Here's what it means to be a member of CrossWalk...
You may not realize it, but you are a member of more organizations than you realize. There are the obvious one’s you can name easily: you might belong to a health club, or a country club, or a service organization like Rotary or Kiwanis or Elks. These places generally require dues to keep up your membership. But there are other organizations that you may belong to as well. Organizations like One.org, the Sierra Club, or others that promote a cause you care about. These may or may not require dues, but they probably won’t object to a contribution! Of course, in Napa Valley, there are one or two (hundred) wine clubs available for you to join as well.
We all join these organizations for a variety of reasons. We believe in and want to support their cause, want to take advantage of what they offer, and want to be associated with them. We can be fans of lots of organizations without joining them, of course. But something shifts when we choose to join one. The organization will likely be thrilled to have you, but something happens to us when we sign up.
As with other organizations you resonate with, your sense of belonging to the CrossWalk community grows when you choose to join. This creates a sense of ownership that you probably will not have to the same degree apart from making it official.
Knowing you are a member helps us know how best to interface with you. We will naturally have greater confidence that you care about CrossWalk and can be relied upon to help us make a difference in the world because you have made your commitment more clear. From CrossWalk’s perspective, we have learned not to presume too much allegiance where there is not membership. It’s just easier to walk away when you tell yourself you’re not a member. We feel that on our end. You saying you are with us – officially – is a meaningful encouragement to us. It tells us you are really, really with us. And we will treat you accordingly, knowing where you stand. It doesn’t mean we ignore or neglect non-members, of course, but simply means we have greater relational trust because you’ve stated where you are.
God is impacted because church membership is a statement of commitment to faith. There is a spiritual impact that comes with commitment to a community of Christ.
The world is impacted as well by your commitment. In the United States, the culture is such that we are seeing more clearly than ever before where people stand regarding their faith. There is waning social pressure to be associated with a church, and so the ones who do are noticed more than a generation ago when it was practically expected for a person to be a member of a church. Your commitment makes a more than subtle statement that the Church holds value. Plus, you are more likely to engage with CrossWalk to make a difference in the world if you are a member, which means more difference will be made!
In order for CrossWalk to fulfill her mission to guide people to follow Christ as their means of connecting to God and positively impacting the world, we need support from those who call us “home”.
We need our members’ time in two ways. First, we need members who take their commitment to Christ seriously by making worship attendance a priority in life. Something happens when we worship together that really can’t happen by simply watching the teaching online. You probably will not experience the fullness of life Christ offers if you are only an occasional attender. The return on your investment of an hour or so each Sunday is profound – an hour spent anywhere else will not impact you as positively as will an hour together in worship with your faith community.
The second way we need time has to do with basic help we need to allow CrossWalk to do her thing. Sometimes we literally just need bodies to pull off a task – no special skills required. Setting up chairs. Putting out food. Hosting a carnival game. This stuff is easy, but we need help from people who are willing to give their time to make it happen.
We believe that you have unique gifts, talents, and perspectives that can make a difference in the world when aligned with God. Some of those unique talents can be used within the walls of the church. And many more can be used to make a difference beyond CrossWalk’s campus. How are you using your unique gifts, talents, passion, and perspective to be an agent of God’s redemption in the world? By the way, if you don’t have a clue what you have to offer, we have stuff to help you figure it out.
Yep, you knew it was coming – we need your money. CrossWalk does not receive outside funding from a headquarters somewhere. We do what we can with what is contributed through those who call CrossWalk “home.” We do receive rental income from the preschool we house on our campus, and a little income from those who use our campus in various ways. But over 90% of our financial resource comes from direct contributions. How much should you give? Well, that depends on where you are in life. Some of us barely keep the bills paid. Generosity for those households is going to look very different than some of us who are in a position to do much more. Keep in mind a couple of things. We are called to be generous as a practical expression of our faith. “Stingy” and “Jesus” just don’t blend. We are also called to equal sacrifice, not equal gifts. For some, $15-$20 a week is a much greater act of generous, sacrificial giving than some who can give $200-$300 a week. While we need around $125 per household per month to make budget, there is a better process for us to undertake. We have been impacted by a greedy, materialistic, it’s-all-about-me culture. Knowing this to be true, prayerfully consider what generosity looks like for your household.
You are CrossWalk’s greatest form of advertising. We fully expect you to hand out tracts, put obnoxious signs on your lawn, and take a turn preaching from a soapbox (with a megaphone) at Veteran’s Park downtown. Just kidding! That’s actually anti-CrossWalk. We do want you to love people well in the world you live in. Read Bob Goff’s Love Does – that’s the kind of stuff we’re looking for. Be secretly incredible. When it seems appropriate, encourage folks to give CrossWalk a try. Let people know what we offer – they could really be helped!
CrossWalk Leadership Structure
CrossWalk is a staff led church with strong accountability. The pastor leads the church toward goals developed with the help of the church’s Board of Stewards, an elected group of nine church members. Each Steward serves a three year term – three Stewards shift off the Board each year as three new Stewards come on. The Stewards’ role is to support the pastor with resources and accountability as outlined in the Guiding Principles – a working document that lists the goals, boundaries, and expectations of the pastor and Stewards. It is their job to ensure that the pastor is able to carry out the mission of the church, while at the same time providing accountability through regular meetings where they are apprised of the business of the church. Members elect Stewards each year at the church’s Annual Meeting the third Sunday in May. Along with electing Stewards, the membership also elects a Treasurer and Church Clerk. The Annual Budget is also voted on. Certain other issues may warrant a special meeting of the membership as outlined in the church’s Constitution and Bylaws.
CrossWalk is the First Baptist Church of Napa, voluntarily associated with American Baptist Churches, USA (ABC-USA). CrossWalk is completely autonomous – no outside organization has any authority over how we conduct our business. We voluntarily associate with ABC-USA and GHC for shared mission purposes and to support sister churches in their time of need. GHC in particular exists to support her churches in a variety of ways.
1. Attend a Membership Seminar and let us know of your interest.
2. Let us know your faith story: When did you know you wanted to follow Christ? How was your decision expressed? Baptism? Confirmation?
3. Pastor Pete will present your name to the Board of Stewards and ask for their approval.
4. Upon approval, membership is official. Pastor Pete then asks for affirmation from CrossWalk Membership, and extends the official welcome to new members.