Experience - Introduction

If you’re new to Crosswalk, then let me be among the first to introduce you to one of our three core values; Experience. There are many things wrapped up in this value, like excellence, intentionality, creativity, talent, and beauty. But we’re not the first to value this concept within the religious world.

In the Old Testament, God instructed the Israelites to worship in such a way, celebrate feasts in such a way, and create rhythms to their life in such a way so that they could remember their God. He wanted to remember how He led them and blessed them in the past, in hopes to assure them that He’s with them in the present, and remind them of all He’s promised to do in their future.

Why were these experiences so important to the religious rhythm of a follower? In part, it’s because we are so quick to forget. So quick to forget the good things, especially in the midst of a difficult season in life, or when we’re consumed with worry about our future. God wanted to design experiences to help us remember Him and strengthen our trust in Him.
In Deuteronomy 8, we find these words, “Remember how the Lord your God led you through the wilderness for these forty years...” (verse 2). Then later in the chapter, we read, “Do not become proud at that time and forget the Lord your God, who rescued you from slavery in the land of Egypt. Do not forget that he led you through the great and terrifying wilderness...” (Deuteronomy 8: 14-15a).

So we create experiences and practice rituals, or liturgies, that help remind us of who God is and what God has done. But with Crosswalk, we also work hard to create these experiences because we desperately want people to come to see a better picture of Jesus than maybe the one they’ve received in the past. We want people to experience the love of the Father for all of His children, and we want an experience that cause people to want too bring their friends, family, coworkers, neighbor, and grocery store clerk so they can experience it as well.

For the next five weeks, we’re going to reflect on The Experience from the lens of the birth of the early church. The book of Acts is the second volume of work from the Physician, Luke, who though not an eye witness to the story of Jesus, he spent countless hours learning the stories, investigating the claims, and writing it all down so that all people had access to Jesus. The gospel of Luke tells the story of Jesus, his life, his ministry, his death, and his resurrection. Lukes second volume, often called the Acts of the Apostles, is the continuation of Jesus’ ministry in and through his followers as they are filled with the Holy Spirit.

Keep in mind, many scholars think that Acts was not written so much in the style of evangelistic preaching in order to convert new believer, but rather to encourage and strengthen those who had chosen to believe. Through this journey, we’ll see miracle after miracle. We’ll witness God’s power show up mightily. And if we use our imaginations to enter into the story, we might just taste the excitement of the experience the first followers had as the Spirit moved, and the gospel spread, from 12 followers of Jesus, to over 9 million in just 300 years. It’s going to be an amazing ride.
So buckle up, hold on, and let’s enjoy watching the first followers experience the Spirit and the power of the resurrection.


By Pastor Paddy McCoy

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