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How is Cross Waves Church different from a House Church?
It is easy to confuse Cross Waves as another House Church. We are very similar in style. Yet, there are some major differences:
• We put an emphasis on doctrine. Without a central training process there is higher possibility of heresy. This happened in the early church and currently is happening in China among House Churches. Our Bible teachers have earned graduate level degrees in biblical history, languages, and culture.
• We put an emphasis on accountability and biblical ecclesiology. We follow Scripture in the use of Elders and Deacons. Accountability of the leadership team is part of our culture.
• We put an emphasis on networking. Groups work together to serve their communities, go on short-term mission trips, and to share the faith. We can do more as a network of Together Groups than House Churches that serve in isolation.
How is Cross Waves Church different from an Internet Church?
We love the flexibility that an internet church provides. We understand that God is not concerned about when we worship or where we worship. The Bible says in Acts 17:24, “The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man.” (ESV)
Like the internet church, most of the people that follow Christ through Cross Waves Church do not meet on Sunday mornings, but worship together one evening during the week.
Yet, Cross Waves Church is unlike the internet church because of our emphasis on relationships. Jesus Christ taught His disciples through small groups. We strive to copy the format that Jesus Christ used with His disciples. The disciples ministered and traveled together sharing their faith. None of their ministry was done alone.
The passages in the Bible that illustrate that Christians are the body of Christ make no sense if we are not ministering together in teams. It should not be the practice for the Christian to follow Christ in isolation. Whenever the apostle Paul won a few converts to Christ, he immediately organized them into a small group and called them a church. It is clear God expects us to be part of a community called the local church because He tells us what to do in church, how to behave in church, and even how to choose our leaders in the church.
How is Cross Waves Church different from a traditional church?
We have the same mission as other Christians that serve the Lord in a traditional church setting, which is to become more like Christ through obedience to God. We practice the same elements as a traditional church:
We have the same characteristics as we:
• Serve others
• Share our Faith
• Study the Bible
• Followers of Christ
• Caring Leaders
Yet, our difference lies primarily in the following areas:
• Our atmosphere is informal and provides an opportunity for more interaction between participants. People learn more when training is interactive.
• Our weekly format is more of a dialogue and not a monologue. Everyone is welcome to participate.
• Without a building to maintain, more funds can go to people in need and serving opportunities.
• The small group setting resembles the way Christ taught His disciples
• Using homes is how the early church flourished even while under persecution.
Can my small group listen to a TV preacher and do this same process ourselves?
Absolutely you can. Yet, there are two reasons why most people do not. First, they appreciate that all of our teaching and training is set up around the Cross Waves Church discipleship process. You are not taking a message meant for a traditional church and reapplying it to your home environment. Second, they like being part of a bigger movement. Together we are able to do much more for the Kingdom of God when we combine our talents and resources into a bigger pool.
Why does a Christian need to be part of a church?
It is neither biblical nor healthy for a Christian to not go to church. Every letter in the New Testament assumes Christians are members of local churches. The letters themselves, they were addressed to local churches. God gave us the church to help us become more like Christ. The local church is a place where God molds us into becoming more like Christ. When we come together as Christians in the local church, we are able to use our God-given gifts and abilities to:
• Serve each other
• Provide accountability to one another
• Share our faith together
• Make disciples of Jesus Christ
They command us to submit to our elders, and encourage us to go to our elders to pray. All these things are impossible if you aren't a member of a local church. (See 1 and 2 Corinthians, James, Ephesians, 1 and 2 Timothy, and 1 Peter for references.)
God expects us to be part of a local church. In the New Testament, Christians were never divided into church members and non-church members. There is a verse that gives instructions to Christians while they wait for Christ to come back, “And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another.” (Hebrews 10:25 NLT)
God never intended for Christians to mature as believers in isolation. Whenever the apostle Paul won a few converts to Christ, he immediately organized them into a small group and called them a church. It is clear God expects us to be part of a community called the local church because He tells what to do in church, how to behave in church, and even how to choose our leaders in the church.
Why do most of your HotSpots not meet on Sunday?
God never told us when to go to church. In the Old Testament, the Jews worshipped God on the Sabbath (which begins Friday evening at sunset and ends Saturday evening at sunset). God made it clear in the Old Testament by giving a commandment on when the Jews were to worship. Yet, in the New Testament, we have no commandments, just recorded history of Christian practice.
After Christ’s ascension back into heaven, the Apostle Paul and first Christians met together on the Sabbath (Acts 13:13-14; Acts 15:21; Acts 16:13; Acts 17:2). Then some Christians began meeting on the first day of the week (1 Corinthians 16:1-2; Acts 20:7). Some Christians believe that Sunday is a good day to worship in honor of Christ’s resurrection on Sunday. Yet, from the beginning of Christianity, there is record that the church in Jerusalem met every day (Acts 2:46). With all these different days mentioned in the Bible when Christians came together to worship, are we under any obligation to worship on any particular day of the week?
The Apostle Paul suggests that Christians have personal freedom when we go to church (Romans 14:5-6). The Apostle Paul mentions the subject again and says not to let anyone judge you when you worship (Colossians 2:16-17). Then in Galatians 4, the Apostle Paul warns us about being legalistic in issues such as this (Galatians 4:8-10).
Every week, we at Cross Waves set aside time to study the Scriptures and worship with other Christians (church). We do this because we want to become more like Christ and I understand that God wired us to grow within relationships. I love my church and each week I gladly set aside one day to honor my God since every day belongs to Him.
We at Cross Waves Church are “fully convinced" as Romans 14 teaches, that we are able choose any day of the week to go to church and worship together. Therefore, if it does not matter Biblically when I go to church, we personally like to worship with other believers during the week. This allows our weekends to be free for serving projects of acts of kindness and strengthening relationships with family and friends.
