Collective Effort

I don't often write about our church. I'm hesitant to do so. I don't want to make you jealous. :)

Crossway is doing something special and innovative with youth ministry.

We're at the stage in our church plant where "common wisdom" would advise starting a youth group. Do you know what that would look like? Crossway could pull together a youth band and buy a bunch of boxes of pizza and in a couple of months could have something that kids want to come to.

But here's the problem. Crossway. "Crossway could pull together ..." One church. Newly planted. A great church, but a limited set of resources. And in our faces are thousands and thousand of kids. Kids who won't be reached with the "common wisdom" approach to youth group.

So Crossway is doing something different. We're joining in with two other church plants to start something we're calling "The Collective." Three different church plants are getting together to launch a youth group. Listen to the rationale from Jon Elswick, Crossway's Lead Pastor:

[The Collective] provides an environment where students who attend the same schools, but different churches can connect and build relationships. And perhaps most importantly, it teaches our students from the time they are in middle and high school that what is most important is not one church - but the kingdom of God.
This is a model we're experimenting with in InterVarsity too. What would it look like to organize a ministry strategy around collective effort? What if we built something bigger than ourselves?

Photo by Bill Larned


  1. I love this concept for the youth. I hope the youth do see that Christianity surpasses denominations, something I see people struggle with everyday. How is that concept being applied to InterVarsity? I feel like campus groups already do that to some extent because many different people join them.

  2. You're right, Abbie. This concept already shows up in the small scale in InterVarsity, as students from different churches connect to serve and bless campus. Now we're trying to figure out how to do this on the larger scale. How do we do in a city what we're doing on a campus? We're trying to connect churches in a concerted way to the campuses in their neighborhoods. But it is pretty tricky.