Updating Communication

Communication is a very clear word that, ironically, does not communicate clearly.  Was the information not shared at all?  Was it not clear?  Was someone not listening or paying attention?  Did they not understand?  Maybe all those things happened, but the intended meaning of the speaker and the listener were different.  For example, “The woman saw the man with glasses.” could mean the man was wearing glasses or he was only visible because the woman was using glasses.

Interestingly enough, more information doesn’t mean better communication; in fact, too much information can make clarity even more difficult!  All in all, communication takes intentional effort from everyone involved!  At Cross we have been working to improve communication by making things easier to find and sending it directly to people who might be interested (e.g., women’s group/event invitations to women only).  In this mobile era we have tried to make information more convenient to view on your mobile devices!

For the last few weeks, those on our e-mail lists have received two newsletters:  the first in the old printed/PDF format and the second in a more mobile friendly format.  We think we have most of the bugs worked out for the mobile version, so this week will be the last week you receive both.  For a few more weeks, the printed/PDF version will be available as paper copies at the weekend services or as a link on the website.  After that, our printed/PDF newsletter will only be once a month for those not connected electronically.

Be aware that you can also get information from our Facebook page, HisCross app, Twitter feed or website!  There is a lot of information out there, and sometimes the most difficult part is finding the right stuff.  If you feel like you aren’t getting the information you need or want, let us know what you are looking for and we can help you find it.  Also make sure we have your records up to date so that when we do try to contact you, the information makes it to you!

Finally, remember communication is a conversation.  We’d love to hear from you about what is working and what isn’t — how we can better encourage you in your spiritual journey as a disciple of Christ who Walks with God, Grows in Faith Together and Loves Our Neighbors!

His servant and yours,

Pastor Erik Gauss


Blank“God just wants me to be happy.” “Gay people are sinners!” “Love everyone; judge no one.” “God has a plan for me.” You’ve heard Christians say these things, you’ve heard Christians ridiculed for saying these things, you may have even said these things or things like them. But should you? Should we as Jesus’ followers say these things? And if so, what is meant by them? If not, what should we say? How do we know?

The cultural environment we live in is emotionally charged. Often times challenging questions are not appreciated. Worse, questions may be used against you like a weakness to attack and prove a point. This type of environment makes asking questions pointless at best and dangerous at worst. It’s time to change that.

During our current teaching series we are asking the difficult questions, the challenging questions and we will answer, not with the political agenda of man, but with the loving, truthful words of Christ. What did Jesus really say about His identity as God, sexuality, happiness, plans for the world and each individual in it, love, judgment and more.   In fact, you are invited to enter the discussion in a safe way by hashtagging your spiritual questions with #didjesussay.   I’ll be searching regularly on Facebook and Twitter to see what questions are out there and then answering them with what Jesus says about each.

Ask a question you have, ask a question your neighbor or a co-worker has, but get involved, ask the important questions and the not so important questions because they all matter. And, who knows, you’ll probably ask a question everyone else wanted to ask but was too afraid! “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” 2 Timothy 3:16

His service and yours,

Pastor Erik Gauss

Lets Go!

widc_ckb_serve_him_hands_3“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1.

The new ministry season is upon us and we are moving forward with energy! Our Labor Day weekend events were largely successful. The city is excited for the results on the Friday night concert. The band (Citizen Way) asked if they could come back next year and bring a friend! The Sunday morning worship was a little HOT, but well attended. We made 100 balls of Plarn (Plastic Yarn) for New Life for Old Bags and donated all the left over bags we could cram into a 15-passenger van to the food pantry. They were VERY excited! Thank you to all who participated, prayed, and changed their schedules to participate in this great “Kick-off” weekend.

Now it is time to begin the fall ministry season with a full list of options to choose from; age appropriate ministries for people of all ages and spiritual walks, places to serve, skills that are needed, a Gospel message to share, love to be shown. My hope and prayer for this ministry season, more so than any before, is that each of us is more equipped to live for Christ than we are now. There are many ways this can happen, but each of these ways has one thing in common: they all require each of us to follow Christ out of our comfort zones and into the place He is leading.

All of us have fears, nerves, doubts, busy schedules, limited resources and a whole litany of reasons why this just isn’t the best time to re-engage with Christ on His mission. But, I can assure you that the devil works diligently to ensure that no season is a good season to follow Christ. We will always feel overwhelmed to make room for Christ and the things He is calling us to do until we live for Christ alone. In this world, the idea of living for Christ alone may seem out of reach. However, in Christ we have more than we will ever and could ever need.

So let’s GO and let’s GROW as disciples of Christ at Cross that walk with God, grow in faith together and love our neighbor. Our work for the Lord is not in vain but will reap rewards that change all eternity. This weekend is a great time to get back in touch with your Savior and with other believers, this week is a great week to reach out to a co-worker or friend, this week is the time to make space for Christ in your everything.

For he says, ‘In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you.’ Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” (2 Corinthians 6:2)

His service and yours,

Pastor Erik Gauss

From Missionary to Mentor

missional lifeA common mission strategy for the Christian Church has been to find a “Godless” place and find a “Godly” person to go live there. This person would be called a missionary and would then be the resident expert for as long as they would or could stay. When the expert Godly person would move or go back home, the stability of the church left with them. For many generations the answer would be to send a new expert to take their place and continue the “Godly” work.

Recently, the Christian Church has been taking a hard look at itself and realizing that there are some real challenges to the way we have done things. Why should the church fail in the absence of a missionary? If the Gospel truly transforms lives then should the church thrive with or without a missionary? Well, the answer is both yes and no.

First, as we look at famous biblical missionaries like Paul and the disciples, we see that they too would go live in these far off places but they wouldn’t look for Godlessness, rather they would look to see where God was already working and join in with Him. “And if the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it, but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. And if anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet when you leave that house or town.” Matthew 10:13-14

Second, the disciples would train up local leaders and mentor them in the faith and in leadership. The disciples would move on and the local church would thrive because the local leadership took ownership and made the faith their own. These are important truths the Christian Church has been changing in its focus and strategy; to ensure that missionaries are mentoring future leaders while they share the good news. The Gospel is strongest when all who believe are equipped to proclaim.

That is a long introduction, so I hope you are still with me but it is very relevant for us today. As you live for Christ it isn’t you taking God to your work, school or neighborhood, it is you joining God in what He is already doing. It isn’t you connecting people to pastors or being the expert yourself, but rather mentoring them in their own faith; coming alongside them as they need it and encouraging them in their spiritual journey.

This fall is a great opportunity to join up with others on this journey. We all need encouragers and we all need to put our faith into action. Please consider the many opportunities Cross is organizing and the many opportunities right in front of you and pick one or two. It isn’t difficult, but it isn’t always easy either, but it is fun and fulfilling as we live for Christ and for others. “And Jesus answered, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”’ Luke 10:27

His servant and yours,

Pastor Erik Gauss