Ukrainians, others blessed by church ‘manna flow’

God’s blessings often appear in surprising ways, and this has happened time and time again to CrossPoint Church in TrussvilleAlabama, manifesting through the church’s River of Stewardship initiative.

CrossPoint was crashed in 2005 by Center Point First Baptist Church, and senior pastor Ryan Whitley is grateful for the way God has led the congregation.

He noted that CrossPoint has seen many blessings over its 17 years, with some of the most recent revolving around three “funding streams” in their River of Stewardship campaign that specifically affected the mortgage.

Steve Parr, Executive Pastor of CrossPoint, explained the beginnings and impact of River of Stewardship.

“In 2012, after a series of fundraising campaigns and fundraising extensions, our stewardship team was looking for a way for us to pay off the mortgage as quickly as possible,” Parr recalls.

As the congregation did not want another fundraising campaign, they sought advice and started a new initiative.

“It’s your shot”

“We gave the [it] the name, ‘It’s Your Move,’ he said. ‘We have conducted this ‘Generosity Initiative’ every fall since then, focusing on various aspects of stewardship and generosity. It has been a blessing and a rallying point for our church family.

Parr noted that as a result, the church has grown in what he calls “streams” that feed into the river of stewardship, including ministry (church budget), mortgage ( every dollar reduces the mortgage) and missions (directed to SBC missions and CrossPoint direct missions projects).

“Because our mortgage payment was part of our department’s budget, we were able to pay additional principal payments each month, and over the past few years we have reduced our mortgage by almost $500,000 a year,” said said Parr. “Now that the mortgage is gone, the budget for our departmental stream has changed drastically and we have been able to land the mortgage stream and launch a new [one] called the manna stream.

Generosity

Whitley agreed that CrossPoint is a generous congregation.

“Our people have always been generous,” he said. “However, much of our generosity over the years has been channeled into reducing our mortgage. That’s not to say we haven’t been generous in other ways. We are consistently in the top 10 churches in Alabama that give Lottie Moon and Annie Armstrong [mission offerings]. We have been generous in many other ways.

“Yet the mortgage continued to limit us. We knew we had to get out of debt so we could do more for the Kingdom of God.

The manna flow, which has already had a major impact, takes its name from the scriptures, Whitley noted.

“We call it the manna flow to illustrate its purpose. The biblical word ‘manna’ means ‘what is it?’ “, he explained. “Manna was given by the Lord for His people to sustain themselves. Thus, we created the manna flow to allow us to discover [what it is] the Lord wants us to do to meet the needs of others. In less than three months, we have seen [Him] do breathtaking things with the manna flow.

Gifts

Whitley said on March 13 that the church had donated $10,000 each to four entities involved in helping Ukrainian refugees: Ukrainian Baptist Theological Seminarythe North American Missionary Council‘s Send relief, Samaritan’s Purse and Ministries Teleios In Romania.

Other ways CrossPoint has been a blessing are a $12,000 gift to City View Church in Atlanta$5,000 to Clay-Chalkville Middle School for the renovation of a library, $7,500 to the Discovery Bible Club at Clay Elementary School, $5,000 to Conference of Deaf Pastors, $10,000 to Alabama Baptist Children’s Homes and Family Ministries, and $12,000 to The WellHouse Ministry.

God at work

Whitley said it was important for CrossPoint to share with others what God has done through the manna flow.

“Our purpose in going public about this is threefold,” he explained. “First and foremost, we want to use the manna flow to glorify the Lord. We want others to know that God did this. We didn’t do this, God did.

“Second, we want to use the manna stream, in addition to our other gift streams, to reach ‘just one more’ to become a fully devoted follower of Jesus Christ. This is our singular vision and goal.

“Finally, we want to use the manna flow to grow in our stewardship, not only in the current generation of CrossPointers, but for future generations. After looking at where we have been and what the Lord has done over the past three months, we believe we are on track to achieve these goals.

Parr says he “learned that God is faithful and that he blesses us when we are faithful to him. I am grateful to have been able to participate and experience God’s provision in miraculous ways in the CrossPoint family. I look forward to what he will do this year and in the years to come.

For more information about CrossPoint Church and their ministries, visit crosspointchurch.info.

Jerry B. Hatch