September 20, 2020 - We will be having just one morning service this morning on the front lawn at 10am. Reminder to bring a lawn chair or blanket to sit on, keep social distancing in mind, and wear your mask. We are looking forward to a great morning gathering together.
September 19, 2020 - Today is our Family Service. If you are planning on coming please let us know so we can have a seat ready for you.
5pm Family Service
Tomorrow we will be having our outdoor service at 10am. A few things to know. Bring your own lawn chair (if you don't have one we do have some chairs here at the church). Make sure you wear a mask. When you set up your chairs please keep social distancing in mind. After the service we will be serving hot dogs, chips and a bottle of water. We are really looking forward to an amazing day. Hope you can make it.
September18, 2020 - Last week we began to talk about what eager spiritual conversationalist do, believer and feel. Let's explore this...
How Do Eager Conversationalists Feel?
In a few places the research (Barna) probed into the area of feelings. One area of feelings we already considered, earlier, was what emotions people experience when they talk about their faith. There we noted the three most dominant emotions experienced by Christians when they talk about their faith are peace, joy and exhilaration.
But this is not true when it comes to reluctant conversationalists. They experience stress, confusion, annoyance and anger. There is a correlation between how often someone talks about their faith and the emotions they feel when talking about their faith.
What exactly is the nature of that correlation? It could simply be that the more we do something, the less stressful it becomes. Or it could be that folks who have a negative experience in a spiritual conversation just decide to not enter into as many spiritual conversations.
In considering how the causality works here, it is interesting to note that eager conversationalists are more prepared for spiritual conversations. Or a least they feel prepared. A full 65% of eager conversationalists said they "definitely" feel qualified to share their faith. By contrast, only 40% of reluctant conversationalists definitely feel qualified. This is significant.
This is why we here at CrossWinds offer our "Share" class. This class is designed to help you understand why spiritual conversations are so important and how to have successful conversations. This is why we encourage everyone to take this class.
Questions: Describe how qualified you feel to share about your faith (definitely, maybe, not at all) What training have you received about how to talk about your faith (reading a book, taking a class, being mentored)? What equipping does your Christian community offer in this area?
Weekend Services: Saturday we will be having our family service. If you have not signed up yet then do so here. 5pm Family Service
On Sunday we will be having one service outdoors on the front lawn at 10am. Bring with you your lawn chairs and mask.
September 17, 2020 - Last week we began to talk about what eager spiritual conversationalist do, believer and feel. Let's explore this...
What Do Eager Conversationalists Believe?
An integral part of our armor that Paul talks about is the truth that God has given us. Paul encourages the believers in Ephesus to "fasten on the belt of truth" and reminds them that the sword they have been given is the Word of God. There is something about God's revealed truth that not only protects us (the belt held the whole outfit of armor together in the ancient world) but also equips us to engage in the battles God has for us (the sword is the only weapon in Paul's description).
It is not too surprising that eager conversationalists are on the whole more tightly holding to God's Word than their reluctant counterparts. Earlier we noted that reluctant conversationalists' beliefs tend to look more like the world's and less like what is taught in the Bible. Here we consider the other side of that coin: eager conversationalists tend to have biblical beliefs - their belt of truth is buckled.
Eager conversationalists are nearly twice as likely as reluctant conversationalists to believe that "the Bible is totally accurate in all the principles it teaches," and this high view of the Bible bears itself out in specific doctrines.
In the study, Barna asks questions to determine whether someone holds an orthodox, moralist, or universalist view of the afterlife. An orthodox view of the afterlife is the traditional biblical teaching that when a person dies they go to heaven because they've confessed their sins and have faith in Jesus as their Savior. A moralist view of the afterlife is that heaven is something a person earns through human effort. A universalist view of the afterlife is that everyone will go to heaven because God won't let anyone perish. Eager conversationalists? They are much more likely to hold the biblical view of the afterlife than reluctant conversationalists - 64% to 49%.
