredibly easy to worship God every Sunday through the music provided in The Venue.

Listening to God’s Plan

Late last November, Cori and her husband were put on the heart of Lindsey Haugen, director of Children’s Ministries, for a specific need she had in Children’s Ministry—traveling musicians, if you will. The 4- and 5-year-olds needed to have some facilitated worship time in their seven different classrooms, and Lindsey had a feeling this was the very couple who could fill that need.

Lindsey proposed the idea of the “Traveling Foleys” ministry to Cori over the phone; she was receptive but wanted to talk with her husband a little further about the opportunity. They initially came up with reason upon reason as to why they couldn’t do to it. Volunteering is no easy task; it takes a great deal of thought and prayer to commit to service.

Over the following month or so, Lindsey touched base with them, met them in the halls, and just prayed that the Lord would move in their hearts—that if they were the volunteers for the job, they’d have no doubt! Little did she know God would do exactly that!

Realizing the Blessings

In Marty’s sermon series, Almost, Cori and her husband came to the realization that they just needed to do this! Cori says, “We were tired of making excuses and decided to accept the opportunity God had given us.”

In a text Cori sent the evening following their first Sunday to volunteer, she thanked Lindsey for the opportunity to serve in this way. Lindsey was blown away and encouraged by God in that moment. It spoke volumes that people could be thankful for the opportunity to serve. If it met a need for one couple, couldn’t it meet a need for many others? And the effect is everlasting.

We look forward to worshipping with these kids, and we could’ve missed this opportunity if we had let our excuses get in the way.

They have shared how they immensely enjoy doing praise and worship every Sunday morning with the 4- and 5-year-olds. The children light up when they sing the songs Jason and Cori grew up singing themselves! It reminds them of the childlike faith we all tend to forget as we grow older. In Cori’s words, “We look forward to worshipping with these kids, and we could’ve missed this opportunity if we had let our excuses get in the way.”

Cori and Jason now feel a sense of purpose in the church as they have taken on this new role. Not only are they helping to grow these children in worship, but they are growing personally, too, in their walk with Jesus Christ.

Keri Whitson

To Serve and Protect

By | adults, Clinic, Stories, Volunteer, Volunteer Blog, Worship | No Comments

Keri Whitson
Often surrounded by some of the worst circumstances in society, Oklahoma City Police Officer Keri Whitson was at an all-time low emotionally. Discovering Crossings provided Keri with a sense of connection and belonging. Today, serving others has taken on a whole new meaning in her life.

Finding Her Way

I first experienced the presence of the Holy Spirit in 1999. I did not grow up in church but had attended some with friends in high school. I believed in God but had never accepted Jesus into my heart. In the fall of 1999, I was experiencing some difficult times at work. I am an Oklahoma City police officer, and I often see the worst in society and deal with people who generally are not happy to see me. I was sad, confused, and a little lost. I even thought of leaving my job. I began experiencing a feeling, a presence, that I never had before. I immediately knew what I needed in my life. I was led to a small Methodist church and met with the pastor. I broke down in tears and asked him to pray for me. He did, and I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior that day. I was baptized several weeks later.

God is great! He saved me when it was my job to save others.

For several years, I was dedicated to reading my Bible and participating in Bible studies at church. Steve and I got married, and we soon discovered we needed a bigger church with more opportunities to serve. For years, we searched for a church where we felt like we belonged and could get plugged in. I felt myself drifting away from God. One Sunday afternoon, while eating lunch, we began discussing church. I explained to Steve that I was not enjoying where we were currently attending and wanted to try yet another church. Steve felt the same. We both thought of Crossings and agreed to give it a try. On a Sunday morning in December 2010, we attended the 9:30 Sanctuary service. I was hooked immediately! I felt God’s presence and instantly knew I belonged. We have been attending ever since.

We participated in the Connecting with Crossingsclass soon after where we met David and Xuan Gibson. They helped us find a Sunday School class, and we have never been happier.

Committed to Faith

Since that time, I have felt a greater need to serve and show my love for Jesus Christ. I am always looking for ways to volunteer around the church and at the clinic. I am more committed than ever to studying God’s Word, and I love attending Monday morning Women’s Bible Study. I am so committed to my faith and love of God that I wanted to be baptized again. In May, I was baptized again by my friend, David Gibson. I am so thankful for my church family. I have made so many dear friends who are always by my side, willing to listen and pray for me.

Needless to say, I did not leave my job. I have faithfully served the citizens of Oklahoma City for over 15 years.

“To Serve and Protect” originally published by Keri Whitson, Crossings member, in the Fall 2012 edition of Crossings magazine.

Heading in the Right Direction

By | Clinic, Stories, Volunteer, volunteer & missions, Volunteer Blog | No Comments

Clark-H-for-Volunteer-StoryLearning and Serving

“Everyone knows my name and I love the hugs!” exclaimed Clark Higganbotham when asked why he loves to volunteer. Volunteering with Crossings Community Clinic also turned out to be a fantastic opportunity for him to learn and serve at the same time.

Clark is a pre-med student at the University of Texas by winter and a volunteer at the Crossings Community Clinic by summer! He remembers reading online that volunteers were needed at the Clinic and decided it would be a great way to be certain he was headed in the right direction concerning his chosen medical profession.

Endless Opportunities

Having volunteered at Habitat for Humanity in high school and loved it, Clark soon found out serving at the Clinic made him “love medicine even more.” He also appreciates being in the same place with the same volunteers each shift – and feels that getting to know them is such a privilege.

Clark knows that working with others through the Clinic is humbling, because it allows him to get to know a very diverse group of people he may not otherwise meet. He enjoys working with the patients, as well as getting “to pray with the other workers before the shift begins, and we pray with the patients.” He’s learned a lot and wants to carry these ideals over into his own medical practice one day.

Growing with God

He feels that the exposure to medicine is greater at the Clinic than at a hospital because he gets to have a more hands-on experience at this young age. But even more important, Clark feels he has grown in his relationship with God by giving back to others and believes praying is the key. He plans on volunteering again over the Christmas break and next summer!

“Heading in the Right Direction” originally published by the Crossings Volunteer Writing Team.

Stephanie and Chico Rogers

Giving Generously

By | about us & resources, adults, Help & Support, I'm New, media center, missions, Stories, Volunteer, volunteer & missions, Volunteer Blog, Worship | No Comments

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.

Need + Love & Action = Generosity

Need + Love and Action = Generosity

By | about us & resources, adults, children & students, Crossings Students, missions, Stories, Volunteer, volunteer & missions, Volunteer Blog | No Comments

Need + Love & Action = Generosity
By Melissa Marshall, 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 Marshall, Pastor of High School Girls, in the Winter 2013 edition of Crossings Magazine.

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