CrossRoads in S. Lyons, Michigan, is a continuing testimony to the church planting genius of DP Robert Mueller and VP Paul Kuske.
The guiding lights of the Michigan District gave their blessing for WELS Pastor Rick Miller to start a congregation where its Lutheran identity was completely hidden. In fact, when I phoned Pastor Rick, he would not even identify his denominational background. "If I told you, you would run away." He never answered my question.
Mark Freier also worked CrossRoads, along with Kelly Voigt, both Church Growth studs according to The Love Shack. I don't know where Kelly went, but Mark was bragging about performing atheist and Hindu weddings (for cash) on his website, when he was not busy coaching people to be all they could be.
Pastor Joe at CrossRoads still appreciates the help he got from WELS: "As Crossroads Community Church moves into its sixteenth year of existence, we look back at the people who have led us, the founding families and the Pastors Rick Miller, Kelly Voigt and Mark Freier, and say thanks for getting us here."
The Mueller-Kuske experiment in S. Lyons--unlike Pilgrim Community in Columbus--did very well, as an Evangelical Covenant congregation! Pilgrim was euthanized, in spite of the best efforts of Floyd Stolzenburg, Roger Zehms, Paul Kuske, and all the data dumps from Fuller Seminary.
CrossRoads moved on, as they say. Now its confession of faith is eerily similar to CrossWalk in Phoenix. They do not agree verbatim throughout, but enough to see that Gunn built his page from the words of an Evangelical Covenant congregation.
Craig Groeschel (Ski's favorite) has the foundational confession of faith websty page, copied by many WELS congregations. My analysis is here.
CrossRoads belongs to the Evangelical Covenant sect now, and since 1992 has been affiliated with the Willow Creek Association. John Parlow, a frequent flyer to Andy Stanley's Drive conferences, is also a Willow Creek member. CrossRoads is in fellowship with St. Mark, Depere. DP Englebrecht, who loves The CORE, does nothing about this.
Has the light blinked on yet? Within WELS is a powerful and secretive group whose loyalties are Babtist, Evangelical Covenant, and anti-Lutheran. This Church and Change group was officially spawned at Wisconsin Lutheran College with WELS offering money. They control The Love Shack, The Sausage Factory, and Mary Lou College.
Wisconsin Lutheran College hired their new president from CrossWalk in Phoenix. Next they send an emissary to check out CrossWalk, just as Gunn runs out of money. The new president lived there, so why was a trip necessary?
I get it - a big show. Oh my, Gunn is just the person for WLC's non-Lutheran worship services. The Kudzu vine of Church Growth continues to strangle WELS.
"Since several brothers have asked about the status of Rick Miller, I provide the following information. Rick has asked for a release from his call at Huron Valley Lutheran High School in order to serve a group of people as their pastor and to help organize them as an independent Christian congregation. The group is composed of some former members of St. Peter Lutheran Church in Plymouth, of some former members of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Livonia, and
some people who have left LC-MS churches. The group has stated that it has a different philosophy and style of ministry, which includes drama, contemporary music and a thematic form of worship and liturgy, which allows for greater personal participation by its female members. The group has also stated that it would like to retain fellowship relations with our Wisconsin Synod."
District President Robert Mueller,
President's Report to the Conferences,
Note: the congregation has women lectors
"As an independent group it does not plan to use the name 'Lutheran' in its title. It will be known as The Crossroads Christian Church...For the present, Rick Miller is still a pastoral member of the WELS...At that time [January 31, 1992, submission of a constitution] the fellowship question will be determined on the basis of the group's doctrinal statements and practices."
District President Robert Mueller,
President's Report to the Conferences, p. 3.
Fall, 1991 [GJ - Soon after forming, they joined the Willow Creek Association.]
"Would you be interested in a church that offers...Practical and Relevant Messages? Contemporary Music and Drama? Friendly People Who Are Interested in You? A non-threatening Environment Where You Can Investigate a Relationship with God? Maybe Crossroads Is For You!...Targeted for September, '92, Sunday morning 'seeker' service designed to introduce Christianity in the most practical relevant way possible!"
Crossroads Community Church,
Pastor Rick Miller (WELS)
GJ - CrossRoads, CrossWalk, CORE, Latte, Victory - they all sound the same, and they all sound like Groeschel, Stanley, Sweet, Driscoll, Beeson, and Stetzer.