On one level this makes practical sense: if we believe faith in Jesus matters eternally, we have more internal motivation to share about Jesus with others. But the eager conversationalists' habit of regular Bible reading, combined with the specific beliefs they derive from the Bible (about the Bible, sin, eternal life) point to a broader reality: their truth belt tends to be more securely buckled.
Questions: What do you believe about heaven? About who gets into heaven? About how people get into heaven? Describe how "buckled" your "belt of truth" is (not at all, loosely, tightly).
Volunteer: Today from 9 to 11am we will be doing some cleaning here at the church. If you have some time to give us a hand it would be appreciated.
September 16, 2020 - Last week we began to talk about what eager spiritual conversationalist do, believer and feel. Let's explore this...
What Do Eager Conversationalists Do?
On the whole eager conversationalists are active in their faith. On the surface this tends to make sense: people talk about what is important to them. If our faith is important to us, we will talk about it more. Indeed, eight out of ten eager conversationalists strongly agreed with the phrase "your religious faith is very important in your life today" - 82% in fact. When reluctant conversationalists were shown the same phrase, only 48 percent of them agreed. In other words, there is a correlation between how important someone's faith is and how likely they are to talk about that faith.
But the difference goes deeper than just feeling our faith is important to us; eager conversationalists are more actively involved in faith practices than reluctant conversationalists.
Eager conversationalists pray more, read the Bible more, and attend church services more than reluctant conversationalists. The differences here are statistically significant. They show a correlation between someone's spiritual practices and their willingness to talk about their faith. In one sense this shouldn't surprise us: the more everyday someone's faith is, the more they will tend to talk about it in everyday situations.
Paul would undoubtedly not be surprised by this either. Paul saw these activities (praying and studying the Word of God) as armor. These spiritual practices are part of how we are outfitted for the labors God has for us, including being a witness.
It is not surprising then that those who are more active in the mission of sharing the good news of Jesus with the people around them are folks who are more active in activities that spiritually fit them for the battle God has before them. In the same way that a healthy diet makes us feel healthier physically and more ready to face our day, so too a healthy spiritual diet makes us feel healthier spiritually and more ready to face our mission.
Questions: How strongly do you agree with the statement "your religious faith is very important in your life today? How often do you attend worship services during an average month? How often do you read the Bible in an average week? How often do you pray during an average day? How does trying to quantify your spiritual practices make you feel?
Wednesday Bible Study - We will be having our Wednesday Evening Bible Study tonight at 7pm. Our Bible Study will be on Facebook, YouTube and www.crosswindschicago.online.church.
Sunday Service - This Sunday we will be having one service at 10am and it will be outside on our front lawn. Bring a lawn chair or blanket and come on out and join us.
September 12, 2020 - We will be having our family service today at 5pm. If you are planning to join us please let us know by clicking on this link...
Saturday, 5pm - Family Service
We are planning to have communion tomorrow during our live services, 9 & 11am. We would encourage you to prepare you heart for this time of remembrance of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.
September 11, 2020 - We have been working through the stats of a Barna study concerning spiritual conversations. In this recent study it tells us that 73% of all Christians have a spiritual conversation with someone less than 10 times a year. This is not just sharing your faith with unbelievers, but even with believers. This means that only 27% have more than 10 conversations a year.
Generally speaking this 27% of us, these eager conversationalist, have a lot in common. But, interestingly, gender, ethnicity and are aren't among the commonalities. In other words, eager conversationalist come in all types and sizes. This is encouraging. It tells us there is hope for the church. It tells us no group is inherently reluctant. It's not age or gender or ethnicity or temperament that shapes how eager someone is to engage in spiritual conversation. It's something else.
What is that something else? what is it that eager conversationalists have in common? It turns out they tend to be spiritually outfitted. This preparedness becomes clear when we look at what they do, what they believe, and how they feel. More to come.
Please pray: Today is a day that most of us remember when many people lost their lives because of the terrorists attacks on our country. Would you pause today and pray for those who have lost and continue to lose loved ones because of this attack.
