Is it okay to bring my children into the worship service?
Yes, this is not a problem. Some families especially appreciate worshipping together. This is great! Children can pick up on what is going on in a worship service more than many think. As well, it is good for children to see their parents worshipping the Lord. We do not require children to be separated from their parents during worship at Crossway. That being said, we hope that families who begin to attend our church will come to appreciate the value of their children developing close friendships with their peers in the context of the local church.
Some families prefer to have their children involved in junior church. Parents are freed from distractions to listen to the sermon. As well, children are taught the Scriptures on their own level. That being said, we hope parents see their responsibility to train up their children. The church cannot replace the parents in fulfilling this responsibility.
Do you marry people from outside your church?
Priority is given to members, regular attendees, and their families. Outside requests will be given consideration at the discretion of our pastors and/or our pastors' availability. Each couple married at Crossway will be required to attend extensive pre-marital counseling with a pastor and/or an approved pre-marital counselor. The details of pre-marital counseling program will be presented by a pastor to the prospective couple for mutual agreement before any decision or plans are made. Because of the time commitment involved in the counseling it is suggested that, if at all possible, contact with a pastor be made at least six (6) months prior to the wedding date. There are a few situations specified in Scripture that may prohibit both the pastor's participation and the use of the facility.
For more information, read these related documents: Wedding Policy and the Facility Contract.
What Bible version do you use, and why?
We primarily use the English Standard Version (ESV) at Crossway. We have several reasons for preferring the ESV. First, it is a literal, word-for-word translation. The translators have tried to stay as close to the original manuscripts as possible. Second, it maintains important biblical and theological words (such as "propitiation") which are necessary to accurately convey the meaning of the original text. Third, it is an appropriate translation for all ages. It is understandable for children, yet useful for deeper study for older individuals.
You don't need to have an ESV to follow along with the teaching at Crossway. However, it would probably be most helpful to you to have a literal translation (such as the New American Standard or the New King James) rather than a paraphrase (such as The Message or The New Living Translation).
Are you a charismatic church?
While we consider many of those who hold to doctrines that define the charismatic movement to be fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, we do not agree with or support many of the doctrines or practices of the charismatic movement. We believe that the gifts of apostleship, prophecy, tongues, and miracle-working (miracles performed directly through men) were energized by God only during the foundation stage of the church (Ephesians 2:20; 1 Corinthians 14:20-22; 2 Corinthians 12:12). The God-given purposes of the gifts have been fulfilled, and we now appreciate these gifts by recognizing God's provision for us through the past use of the gifts. God does energize other gifts today such as the gifts of leading, serving, teaching, and helping. Christians must be good stewards of their gifts by using them to build up other believers in the local church.
Do you believe women can be pastors?
We believe God's Word teaches that women have many vital functions in the local church (overseeing women's ministries, serving the body, bringing up children, teaching women and children, etc.), but that the office of overseer/pastor/elder is to be reserved for men. This is based on teaching found in 1 Timothy 2:9-15, 1 Timothy 3:1-7, Titus 1:5-9, and 1 Corinthians 14:34-35.
What do people wear at your church?
We do not believe that the Bible specifies any particular style of clothing to wear to church. According to 1 Peter 3:3-4 and 1 Timothy 2:9-10, however, women (and by implication, men) are to dress in a modest way. However, it is not our intent to promote a "casual" atmosphere by refusing to specify a particular code of dress. The worship of the Holy God is not something to be taken lightly and it is left to the conscience of each member of the congregation to wear that which will enable him to worship in a joyful fear of the Lord (which includes love, awe, reverence, and humility).
Do you allow people to raise their hands in worship?
We are not interested in getting people to raise their hands or preventing people from raising their hands. We do not see the raising of hands as a biblical issue one way or the other.
Two desires we have are that, first, people should not distract others around them from focusing on the Lord during our services. Second, people should avoid going beyond "what is written" in judging their brothers and sisters in the matter (1 Corinthians 4:6). If you find raising your hands is a genuine way to express worship to God, you should not hesitate to do so, unless you are drawing attention to yourself and away from Christ.
Who leads the church?
Our church is led by our elders. We believe this follows the pattern of church government described in the New Testament. Currently we have three elders: Craig Johnson, Mitch Michaud, and Bill Calhoun. Our elders work as a pastoral team and agree before decisions are made. There is no time limit to the service of our elders. Click here to find out more information about our practice of church leadership.
