5 observations from a church anniversary

This past Sunday, Connie and I had the honor of attending the 10th anniversary service of Crossroads Baptist Church in Elizabethtown. What an exciting time to see a 10-year-old church that has survived its early days, only to thrive in its current ministry.

The anniversary gathering contained all the elements of a typical Kentucky Baptist church worship service. There was congregational singing, preaching, announcements, pastoral prayer, scripture reading, offering and a time for fellowship. There were other elements added to this service, including a guest preacher, Dr. Al Mohler, from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Connie and I left the service encouraged by the apparent health and impact of this church. Here are five observations I took away from being at this church:

1. They have an inspiring past: Crossroads began meeting 10 years ago with a small group of people that has grown to 300 worshippers gathered on Sunday morning. They meet in the building formerly occupied by Severns Valley Baptist Church. Pastor Rob Sumrall, the staff, elders and volunteers have been used of God to build a strong and diverse congregation of Christ followers.

2. They have young families: Crossroads is a congregation that represents every age group and reflects the diversity of their community. There were older people in the service, middle-aged couples and lots of young families with children. In fact, in his message, Dr. Mohler referred to a question he was asked by a reporter about the difference between mainline denominations and evangelical ones. His answer was “little people.” He went on to explain that — in a church where the gospel is preached — there will be families striving to pass the faith along to their children. There were certainly lots of little people in attendance at Crossroads Baptist Church this past Sunday.

3. They’re looking forward to an exciting future: During the worship service, before Pastor Rob brought the morning greeting and pastoral prayer, the congregation watched a slide presentation that included pictures highlighting the 10-year history of the church. There were photos of families, groups and individuals who were part of the congregation from its earliest days. There was also a picture of a large tract of land purchased by the church. Part of Crossroads Baptists’ long-term plans include constructing a building of their own.

4. They’re making a local and global impact: Crossroads Baptist Church is affiliated with their local association and with the Kentucky Baptist Convention and funds both through an annual budget. They are also involved in mission work by sending groups on short term trips. One thing that impressed me most was that during announcement time, they were recruiting volunteers to gather on Wednesday evening to go into their community to knock on doors and invite their immediate neighbors to attend services at the church. The church has baptized well over 80 people during their first 10 years. Crossroads is making a difference.

5. They demonstrate the faithfulness of God: The ministry of Crossroads Baptist Church is a testimony to God’s faithfulness. Pastor Rob was careful at the beginning of the service to communicate that we would be celebrating Christ in this service rather than the accomplishments of a few individuals. The 10th anniversary service of Crossroads Baptist proclaimed God’s faithfulness over that congregation.

It is always good to gather with Kentucky Baptist churches in their rhythms of worship and ministry. It was especially good to gather with this church as it moves forward into the future. My prayer for Crossroads Baptist, and all Kentucky Baptist congregations, is that their best days of ministry will be out in front of them and not behind them. The future looks bright for Crossroads Baptist Church.

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