A Cross Waves Home Group is a weekly gathering of three or more people who meet in a home, school, or workplace. They hang out, study the Word, pray together, serve their community together, and share their faith together. Cross Waves Church Home Groups exist as a way for people to engage in biblical community that helps them become more like Jesus in every area of their lives. You’ll be encouraged to live out the truths you discover in the Bible, as you encourage others to do the same.
What are the benefits of being a part of Cross Waves Church?
1. Enjoy a better atmosphere to understand the Bible.
Do you have questions about God and faith you want answered? Have you ever wished you could stop a Bible teacher and ask, "But what about...?" or “Can you explain that more?,” then a Home Group will help you! In a Cross Waves Home Group setting, you can ask questions, participate in a discussion of the Bible, and hear others share about God’s truth. In a Home Group, you can learn to apply the Bible to your own personal situations.
2. Receive the benefits of being part of God´s family.
When you attend a Cross Waves Church Home Group, you are immediately welcomed into a family where you will enjoy close relationships and friendships. You will discover people that deal with the same issues in life you face. You may be surprised at how quickly you begin to contact each other during the week to share a prayer request or how God answered one of your prayers. It is helpful to find other people to do life together who share the same biblical values and purpose in life.
3. Prayer becomes more meaningful.
Because you are praying with the same people each week. You get to see how God is working in their lives and how He answers prayers. Prayers are more personal since you know the people in your Home Group and what they are facing. Our God is so powerful, and through the prayers in your Home Group you can witness that power.
4. Never face a crisis alone.
When facing a crisis, having your Home Group family by your side can provide excellent support. When difficult times arise in your life, there is a peace knowing there are people who really care for you and are committed to standing with you.
Life can be tough. We know that God will never leave our side, and it is a huge bonus to know you have a Home Group family supporting you. Whether it is a loss of a job, extended illness, or a mother needs a babysitter - your Home Group will help you through these times. So many of our Home Group attenders testify how they could not have made it through a difficult time without the support of their Home Group.
5. Easier to invite people to church.
We all have friends and family that will not go to church for a variety of reasons. Yet, these same people will talk about God and faith in a convenient and safe environment. That is why they may be open to an invitation to a casual meal and Bible discussion in a home or office setting. In a Home Group, your friends and family can ask difficult questions and feel safe.
People are searching for community, a place where they belong, and develop friendships where they are loved for who they are. At a Cross Waves Home Group, people experience what unconditional love looks like. This safe atmosphere allows people to be more open to listening to the Good News of Jesus Christ. In addition, they get to enjoy a good meal!
6. Intentional in becoming more like Christ.
God has wired all of us up differently. The Bible tells us that God gives us different spiritual gifts so we can help each other (1 Corinthians 12:7). Sadly, most Christians are only spectators in the world. They go to church and watch others serve. In a Cross Waves Home Group, you become intentional in participating with others in learning about God, serving together to minister to others as Christ would in your community, and sharing as a team with others how Christ has changed your life’s purpose and focus. Being part of a Home Group allows you be part of a community who wants to be intentional in becoming more like Christ.
7. Deepens your understanding of worship.
Many Christians believe that worship only happens when we are together in church, Yet, the Bible says something different about worship in the life of a Christian. The apostle Paul says that we do not only find God inside of buildings, we find God everywhere (Acts 17). The Bible teaches us that worship in the New Testament is so much deeper (Romans 12:1).
Worship is giving our lives to Christ. Our daily lives should give glory to God (1 Corinthians 10:31). In a Cross Waves Home Group, we worship God by striving to become more like Christ as the Holy Spirit changes us from the inside out. That is true worship.
8. Become a New Testament Christian!
The Bible teaches us that it was never the purpose of pastors to meet all the needs of people in the church. All of us are to meet each other needs. The church mentioned in the Bible met in people’s homes to minister to each other and serve their community. Cross Waves Home Groups go back to that biblical model.
Consider these verses:
“All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer. They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity— 47 all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:42,46-47)
“And every day, in the Temple and from house to house, they continued to teach and preach this message: “Jesus is the Messiah.” (Acts 5:42)
“Also give my greetings to the church that meets in their home.” (Rom. 16:5)
“The churches here in the province of Asia send greetings in the Lord, as do Aquila and Priscilla and all the others who gather in their home for church meetings.” (1 Corinthians 16:19)
“Please give my greetings to our brothers and sisters at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church that meets in her house.” (Col. 4:15)
If you want to grow in your relationship with Jesus, you need to have intentional relationships with people who have the same goal—and a Cross Waves Church Home Group is the ideal place for you. God never intended for you to live the Christian life alone. Home Groups are a great way to grow deeper in your faith with those you enjoy being around. No matter where you are in life, it is important to have a group of people you get together with on a weekly basis to study God’s Word and have fun!
Why do people start going to a Cross Waves Church HotSpots?
Some come because they are searching what the Bible says about God and faith. Others come because they desire to become more like Christ, and understand that happens best when one is involved with others on the same journey to follow Christ.
Are there any qualifications for me to be part of a Cross Waves Church HotSpot?
There is one qualification, you must be breathing! Regardless if you know much about the Bible or nothing at all, everyone is welcome.
What should I expect from the people I meet at a Cross Waves Church HotSpot?
You will discover people who have created a safe environment where people are open, honest, and authentic in who they are and how they are struggling. You enjoy a safe place where you can share any doubts in faith you may have. You will find people who have decided to follow Christ, and together are on a journey to become more like Christ. You can expect people who become friends and care for each other, partner with each other through life’s challenges and triumphs, and pray consistently for each other.