I've pondered for years now as to when the change happened and why it happened. Yes, they got involved with Joel Osteen and saw dollar signs, but it was before that. Yes, Eric wanted to compete with Steven Furtick, but it was before that. I think I've finally figured it out.
You stopped serving your people and made the people serve you.
The Crossing Church wasn't always a money hungry group of vain "pastors" more concerned with image and your tithe money than the pain and suffering in your life. Here is a short list of good memories I had at The Crossing Church and why I stayed as long as I did:
- The offering wasn't pushed. In fact, they used to say that if you were in need you could reach in and grab some cash to get you through. Now I do understand that they no longer allow this because people are putting their credit card information on the "connectvelopes" (Oh hell....I just can't with that one.) Reasonable but another reason it's not the place it used to be.
- SHED. This was a challenge to get your personal possessions down to 100 items. You were allowed to determine what that meant to you and your family, but the idea was to get rid of clutter and ultimately give the excess to others. The Crossing did this as a church and sermons were preached on it. I'm a natural giver so I was all over this. My entire family "shed" a full truck and trailer's worth of stuff. We were told there would be a semi at the church that day to give the items (there wasn't - the whole thing was a cluster-fuck) but we were still able to give to a local charity. It felt like something Jesus would do. How are those 100 items Eric & Kelly?
- There was a sense of community. You could speak to the pastors, any of them, on a one-on-one basis. They knew your name. They seemed to care. They were actual humans and not faces on a highway billboard.
- It was fun. Now I know the super legalists freaked out about their "worship" and giving sermons with practical application instead of "unpacking scripture", but it was helpful. You wanted to go back. For someone who has had a bible shoved down their throat from birth, it was a breath of fresh air.
Take a look at yourselves Crossing. Think back to when you first started and compare it to today; are things better? Has anyone really been saved? Yes, you've "dunked" many but what happened to them after they dried off? Can you chill your enormous egos for one damn moment to see the damage you've caused? I hope you can. I truly do.