445 S. Mary Ave. Sunnyvale, CA 94086 | 408.736.3120 | Questions? email becky@crosswalkchurch.com

UNASHAMED

Dear Crosswalkers,

I am very grateful to be a part of our church family, and specifically a member of Crosswalk Community Church. In a couple of weeks we will have our next Crosswalk Connect class, which is our class for those who want to find out more about our church family and for those who are possibly interested in joining Crosswalk.

A new study emerged from the Gallup organization last month. The report is by Jeffrey M. Jones, and it is entitled, “U.S. Church Membership Down Sharply in Past Two Decades,” Gallup, April 18, 2019. For further study you are invited to read the entire report online. But here is a quote that sums up the study:

Although the United States is one of the more religious countries, particularly among western nations, it is far less religious than it used to be. Barely three-quarters of Americans now identify with a religion and only about half claim membership in a church, synagogue or mosque.

The rate of U.S. church membership has declined sharply in the past two decades after being relatively stable in the six decades before that. A sharp increase in the proportion of the population with no religious affiliation, a decline in church membership among those who do have a religious preference, and low levels of church membership among millennials are all contributing to the accelerating trend.

The following graph makes this clear:


Of course, this is an unfortunate and even a disturbing trend.

Here’s what I believe: If you are a follower of Jesus, you should be a member of a church. No excuses.

The Bible's guideline is this: When you decide to follow Jesus, the next step is to go public with your faith through baptism. Then you are to get connected with a faith-community. Look at the words of Jesus Himself:

…I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it (Matthew 16:18, NLT).

In the Message, it goes like this:
... I [am putting] together my church, a church so expansive with energy that not even the gates of hell will be able to keep it out (Matthew 16:18, Msg).

Jesus came to build a family, a community of faith, a church.

The word church is a translation of the Greek word ecclesia, which means “the called-out ones”—the new community Jesus established was of people who responded to his call and became a part of a community with other believers. The vision of the church was to be a caring community who loved and encouraged each other, and who were devoted to carrying on the mission of Jesus in the world.

Crosswalk’s mission statement reads:

We are a community passionately demonstrating the love of Jesus…
…by pursuing truth (in all ways, but especially through the constant study of the Bible)
…by choosing sacrifice (this means pursuing God’s plan for my life and letting go of what I once desired, replacing them with his desires)
… by serving all people (I will invest my time, passions, and resources to make an impact on the lives of others in the name of Jesus)
…by making disciples (through sharing my faith story with others and inviting others to worship the Lord with me and to consider the life of faith)

Here’s a lovely description of the church in the second chapter of the book of Acts. After Peter stood up and called people to faith in Christ and some 3,000 responded, then we read what happened next:

“They devoted themselves to... the fellowship... All the believers were together and had everything in common... Every day they continued to meet together... They broke bread in their homes and ate together....” (Acts 2:42-47, NIV)

That’s the church. And you are to be a member of one.

If you would like to consider being a part of Crosswalk Church, you are warmly invited to attend our CROSSWALK CONNECT class on Sunday, May 19, from 12:15 – 2:15 p.m. Lunch will be served.

This is a spiritual decision that will be a blessing to you.

You can sign up by contacting our Pastor of Connections, Linda Jackson.

See you Sunday,

Pastor John

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