Wenatchee's Crosswalk Builds God's Kingdom

When Gary Blanchard, minister, arrived at the Wenatchee (Wash.) Church, he found a group of lay people who wanted to make a difference in the lives of community youth. So they pulled together and formed the Core Participants Rally (CPR). From that start, they divided the team into five ministries: worship, discipleship, fellowship, ministry and evangelism.

One of the programs they began is the Crosswalk service on the first Friday night of each month. Worship team leaders such as Erica Blanchard and Mary Vargus welcome between 30 and 40 youth who are invited to join in a mixer and music. The speaker for the evening is intentionally spiritual with a gospel presentation and a call for the youth to accept Jesus, including decision cards.

After two evenings, six youth have enrolled in baptismal classes. More Crosswalk services are planned. This service has also led to the establishment of another service on the third Sabbath of the month, which is an intergenerational service.

"The team knows people must belong before they believe," Blanchard says. "Crosswalk helps them become connected, involved, and to feel like family."