Check out this outreach spotlight from Calvary Christian Church in Rockford, IL, where they host an annual “Crossroads Sunday” event to engage families and kids from their club. Joel Harrison, the team leader and pastor from Calvary, shares how they came up with this idea and what the event is all about.
What is Crossroads Sunday?
Crossroads Sunday is our big end of the year event. It is the one Sunday of the year (usually at the end of April or beginning of May) we really encourage all of the families involved with our Kids Club to attend our main worship service. During this worship service we present a certificate and a gift to each and every kid who has been a part of Crossroads during the school year. We also recognize all those who have been a part of serving our Kids Club – this includes leaders who are there every week as well as those who have given financially, provided snacks, sponsored kids for their birthday/Christmas gifts, school teachers and administration, and those who have prayed for students and our club. Also during our service we usually repeat one of the most interactive/fun Large Group Lessons from club that year. Following our main worship service we hold a banquet for everyone which is completely provided for by the church.
How did you and your church come up with the idea?
We initially came up with the idea our very first year of having a Kids Club. It came out of an idea where I heard some clubs were hosting “parent cafes.” We investigated this idea a little, and ultimately came up with the idea of simply making a special service for our Crossroads Kids Club where we invited entire families.
How does the church congregation get engaged in it?
First of all, individuals from our church sponsor kids in our club to provide birthday/Christmas gifts and more importantly to pray for a student. This becomes an opportunity for those individuals to actually meet the child they sponsored and have been praying for the past year. It has helped the church members really put a face to each to each of the students in our club that they have invested in. Also, other than meat and drinks, the congregation is who provides the food for the banquet. They use the banquet as an opportunity to meet and talk with the families from our Crossroads Kids Club
How has it been received by kids and families?
Our Crossroads Sunday has been a huge success every year. It is actually our highest attended Sunday each year at Calvary (more than Christmas/Easter).
In what ways do you feel that doing an outreach like this affected your club ministry?
We see Crossroads Sunday as much more than an outreach event. It is an investment in our Crossroads Kids Club. Due to the nature of Kids Club being an afternoon event, it really does limit the people who can volunteer. Also we have many who would love to volunteer, but physically are unable. Crossroads Sunday brings to life the club that many of our church members may hear about, but never see in action. It continues to help sell the vision of Crossroads to our entire church family. It is after Crossroads Sunday that I have gained new volunteers to help for next year’s club, which has allowed us to bring in more students.
How have you seen it grow over the years?
As I mentioned earlier Crossroads Sunday is our highest attended church service each year. We actually run out of space in our fellowship hall for the banquet and have to set up tables/chairs in the foyer. As our club has continued to grow, so has our Crossroads Sunday event. While we have not done so yet, we have considered the possibility of meeting at a different location for Crossroads Sunday, simply to accommodate the space needed.
Why do you keep doing it?
We continue to do Crossroads Sunday because it is an investment for our Kids Club. Our church members are really able to see the fruits from this ministry, and it gets them excited to continue. This is also our best recruitment tool for future volunteers. More importantly, this serves as an opportunity for our Crossroads families to see that there is a whole church family who loves, cares and supports their child.