HOUSTON—Rev. Dustin Lappe said he hadn’t planned to be a pastor or a church planter. Yet Lappe, lead pastor of Cross of Christ Lutheran Church, Aurora, Colo., addressed The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod Convention about the “adventure” of the new congregation he’s serving that meets each week in a movie theater.
The 64th Regular Convention of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod is meeting July 10-17 at the George R. Brown Convention Center under the theme “ONE People–Forgiven.” Among the approximately 3,000 participants are some 1,200 clergy and lay voting delegates.
Lappe’s “adventure” as a church planter has been both exciting and scary at the same time.
Cross of Christ held its first service in October 2009 at Southlands Movie Theater in Aurora, Lappe said. He said the ministry of Cross of Christ is not about where the congregation meets, but about its people.
“Not having a building forces us into the community to meet people,” Lappe said. The congregation is intentionally trying to reach people who are unchurched or who have been away from church for some time, he added.
Lappe said Cross of Christ encourages participation of members with four emphases:
- “Living to Worship.” The congregation offers “casual, contemporary, and family-friendly worship of our God as a community of believers,” according to its website.
- “Living to Learn.” Cross of Christ offers intentional opportunities for members to learn about God’s Word.
- “Living to Serve.” The congregation looks for chances “to love God and to love others,” according to its website
- “Living to Go.” The congregation emphasizes the church’s mission by reaching out to others, especially those searching for truth, with Christ’s love.
Cross of Christ also has intentional ministries for adults, children and students. In his remarks to the convention, Lappe cited several examples of members and others who have been touched by Cross of Christ ministries.
“God has helped me see there is a need for church starts,” Lappe said. “We’re nothing special. We are an ordinary group of people who love God. We believe God has placed us alongside others so that His story can become their story.” He added that there is “great value” in being a community of grace.
Cross of Christ’s story is on its website at www.crossofchristlc.com.
Posted July 13, 2010