Are you connected with a particular denomination?
No, Crossroads is a non-denominational Christian ministry. If you would like to learn more about our specific beliefs, you can view our Statement of Faith by clicking here.
When and how did Crossroads start?
Crossroads was founded in 1998, by Bern and Jeanne Bertsche, business owners in Hanover Park, Illinois. You can read more about our story by clicking here.
What age group does Crossroads serve?
Crossroads helps churches to serve elementary school children. Typically, our elementary school clubs include children as young as kindergarten. We are currently piloting Crossroads clubs in two middle schools as well.
When and where do Crossroads Kids Clubs meet?
A Crossroads Kids Club typically meets for 90 minutes once per week inside of a public school’s gym or cafeteria. We have clubs meeting in classrooms or multi-purpose rooms as well. The specific space in a school is not as important as being a helpful presence on campus.
Are you connected with a particular church?
Crossroads is a Christian organization that works with local churches for the good of children. We are not a church.
How many kids can be served through an individual Crossroads Kids Club?
This depends entirely on two factors: staff and space. We strongly encourage churches to keep a ratio of one leader for every seven children. If you had ten leaders, your club could grow to 70 children. However, the second consideration is space. Obviously, if you are in a classroom you will be limited to about 30 children regardless of how many leaders you have.
How much does Crossroads charge churches?
Nothing! If your church is approved to begin and run a Crossroads Kids Club program, all materials are provided at no cost to the church. Generous donors sponsor clubs allowing churches to focus on people, not finances.
Is it really free?
Yes! Crossroads Kids Club does not charge churches or parents for its program. Club sponsors cover the costs of a club, including materials, snacks, insurance costs, and rent of space in the school.
How many leaders does it take to run a club?
You can start a club with as few as two leaders. Of course, you can have quite a few more. The number of leaders determines, in part, the number of kids you can serve. While you can begin with two leaders, the expectation is that the number of leaders will increase in time as the number of children attending also increases.
We have trouble finding volunteers for our children’s ministry now. How can we find additional volunteers to start something new?
A Crossroads Kids Club ministry is very different from your regular church-based children’s ministries because it happens in the community. We have found that it appeals to a whole other group of people who are not currently serving in children’s ministry at your church—namely those with a heart for outreach. Generally, finding staff is not as challenging as you may think.
How do you get into public schools? What about church-state separation issues?
Many churches are unaware of the access that they may have to public schools. When a school district opens up its doors to outside groups of any kind, it has created what the law defines as a “limited public forum.” The forum is limited in that a school is able to limit the scope of the public access to particular types of activities, but it is public, which means that a district cannot restrict the free-speech rights of forum participants. So, for example, a district may limit the use of their space by outside groups to exclusively sports programs. In that case, a church could start a Christian sports-based club. The Christian aspect of the club is considered a viewpoint, and the district cannot discriminate against groups based on a viewpoint (whether religious or secular). They can only discriminate based on the type of activity (sports, in this example). If you have more specific questions, please feel free to ask us. Check out this video from some principals who have worked with Crossroads.
Why go into public schools?
In short, because that is where the kids are! In the United States, there are approximately 39,000,000 children enrolled in public elementary schools. Neighborhood schools are centers of community and becoming involved there helps churches to meet and to serve children and families who are not part of their congregation.