CrossRoads of Arlington Church started in November of 2002 in the Dottie Lynne Recreational Center. We used this venue to its fullest, using the foyer as our place of fellowship, the gymnasium as our sanctuary, and all of the classes for our Children’s Ministry and youth classes. It was a great place to start a church. We stored all of our equipment in the facility, which included chairs, sound system, screen, café supplies, children’s furnishings and equipment, and other things that we would use to transform the Rec Center into a full scale church. Most of the items were stored on the second floor, but the elevator made bringing the equipment to the first floor a relatively easy job. However, on 2 occasions, the elevator was inoperative, something we discovered at about 8:15am on Sunday morning. It made for an extremely difficult set up and break down, to say the least. Thankfully, the elevator was mostly reliable, so it was only on these 2 rare occasions that we had to carry the equipment down and up the stairs.
One Sunday, about 2 ½ years into our using the Rec Center as our meeting place, after unloading the storage closets and as we made our initial approach to the elevator, I flippantly stated to Steve Walraven, one of our Elders, “it seems about time for the elevator to break down again”. I was only kidding as I made that statement, but a couple of minutes later, Steve informed me that the elevator was indeed out of order. That made for a very hectic morning. As we carried speakers and chairs down the stairs, I wondered about the timing of my flippant statement, and began to think that perhaps there was more to this. I sensed that perhaps this was a prophetic event that God was using to get my attention. That morning I clearly sensed the Lord telling me that “it was time to find a place of our own”.
I met with the Elders and shared what I was thinking, and they released me to begin searching for a place that we could call our home. That week, I walked into the 3221 suite of the Northlake Center, and immediately knew that this was the place that God was giving to us to be our new home. And 3221 West Pioneer Parkway in the Northlake Center has been our home for the last 13 ½ years. Apparently, it was time for us to find a place of our own, and God had led us to our present facility. I know that God directed us through the events of that hectic Sunday, and I always want to be listening to any other direction the Lord may give us through the circumstances that we experience.
This past Sunday as I drove to church, I noticed that the signs that some of the businesses put out on the frontage of Pioneer Parkway had been blown down. I then saw that the newly built public school across the street from us had experienced major damage. Apparently the storm of the previous night had caused lots of damage. However, much to my shock and surprise, the church sign made of vinyl and PVC piping that we put up every Friday was standing, seemingly untouched by the storm. It was then that I sensed the Lord telling me “though storms may come, and the rains come down, and the winds blow, my church will continue to stand”. I went into the church and grabbed a few people to join me in viewing the damage that the storm had caused, and I noticed more of the damage that the storm had caused, and was now even more amazed that our church sign was still standing. I then sensed the Lord saying to me “even when storms and wind and rain hit our church, CrossRoads of Arlington will continue to stand”. That, needless to say, was an encouraging moment of God affirming our call as a church to press on and become the church He has called us to be.
I shared this with the congregation in the first service, and having heard what I shared, Travis Brubaker, our youth pastor informed me that he had been at the church the evening before and noticed that the church sign had indeed fallen down, and upon seeing it lying on the ground, he put it back up. I felt a little deflated at the time, but does that change the message that God has for us? First of all, though the rebar was slightly bent, the sign was not damaged in any way, which is somewhat amazing. But more importantly, in my limited awareness of what had happened, I still believe that the Lord used the standing sign to speak those encouraging words to me. And having contemplated the events, perhaps we can learn that there are times when a church gets knocked down, but when the leaders refuse to stay down (thanks for putting the sign back up, Travis), we will once again stand firm and strong in the Lord Jesus Christ.
I believe that this was a word of encouragement from the Lord for each of us. We are part of God’s plan to do the work of the Kingdom. May we never allow anything that comes our way to stop us from accomplishing all that the Lord has called us to? And may God’s kingdom continue to grow.