Have you registered yet? Let us know if you will be joining us this weekend for one of our worship services.
Saturday, 5pm - Family Service
Sunday, 9am- Celebration Service
Sunday, 11am - Celebration Service
September 10, 2020 - Evangelism is one of those really scary things that many Christians never do. Fear grips our hearts for many reasons. One of those reasons is a result of us not realizing that God has given us everything we need to have spiritual conversations with others. Yes we live in a scary world that has continued to move further and further from the truth, but God has given us his armor so we can fight the battle that we face each day.
Ephesians 6:13-18 - Take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the child of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one: and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.
The person who puts of the full armor of God daily is ready and prepared. They have confidence in their God. they become eager conversationalist instead of reluctant ones. Tomorrow we will begin to talk about this eager conversationalists and what they look like and do.
Question: What fear has gripped your heart? Take some time today to read through and pray through Ephesians 6:13-19.
21 Days of prayer: We are only 3 days away from the start of 21 days of prayer.
Weekend Services: Let us know your coming this weekend...
Saturday, 5pm - Family Service
Sunday, 9am- Celebration Service
Sunday, 11am - Celebration Service
June 2, 2020
As I sit here my heart is broken. Over the past week I have had many different emotions as we have seen the death of George Floyd and then the response to that death. I have felt sadness for the family of Mr. Floyd as they lost a loved one. I have felt anger towards those who were a part of this. I have felt empathy as I have heard from my friends in the African American community. I have also been frustrated as I have seen some take advantage of peaceful protests. I have also felt fear as many, including those in law enforcement, are scared something might happen to their families during this time of unrest. The emotions are real and raw.
Unfortunately this story continues to repeat itself over and over again on our country. We hear the stories of George Floyd and Ahmed Arbery, we get upset, we protest and then in the coming weeks everything dies down. However, this is not true for some. These two stories are just two of a rising pile of injustices here in our country.
As I sit, listen and discuss this issue with friends here are some of my take aways... First, those of color are viewed and treated differently than others. We use lots of different words to describe this treatment: Racism, injustice, bigotry, profiling, and implicit bias. While the more high profile situations grab our attention, there are thousands of other personal stories of mistreatment and mistrust.
Second, The white evangelical leaders and church have to stop being silent. Most of the time the only people you hear speaking are African American Pastors. This has to stop. It's time that all churches acknowledge that there is a real problem that must be addressed and we must not be silent. Here at CrossWinds we need to do a better job of helping everyone know and understand the issues that everyone in our community is facing. I believe that silence can cause confusion and frustration. Some think, "Why would the church be silent on injustice, especially when God speaks so much about righteousness and justice?" Because of this silence, the church has lost its voice in certain communities which causes us to miss opportunities to share the gospel.
Third, The gospel not only changes lives, but changes communities. One of the things we often forget is that those in Biblical times faced the same kind of persecution as many African Americans do today. They were profiled for their belief. They were taken out of their homes and killed. In these situations it was the gospel that brought unity to a community. Paul, in 1 Thessalonians 1:4-6, tells us that the Thessalonians were entrusted with the gospel, filled with the Holy Spirit, engaged in the community and endured hardship together for the mission of the gospel. A community can only be transformed with the gospel of Jesus Christ. The gospel promotes justice and righteousness in a community.
How should we respond...
Prayer - This week we will be having two prayer services
- On Wednesday we will be having a Zoom prayer meeting at 7pm. We will be sending out details via email with the zoom link tomorrow morning.
Speak Out - Over the next few years we want to set aside some time to openly talk about these issues. We will schedule them so we can have some open dialogue concerning these issues and how we as a church need to respond. The gospel will be the basis of these conversations.
Engage Local Leaders - Through our partnership and friendship with many local leaders we want to take these conversations and ideas to them for further discussion of how it can impact our greater community.
Here at CrossWinds, if we are going to help people along on their spiritual journey then this is just one issue we have to address and point them to the gospel.