Connecting the reality of God to the reality of life.
That’s the mission statement of The Crossings Church. The church wants the reality of God that people experience at church to merge with the reality of life, which happens outside the church walls.
In The Crossings Church’s 10 years of existence, members have served and been out in the community. But, while meeting at Windermere Seventh-day Adventist Church on McKinnon Road, they felt the challenge of meeting their mission. It was hard to connect the reality of God to the reality of life when the community didn’t know they were there.
“You know what people would say about us once they got to know us here? ‘You’re the best-kept secret’,” Joy Tewson, the director of special events at the church, said. “We don’t want to be the best-kept secret. Because we’ve done so much in the community, and it’s like, ‘Oh, that’s you guys?’”
Soon, their visibility problems will be greatly reduced. The Crossings Church will hold its first service Oct. 11 in its own building, 13105 W. Colonial Drive, Winter Garden, the location of the old Kmart.
But don’t get them wrong. The staff at The Crossings believes the church is not a building, and they have existed happily without one. But having a building will help them more easily connect the community to the reality of God.
“We were doing fine, but we just absolutely couldn’t fulfill our purpose for why we exist,” Ron Tewson said.
The 19,000-square-foot building is set in a busy location at a strip plaza, a location Ron believes places them more in the center of reality than a more picturesque location would.
The church staff hopes the visibility of the location will bring people into the church and also more recognition to it. They also plan to offer the new facility as a location to serve the community. The lobby area of the church is intended to be more than a walkway to the service. The staff plans to add WiFi to the room, so community members can spend time there during the week. The room will not be open seven days a week at the beginning, but The Crossings Church hopes to grow it into a Starbucks-type of space that encourages gathering.
Four years ago, the church started an “It’s Time” campaign to raise money for a new building. But it can’t even quantify the cost of it all, because so much of what is the in the building was donated supplies, time and labor. Volunteers set up the wood designs on the walls. The flooring was donated, and so was much of the paint for the walls. A carpenter took a week of vacation to donate his time and run cables. A painter donated his time to sand and paint all 53 doors in the new building.
It’s how The Crossings Church operates. There are a few staff members, but much of the work gets done with the help of volunteers.
The new building features a children’s area, kitchen, lobby, worship center with a stage and porch area. Future projects include developing a student area and adding a gate to the porch area.
IF YOU GO
WHEN: 10 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 11
WHERE: The Crossings Church, 13105 W. Colonial Drive, Winter Garden
Contact Jennifer Nesslar at [email protected].