Cross the Line is trying to better leverage building spaces and resources for kingdom expansion.
By Chad Ragsdale
It’s 9:00 on Wednesday morning. A group of women have gathered to enjoy some coffee and conversation at the Front Porch Coffee Café in Lincoln, Nebraska. Their children are laughing and running in the adjacent play area. Nearby, in the same building, the Super Starts Child Development Center bustles with activity as parents drop off their kids and hurry off to work. Further inside, a gym is still set up for the youth basketball practice from the night before. This former grocery store, located in a residential area in Lincoln, has become a place for the community to gather all week long.
It also happens to be a church.
Cross the Line Church was planted five years ago with a specific philosophy. The church is committed to being an active kingdom presence and blessing to their community more than just a handful of hours each week. Senior minister Austin Brazil says that since beginning in ministry nearly 20 years ago, he has been struck by how much time large church buildings are left mostly empty.
Cross the Line is trying to better leverage building spaces and resources for kingdom expansion. Their goal is to have a church building that is full every day of the week from 7 in the morning until 9 at night.
On August 20 last year, that dream finally became a reality. With the assistance of The Solomon Foundation, Cross the Line Church was finally able to purchase and remodel the building they had been meeting in and sharing with a local business. Now the space includes a coffee shop and day care center that is open to the public every day. Their worship space doubles as a gym that is busy nearly every night hosting local youth practices and games. For most of the people who begin coming to the church, Sunday morning worship is not their first time inside the building.
God is blessing this model of ministry. Since August the church has celebrated 30 baptisms and attendance has grown by 300 people. This dramatic increase has catapulted average weekly attendance to just over 500 people.
The church is continuing to adopt new strategies to engage and bless their community. It is not enough simply to have a space available for the community to use. The church must also go into that community. To that end, a new ministry called “Good Deeds Nebraska” is helping to connect members of the church with people who are in need in Lincoln; the church is providing services at little to no cost.
Chad Ragsdale serves as assistant academic dean at Ozark Christian College, Joplin, Missouri.