Crossroads Community Church in Troy, Virginia is a church on mission. Less than two years old, pastor Bruce Hunter infused “missional thinking” as the core of the church’s DNA. But as Hunter would say, it wasn’t as much about talking about mission as much as it was living into it.
For a small community of fifty, they are serving as a remarkable presence in their community. They are providing boxes of food to families through Angel Food ministries. They are opening the church for the unemployed to use their computers to look for jobs and send resumes. Focusing on mission first, they are finding a new way to be church that is causing their community to take note.
Recently, despite facing their own space concerns, Crossroads has opened up their facility to another church, Shepherd Ministries International, an African-American congregation whose building had recently collapsed due to heavy snow. At first the two communities didn’t find they had much in common – different communities and different styles of worship. But as they have begun to get to know one another, they found that they shared quite a lot.
Like many other CBF church starts and Shepherd International’s ministers, Bruce Hunter is bivocational – not yet taking a salary from his young church while working out of a passion for church starting. Both churches place a high priority on providing food to those in need in their community. Both churches also have a passion for engaging those with developmental or physical handicaps.
Crossroads’ hospitality has begun to open further doors of ministry. New relationships and partnerships are forming. The two churches will sponsor a community-wide Easter egg hunt as well as a joint sunrise Easter service. Seizing opportunities for service has begun to define Crossroads Community Church. Putting mission first has attracted people to their church while also changing their community. There is no one way to start a church, but putting a missional identity at the core seems vital for building churches today.
To learn more about Crossroads Community Church, go to http://www.ccc4mission.org/default.aspx.
This is an excellent, encouraging story. Keep living it, my Virginian sisters and brothers.