Editor's note—Welcome to a new Spectrum series for 2023: The 12 Churches Project.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://spectrummagazine.org/news/2023/what-its-worship-crosswalk-redlands
Editor's note—Welcome to a new Spectrum series for 2023: The 12 Churches Project.
I have to question the wisdom of the leaders of this church for placing little importance on fellowshipping by the way the services are organized. It seems like more emphasis is placed on music, which has become center stage in the worship experience of most churches today.
The stage, effects, the manner in which the praise team members are dressed, and the music (volume, syncopation and rhythm) give some, including myself, the impression that the attendees and participants are at a performance and not a worship service. I wonder if all that were to be eliminated, how many would continue to attend?
Well said, Beverly! IMHO, worship is not entertainment, no matter the size of attendance it draws. While this church is popular, there are young/middle aged people who live nearby and choose not to attend because the music and worship style are disturbing to them - although their churches have praise teams and contemporary worship songs.
When I attended Crosswalk on Sabbath, there was no charge for hot tea, herbal, hot chocolate, or coffee. It was a gracious gift.
My Story of worshiping at Crosswalk Redlands.
I have been out of the Adventist church life for many years.
After about 30 years of avoiding any church like activity, I sit down near the front of the stage at the Crosswalk Church Redlands with some anxiety.
I do not know what to expect.
I even wonder, “why am I here.”
Not long after I sit down, someone comes up to me with a big smile and gives me a warm handshake. Seconds later “fellowshipping” begins as I am made to feel at home.
When the lights dim and the music begin, I feel totally in the spirit of worship and do not feel like I am at some performance.
The singers are not just talented but as I look deeply into their faces, I see, passion and commitment.
Unlike concerts, their demeanor is totally void of grandstanding.
This is unlike any other Adventist church I have ever attended.
It does not resemble the dry, boring churches I attended growing up as an SDA missionary and pastor’s kid.
I do not know a lot of the songs, but it is not hard to catch on.
And wow, push aside the loudness and the rhythm; the lyrics absolutely speaks to my needs.
I need Jesus bad, and for the first time ever, singing becomes a form of communion with God.
This is a far cry from the old hymn in the hymnal Christ In Song, that I used to sing titled, “How Shall we Stand in the Judgement!” I can truthfully say I did not see Christ in that hymn!
I confess, there were tears in my eyes when the Christ filled songs at Crosswalk ended.
But I am skeptical. I did not want to be swayed by just the feelings of the Spirit.
I am ready for the sermon.
God’s word in the flesh.
What would I hear?
I am not disappointed. The sermon by Pastor Tim is relevant to my life and current events.
The message is clear and concise, delivered in an engaging style.
More importantly, it is Biblically based.
The inspiring and thought-provoking words stays with me long after the service and encourags personal reflection on my part.
I heard a call to action that day, and it literally made me crawl back to the cross.
After almost 40 years of doubting the existence of a Jesus, I find what I am looking for; an imperfect community committed to Lovewell.
The lights come back on literally and figuratively, I look around.
There are some 67-year-old seniors like me.
However, I see tons of excited, “I want to be here” young adults and teens of all shapes and colors.
This gives me hope!
I have finally found a sustainable community of Christians.
The Dog of Heaven Wins.
I am back Home again!
Yesterday, I requested one of Crosswalk’s pastor to come and pray for a member of my family who is dying of cancer.
I was impressed not just by the fact that he took the time out of his busy schedule to brave the L.A. traffic to pray for one who is not a member of his congregation, but for the fact that Pastor Ron, the Executive Pastor, left being a Conference President to move “up” to being a local parish pastor again!
If that does not speak volumes and light your fire about the mission and vision of Crosswalk church, a Seventh-day Adventist Church-“you’ve got wet wood!”
Lester Keizer -1,169 liver cancer free, 1,084 days open heart surgery survivor, 884 days post liver transplant and 767 days Covid fighter!.. and oh yes, 10,220 days of being an ex-ordained SDA minister.
I just watched the whole service posted at the end. And what they are doing for fellowship and community apart from the Sabbath services is commendable. For example, there are Groups for middle and high schoolers and programs suited to their needs. And the congregation was invited to join any of several small groups. It is heartening that fellowshiping or lack of it is not just focused on the Divine Hour worship service.
I’m actually curious who the other 11 churches are or if they’ve been selected yet?
I was fortunate enough to worship at Crosswalk a couple of weeks ago while in SoCal visiting my daughter’s family. The room is darkened, the music is very loud (earplugs provided at the doors), both of which contribute to an atmosphere where anyone can sway to the very meaningful music - I did, because I’m older and don’t care what anyone else may think, but as we know, many SDA’s are rhythmically challenged… my grandkids enjoyed their wonderful Sabbath School, there was plenty of fellowship going on in the sunshine outdoors. No lack there.
One thing I noticed: there was very little time spent (wasted?) on administrative stuff, announcements, elders or deacons parading around, offering plates (at the doors only), etc. Certainly a different way to “do church”, which seemed to be meeting a need which is unfulfilled in a more traditional setting.
Because they also are an “online” church they do have a strict time frame, but this is no different from other “televised” services (looking at you, Amazing “Facts”). I think this does put the damper on any sort of Holy Spirit movement in the congregation which might screw up the schedule (sorry), but hey, can’t have everything.