What does your church teach about divorce and remarriage?
We believe that God hates divorce (Mal 2:16), that marriage is to be held in honor among all, and that the marriage bed is to be undefiled (Heb 13:4). We also believe that our Lord gave two provisions for allowable divorce (sexual immorality - Matt 5:31-32, Matt 19:3-12; and, abandonment by an unbelieving spouse - 1 Cor 7:13-16) and that remarriage ("in the Lord," i.e., to another believer) of the innocent party is within the will of God in these cases. Remarriage is also within God's will for one whose spouse has died (Romans 7:1-3). Additionally, we believe that those who were divorced/remarried before conversion are new creations in Christ (2 Cor 5:16,17) and are free to remarry in the Lord or hold church office (elder, deacon) (assuming they meet the biblical qualifications).
What does your church teach about alcohol?
There is no command in the Bible that forbids drinking alcohol. Ephesians 5:18 does instruct us to "not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit." The often suggested idea that the wine of the Bible was either unfermented (non-alcoholic grape juice) or greatly diluted causes us to wonder just how this type of "wine" posed a threat to the drinker to become drunk! The view that wine in the Bible is unfermented or greatly diluted makes the command of Ephesians 5:18 next to meaningless. Not only did Jesus turn water into wine in John 2:1-11, but Paul actually commanded Timothy to drink a "little" wine for the sake of his stomach (1 Timothy 5:23).
Those who forbid all alcoholic beverages may be seeking a noble goal of eliminating the problems that come from drinking in excess, but they are using the Bible as a proof-text for something it does not say. Drinking in excess is clearly spoken against in the Bible (Proverbs 20:1), but drinking itself is not forbidden. It is simply wrong to declare a practice to be categorically sinful if the Bible does not represent it as such. However, while God's Word does not outlaw the consumption of alcohol, it does caution against leading those with a weaker conscience to stumble into sin. We must be careful not to cause another to do something that their own conscience may lead them to believe is sinful (Romans 14:1-23).
What kind of music do you have at your church?
We believe that music is to be used in worship of our God and that God's Word presents both singing and instruments in a favorable light (Psalms, Col 3:15, Eph 5:18-19, James 5:13). Music is a tool to express worship, and as such the lyrics of each song must present the truth of God's Word with absolute adherence to Biblical doctrine and principles. However, we do not believe that the Bible provides specific guidelines as to the style of the music. Therefore we seek to use the giftedness that the Lord has provided in our congregation to play and sing with the purpose of bringing glory to God. We believe that those who lead music are to worship as they play and sing, and in this way they are "lead worshippers" in our singing time (1 Cor 10:31). We do not hold to what is sometimes called the "regulatory principle" of worship as we do not see it specified in Scripture.
Does your church teach that it is wrong for women with children at home to work outside the home?
Titus 2:4-5 teaches the older women to encourage the young women to love their children and "be workers at home." There is no doubt that women have a biblical responsibility for the home. Their role is to be a worker at home.
But does the phrase "workers at home" preclude working outside the home as well? Unfortunately, some have become so dogmatic as to say or insinuate that it is wrong for mothers of children at home to ever work outside the home. While this may be a personal application of Titus 2:4-5, it is not a necessary application for all women. It is certainly possible for some mothers to work outside the home and still be a "worker at home" as well (Proverbs 31).
We believe women ought to make personal application of the broad command to be workers at home and yet stop short of judging others for not arriving at their same conclusion. The Bible directs mothers to ask themselves questions like, "Am I fully fulfilling my God-given responsibility to teach and disciple my children?"(Deuteronomy 6:7; Proverbs 23:13-14), "Am I able to fully accomplish the work I need to do in the home? (Titus 2:4; Proverbs 31) and, "Do I consider myself as primarily and ultimately a worker at home?" (Titus 2:4-5).
Can anyone take communion at Crossway Church?
We believe that the Lord's Supper, or communion, is for all believers because all believers are instructed to participate in the ordinance. Indeed, it is called "the cup of the Lord" (1 Corinthians 11:27), which extends beyond our fellowship to all who are the Lord's people. Also, the limitations that are given for participation in the Lord's Supper are given for the person himself (1 Corinthians 11:28). While each person is told to examine himself, the church is not given that same instruction to examine the individuals. It is important to note that each person is to take it seriously as directed in 1 Corinthians 11:27-30.