On the 13th of this month, 90+ full-time, part-time, and volunteer staff from all over the state of Kansas are going to gather together in one place to sing, pray, hear God’s Word, eat, laugh, serve, and play together at our annual All Staff Retreat. We intentionally set this time aside each year for rest, recuperation, and realignment of our staff. With our families, busy ministry schedules, and geographical spread, it might just be the most important thing our staff does each year.
I write this not just so you can be informed, but in hopes that you can add the All Staff Retreat on July 13-15 to your prayer list. Here are a few ways to guide your prayer for this All Staff Retreat:
1. Safety. Pray for physical and spiritual protection for the staff. Our staff will collectively drive thousands of miles for this retreat. Pray for God’s protection as many travel to make this retreat. We also ask that you would pray for protection from the enemy as we know that he prowls like a lion waiting to devour Christians (1 Peter 5:8). I’m not saying there’s a demon behind every bush, or that our leadership anticipates a special kind of spiritual warfare, we just want to be vigilant to stay on guard against our sinful flesh and the attacks of the enemy.
2. Rest and Refreshment. One of the attributes that our staff strives to embody is grit. We aren’t meandering through life and ministry, but rather steadfast in our commitment to the mission God has for us. This is a beautiful thing, but God didn’t just make us to work hard, he created us to rest well too. This retreat is not an attempt to vacate from reality, it is meant to be an intentional refilling of sorts. Please pray that the retreat would serve to provide rest and as a reminder that encourages our pastors and staff to have healthy rhythms of rest and work throughout the year.
3. Unity. I already mentioned our geographical spread as One Church in Many Places. Our pastors and staff are like a big family, and this event is an annual reunion of sorts for our staff. There’s a deep sense of joy in my heart as I anticipate having everyone together. More than a warm fuzzy, the truth is that we are better when we link arms together in the mission of God. The unity we have is a gracious gift from God that we don’t want to take for granted. We want to fight to preserve it. Pray that God would continue to unify our staff in the gospel so we can continue to lead and serve well. “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!” (Psalm 133:1). God is glorified and we are strengthened in God’s mission when we are unified in Christ.
Thank you for reading. Thank you for praying. Thank you for linking arms in the greatest mission on the planet: making disciples of all nations for the glory of God.
Executive Pastor of Worship & Engagement
God is good all the time! CrossPoint Pittsburg has been very steady throughout the last couple of years. Even with the hard hit of the pandemic, our partners have been faithful to the church. We have seen new growth at CrossPoint Pittsburg as we have new volunteers in our tech serve team and new training for our CP Kids volunteers!
In the last year over 80% of CrossPoint Pittsburg has gone through CrossPoint University! We are excited to see the growth in our church partners’ knowledge of the Bible and how it will affect their everyday life! This has prepared and equipped them to go out into the field to sow and reap.
This is a common process in Pittsburg, finding the lost, sowing the seeds of the Gospel, and tending to the field until it is ready for the harvest. Sometimes that comes right away and other times we have to wait. Understanding that we can only sow and water, but God gives the growth. The past few weeks we have seen more people come into the church with a heart for the lost and especially for Pittsburg State University. We are excited for this season that God has for us!
Pray with us:
Unfortunately, seeing ourselves and the world through a lens where we are the focal point is incredibly human and normal. We ask: "How does this affect me?", "How does this help or harm me?", "How do I care for myself or the people and things I love?". The wrestling match between who we are in our flesh and who we are as children of God is relentless. In mercy, God offers a new lens prescription, He knows we need to be given perspective so we don't drift back into serving ourselves. There is a phrase in the Bible that comes up when God wants us to know that we need to see things differently than we are: "Lift up your eyes." The implication in every instance is that we would change our perspective from what we see to what God wants us to see.
In John 4:35, Jesus says to his disciples, "Do you not say, 'There are yet four months, then comes the harvest'? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes and see that the fields are white for harvest." My hope for us this Summer is that we will take our eye off of our own small world and pray that God will allow us to see the real world around us more clearly, the way He sees it. And when we see with those corrective lenses may we respond in obedience to God and His mission. How do we actually do this though? Let me offer a few ways:
Lift up your eyes to see who is right in front of you.
We are pridefully busy and distracted people. We are in preservation mode, just trying to make it to the next time our heads can hit our pillow or to the weekend. When we live this way, our world becomes small, and our focus turns inward. Experts believe the average person has a circle of influence of around 90 people. The first time I heard that number, I wondered how that could be true. But as I started to think through family, friends, co-workers, and people I knew from church, that list multiplied. God wants us to influence others for Christ, lift up your eyes and see the people He has placed in your path.
Lift up your eyes and see what's really going on.
As we start noticing the people around us, we have to work hard, squinting to see what's really happening under the surface. If your busy life clouds your perspective, others are in the same boat. We must seek to know the people in our circles to see how the Gospel can change their lives. When you see what’s actually going on under the surface, pray that God would give you the discernment to serve, show, and share Jesus well with those around you.
Lift up your eyes and see where God will lead you.
It's almost as if we can only clearly see what God would have for us personally when we stop focusing on ourselves. When we focus on ourselves, we can only see what we want or desire, and we can only be in service to ourselves as a result. But, when we lift up our eyes and focus on what God desires, we can truly be on a mission in the place He put us to the people He put us with. This is the heart behind when we say we are "called" to something. When we surrender to the rule and reign of Christ, we live out our calling.
Lift up your eyes!
Executive Lead Pastor
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