I don’t know what level of knowledge you have regarding Crosswalk, but do you (or anyone here) know how they deal with the Sabbath or Ellen White (SOP)? Is Sabbath presented as a requirement of New Covenant believers? Is EGW part of their beliefs, teachings, or just not mentioned? Is it Adventism 2.0? I’m always curious how these types of churches deal with the parts of Adventism that is problematic for many SDA’s.
I tune in on-line from time to time as well (they always welcome me in the CHAT) and I have found the focus is on Jesus and living in community as Jesus did. Haven’t heard EGW mentioned in any kind of major way, certainly not as an authoritative source. Sabbath as a topic comes up as a benefit for rest from the workaholism which pervades the LLU medical community, but not often. It does feel like Adventism 2.0 to me, a church that worships on Saturday for the community. You like it or you don’t, they aren’t worried about it.
Thanks for your reply.
This is so beautifully said, and I thank you for sharing your experience. This is the reason that I am grateful for this church.
When I read the comments from people who do not resonate with the way this community worships, I must confess that my first thought is how lucky those individuals are to have many other churches in the area that better meet their needs.
I’m so glad you were able to encounter Jesus at Crosswalk. I believe that should be what every believer desires for their brothers and sisters, and I am sure your testimony here will give others hope that there is a community that can meet their needs and embrace them with open arms.
It is good to get a write up on various churches and the experience of attending. @cfowler raises an important question because we need to see the church not just for its practice but also for its theology. A liberal worship style does not always accompany a liberal theology. And vice versa.
Maybe instead of asking this, ask why mainstream SDA congregations have done such a bang-up job of running them out. It’s almost like being patronizingly dismissed as “the young people” is insulting.
Greetings all. Despite the fact my spiritual journey led me away from the Adventist church many years ago, I owe a lot to what I learned while an Adventist, and the healthy living principles that followed me to this day. Because of that I have visited this forum now and then, to see how things are going in the church.
Although I am a Catholic now (please don’t hate me I will attend any church, or any religious house of worship, if I am invited. As such I had the attend one of the “concert hall” style churches, with the mega screen, smoke machine and laser lights. All very cool. And loud. If this is what someone needs to bring it closer to the Lord, so be it.
But I think this attempt at converting the Great I AM into some sort of Cosmic Uncle Bob, where you sit and have a drink, and have a very cosi experience with great music, and what have you, may lead some to forget the Great Mystery that is God. I am not saying that we should fear God, but neither should we go down the road where God is reduced to Uncle Bob in the Sky.
I understand that Jesus provided us with a human perspective of That that Cannot be Understood (the Father), but perhaps it would do us good not to forget WHO we are worshipping here…
That said, the music is great, and if the message speaks to you, go for it. If invited I will go, but this time I will take ear plugs
Pax et bonum,
One writer points out that many today have changed the meaning of the word “worship.” Instead of it meaning a God-centered focus, in which believers bow in reverence and humility before God, worship has come to mean a people-centered entertainment that makes the participants feel good.
The song that you made reference to “The Judgement Has Set” should cause one to bow in reverence and humility; it was not written for entertainment. Following are the lyrics:
The judgment has set, the books have been opened;
How shall we stand in that great day,
When every thought, and word, and action,
God, the righteous Judge, shall weigh?
How shall we stand in that great day?
How shall we stand in that great day?
Shall we be found before Him wanting?
Or with our sins all washed away?
The work is begun with those who are sleeping,
Soon will the living here be tried,
Out of the books of God’s remembrance,
His decision to abide.
O, how shall we stand that moment of searching,
When all our sins those books reveal?
When from that court, each case decided,
Shall be granted no appeal
Contrary to how many may feel, this song is all about the work of Jesus: as our Savior, High Priest and Judge.
Savior- The one who washes away all our sins and blots out our sins from the book in heaven. Also, the one who makes our good works acceptable to God.
High Priest - The one who is in the sanctuary applying the benefits of His shed blood. The one who makes it possible for us to appear in the judgement with the assurance that all our sins are forgiven and blotted out.
Judge - The One who makes it possible for us to stand in the judgement without fear and trembling and the One who represents us in the judgement.
This is a song that when rightly understood by a believer, should bring about joy, praise and a time of self- examination.
I am glad that you have found Jesus while attending this church; however, your personal experience does not necessarily mean that the worship style of this particular church is acceptable to God. There are many of God’s children in Sunday-keeping churches but that does not mean that God approves of Sunday being His holy day.
Worship is not about the how or the where but about the who.
I think it would be very helpful if commenters in this forum would mention where they go to church.
Just in case I ever do decide to attend again, I want to make sure I’m not “worshipping” with them.
It seems this would be doing all parties a very valuable service as I’m fairly certain that some individuals would find my presence in their midst, or my participation in the SS conversations, at least mildly disturbing.
According to the Bible, worship is not only about who one worships, but it is also about where and how. John 4: 24 says, "God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” Exodus 25:8, “And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.”
Matthew 18:20 comes to mind where two or three are gathered in my name…
I appreciate that the text is not referring to prayer and worship but rather to church discipline but the sentiments still hold, if a few of us gather together to praise and worship then God is with us, that is sanctuary, forget about sanctuary being a physical building somewhere.