A beautiful day in Meridian, Idaho greeted members from Cross of Christ Lutheran Church when they went out to proclaim the gospel and help launch a second site. It was a joy and privilege for Praise and Proclaim Ministries to help lead this effort. Cross of Christ Lutheran Church in Boise was incorporated in 1996. The Lord has blessed the gospel ministry. Twenty years later, the congregation has grown to 527 baptized members.
In the summer of 2016, the WELS Board of Home Missions selected Meridian, Idaho as one of several locations for a second-site expansion. The city of Meridian has seen amazing population growth in the past twenty years. The U.S. Census now projects the population to be over 95,000 people with little signs of slowing down.
The Cross of Christ leadership team selected an area within the city limits where there are large developments with new homes. They received permission to conduct worship services at a new elementary school (Willow Creek) in the north end of Meridian and decided to go out in the surrounding neighborhoods to let them know of a new church in the neighborhood. Praise and Proclaim Ministries was given the privilege to partnering with the launch team to train Cross of Christ members a methodology and approach to comfortably and confidently proclaim the gospel to lost souls.
This outreach initiative was held in conjunction with the semi-annual meetings of the Western Region Board of Home Missions. Over a dozen pastors and laymen from Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Arizona, Nevada, Idaho, and California came to Meridian to meet and to participate in going out door-to-door to proclaim the gospel and invite people to the opening service on September 10th, 2017.
A postcard theme was chosen that asked the questions;
“Have you ever found yourself in a seemingly impossible situation with no way out?
Have you ever felt like no matter what you did or where you went or who you talked to, there was no way out of your situation?
There is a way; his name is Jesus! And we’re here to let you know that there is hope! At Cross of Christ Lutheran we tackle difficult topics just like this one with powerful solutions direction from God’s Word.”
The postcard included an invitation to listen to a three-part sermon series that dealt with the topic of “Trapped” that were to be held in conjunction with the opening of the second-site.
This postcard was relevant to the high percentage of people who belong to the LDS Church in the designated neighborhood surrounding the second site. Mormons often feel trapped in a demanding religion with no way out. A new LDS temple is being constructed only blocks away.
The Lord blessed our efforts with thirty-one people going out to proclaim the gospel on Tuesday morning and late afternoon. The Lord allowed doors to be opened and our people were ready to proclaim a short gospel message and bring awareness to a new church that was opening in their neighborhood.
An impressive number of teenagers from Cross of Christ participated in the outreach initiative. Even though many of them admitted to being quite nervous, they confidently stepped out in faith to share their faith with others. We met families who expressed interest and enthusiasm about Cross of Christ Lutheran in Meridian, plus members had several long conversations.
We ask the Lord to bless the 128 gospel seeds that were planted and with the launch team while they continue to engage, proclaim, and invite members from the community to hear the message of salvation.