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ROTTERDAM REPORT GROWING LEAPS AND BOUNDS Rotterdam, March 31st, 2006 Dear friends, Life is never dull when you are planting a church. At least, the last few months have been anything but …. Here are some of the latest developments in Crossroads Rotterdam (XRR). The links in this letter will connect you to a relevant spot on the web… In the last six months, Crossroads Rotterdam has doubled in size. When we moved to our new building in November 2005 we were averaging around 70 people. Now we average around 150. 130 people attended our February 19 service. It was our highest attendance ever. The next service, on March 5th, was attended by 192 people (including children). 1 It was absolute mayhem. After the service a line of people waiting for coffee started in front of the stage, up one set of stairs, up another flight of stairs, and into the coffee-lounge area. Crazy! The people in Big Future (that’s the name of our children’s program) had a gazillion kids – totally beyond their capacity. At one point each of the two adults in one group of children each had a crying child on each arm, while trying to tell a Bible story. They came to me after the service: “you could have told us!” they exclaimed. Yeah – like I knew that was going to happen . [link] The growth we are experiencing consists of the following: One third is people who were previously unchurched. A number of people have started following Christ through the ministry of XRR in the last few months. Our last Alpha course was a huge success: it was a large group. I now lead a discipling group with these people. Two thirds of the new crowd is Christian, but with no meaningful church experience in the last two years. In Holland we are observing a trend that others are seeing elsewhere as well: there is a growing group of people who are unable to find a place in church. 2 Thankfully, a growing group of these people is finding a place to land in XRR. (At this point I am only aware of two people who are joining us from other churches). The quality of leadership the Management Team brings to Crossroads, has increased dramatically in the last few months. All who serve on this team do so in their spare time, yet together they form a dedicated team of very focused individuals. Each team member has a clear understanding of the area he or she is responsible for, and each is pushing out the boundaries in that area. We share a high level of energy and focus. The team culture is open and direct, gracious and fun- loving. I love this team! A recent seminar by Brian Newman on ‘spiritual authority’ was tremendously helpful. Brian explained how leadership in the church is not quite the same as leadership in the business world. The Management Team members, all of whom have leadership roles in their workplace as well, have all since remarked how helpful it is to understand the difference. Already I can tell how they are starting to lead differently: they are starting to lead from influence rather than from power. [link] XRR Academy is now in its second module. The first one was a smash-hit – judging by the evaluation forms. 13 young leaders meet weekly for training, interaction, soul-searching, and finding answers to life-defining questions. [link] In May an estimated 250 volunteers will spread themselves out over the city of Rotterdam for our SERVE THE CITY project! From May 24-28 we hope to reach out to all kinds of needs in this city 1 All numbers include children. We count children, because (we figure) children count. 2 See, for instance, A Churchless Faith by Alan Jamieson and Liquid Church, by Pete Ward. with the love and humility of Jesus Christ. [link] Preparations for this are well underway! You can be part of this if you want, either in prayer, by participating, or financially. More information on www.servethecity.nl (the PowerPoint presentation is in English), or from us! We are presently in conversation with two Dutch couples about the possibility of working with us as part of Christian Associates in Rotterdam. The possibilities are very exciting, and we (desperately) need help. Please pray for these developments; we need help! FAMILY “Never a dull moment” also goes for our family. Here are some things that have been happening. Joshua completed his CITO tests (intelligence and learning tests kids do in Holland when they are 12). Together we have chosen a ‘Middelbare School’ (a High school) for him to go to next year. It was a challenging process, but we all feel good about the school Joshua will go to next. All three of the boys are now in basketball. Joshua’s team has not lost a game yet—and there is a good chance they will become champions in their league. Joel’s team is also doing very well [link]. Judah is just getting back into the game after having taken a six-month break. His team played an amazing game last week, scoring 120 points! Rogier and Sophie are learning how to manage their lives better. January and February were too busy, but since then a number of adjustments have been made that create more margin, and more effective use of time. Thanks to some very sizable gifts from friends in the US, Rogier has been able to devote more time to Crossroads, and is now in the process of putting his business to rest. He has not taken on any new clients, and is finishing up existing responsibilities. We are grateful to all who support us with love, friendship, prayer, occasional messages and of course financial help – who make it possible for us to serve here. PRAYER Please pray for the following As we wrote above, we desperately need people to come help us full time. Crossroads is growing rapidly, and the leadership potential is huge—but we need people who can coach these emerging leaders. Sophie and I need to learn (and are learning) to manage ourselves better: busyness, time- off, health, emotions, spiritual vitality … please pray that we would find ways to handle our responsibilities better. Please pray that Serve The City will be a huge success. It is our belief that the church is not a waiting room for saints-waiting-to-go-to-heaven, but rather a mission to the world. Serve The City needs to be a dynamite experience for the participants, creating a hunger for more! We appreciate your friendship, prayers and support! Thank you for being part of our lives. As always pictures, stories, poems and (wild) thoughts can be found on our blog, http://ourjourney.typepad.com. You can also track developments of XRR on http://www.xrr.nl. Wishing you peace! Rogier and Sophie Rogier and Sophie Bos • Alouette erf 25 • 2907 BA Capelle a/d IJssel • The Netherlands • +31 (0)10 2799365 • http://ourjourney.typepad.com • firstname.lastname@example.org Financial Support info: In the US: Christian Associates Int’l • 1534 N. Moorpark Rd. • Suite 356 • Thousand Oaks, CA 91360 In Holland: Christian Associates International • ABNAMRO 47.46.98.084 • Den Haag Please designate clearly: ‘Bos family’. Your gifts are tax-deductible.
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