CINCINNATI -- Crossroads is the fastest-growing church in the United States, according to Outreach Magazine, and it’s continued to draw an ever-increasing congregation through innovative expressions of centuries-old Christian tradition.
in an Outreach profile of the organization, which counts a total of 28,386 parishioners across its 10 physical campuses in Ohio and Kentucky and more online.
Among those new ways of reaching modern Americans are programs such as Undivided, which encourages mixed-race groups of parishioners to learn and think about race in a nonjudgemental environment, and Awaited, a well-attended Christmas show with a broad cast.
Although Crossroads is making significant investments in programming -- alongside Awaited, the organization recently bought 400 acres of land for "primal camping weekends" in the woods -- Tome wrote that these are investments in meeting parishioners where they are and creating experiences that engage them in their faith. The camping trips, for instance, play into the modern maxim that experiential purchases are more valuable than physical ones.
"People are now drawn to expressions of the church that aren’t bound by traditional brick and mortar, and our campaign is enabling this to happen," Tome wrote. " … This has resulted in reaching people we never have before and growing our own people in ways beyond the norm."
The value of Christianity is timeless, he wrote. God’s teachings are as true as they have ever been. It’s the role of Crossroads and other churches to help others realize that, the more the world changes, the more important faith and community become.
"We could feel beaten down as we notice we’re becoming aliens in a culture that seemingly wants nothing to do with God’s ways," he wrote. "Or, we can see that we’re actually offering a way to peace in a world that’s grinding people down to a nub."