From time to time we have visitors who come with an expectation that CrossHope Chapel is just like other churches in style, format, and programs, but just a little smaller in scale.
We’re different. We don’t do big church in a small way.
When you first visit us at CrossHope Chapel, in West Mobile, Alabama on Sunday morning, please know that you will be warmly welcomed, greeted when you arrive, and made to feel like family.
However, you will not be handed a bulletin, labeled as a visitor, or given a welcome basket filled with logo trinkets, brochures advertising a multitude of ministries, and a map explaining our church campus.
CrossHope Chapel is not a one-size-fits-all church experience competing for crowd attendance, tithe dollars, or applauding fans. We are simply a fellowship of people in the Lordship of Jesus Christ who follow more of a New Testament model of gathering.
In fact, a visit to CrossHope Chapel on a Sunday morning is more like a visit to a favorite family members’ home than attendance at a ticketed spectator event.
When you open the door to our location the first thing you’ll notice is that we do not have pews, we have round tables. You can set your coffee, snacks, and Bible on the table top.
When we gather we are relaxed. We wear jeans, shorts, tee-shirts, beach shirts, and most times Sunday is a good day to take a day off from shaving.
When we first arrive we hangout together and enjoy coffee and breakfast snack items. You certainly don’t have to talk to anybody if you don’t want to, but on the other hand there is no hiding in a pew in quiet contemplation either.
When we start our worship time we will sing a few worship songs, then have prayer, and then we will launch into our thru-the-Bible teaching series. I will sit up front on a stool with a simple lectern, and will sometimes scrawl things on a flip chart.
When we go through our Bible teaching, I will not be pacing back and forth, raising my voice, or lecturing down to you in any kind of non-stop format. I will facilitate a conversational teaching through a verse-by-verse Bible teaching, from an opened Bible, and the Bible only.
When we meet we gather more like a family than a congregation of clicks and strangers. We sometimes have children present, and while we want to provide children programs for them we don’t always have a leader for that, but always have resources for parents to have and use in order to help occupy them.
When we gather we are laid-back, but we are not as unorganized as we seem. We start a 10:00 AM but most may not show up until then. I watch the clock, so you don’t have to – its important to me that everyone has some degree of opportunity to fellowship, but I do aim to keep us all on track so we are out by 12:30 PM.
When you come visit us, please know that we – the people – are different, too. We come to CrossHope Chapel because we want to grow in grace in an environment that is different from every other church in town. It is more important to us to have a relationship with our Lord than the approval of a denomination, a church, or even a minister.
We come to CrossHope Chapel because we are not always comfortable in big crowds, charmed by rock star style productions, attracted to one-sided pulpit oration, engaged by choirs in beautiful robes, impressed by a firm handshake of welcome for visitors, nor are we easily moved by dramatic piano synced emotionally worded altar calls.
We are content with a simple and smaller approach, but also restless to grow in number and the gifts new members can bring to our fellowship for new ministries, so we trust in the promise of Zechariah 4:6 which says “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts” (ESV).
We value being authentic and having a no-judgement church zone to grow in biblical faith, while we patiently wait for God’s leading in our future, and while we remain committed to being “steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:42).
We simply teach the word simply, provide pastoral care to our fellowship, and prayer for one-another as we all seek to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18).
We know one thing for sure, that “where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20).