Celebrating 135 years of ministry is a true blessing. “Who’s got it better than us? Nobody!” (Romans 8:31,37). The average “life-cycle” of a church is 80 years, or three generations of believers. How did we get to 135? First, God’s grace and mercy. Cross has done things by-the-book and done things in an unorthodox manner which, without the grace of God, should have failed.
There is no earthly recipe to longevity except for the second thing, prayer. Cross is and has been a praying congregation! Prayer allows God to hear us but, more importantly, it helps keep us open to hearing His will.
Third, Bible based teaching, families and decision making. Cross has remained rooted in God’s word through thick and thin, oftentimes ignoring conventional wisdom in order to follow where God is leading, rather than man (Psalm 118:8, Ephesians 4:11-14).
How do we have another 135 years? A similar recipe would help a lot. Praying for mercy and grace from God, while remaining rooted in His word and following His direction. That is why we are focusing on making disciples of the next generation. Not just the next generation age wise, but also the next generation of believers, young or old. Current believers coming alongside unbelievers in everyday life and circumstances. Listening, loving, serving, mentoring others so that all people would call on the name of the Lord and be saved.
The idea of teaching the next generation is nothing new—in fact it is very old. Its age is the reason so many are ready to abandon the past but, it’s age is also the reason we must never forget. In Exodus 3:15 God reminds us through Moses at the burning bush that He is the God of our ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He is also the God of our descendants, generation after generation. Praise God for His faithfulness and may the Holy Spirit continue to lead us as we share the good news of Jesus until the Lord returns!
Rev. Erik Gauss