The Crossing
Better | Circles
We want to win at home. Relationships are complicated, hard, and at times hurtful. When God made us He made us for community. It is one of the primary ways we are to experience Him, learn about Him, and grow in Him. The family unit was intended to be the greatest expression of this.
Locations & Times
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  • Crossing Online
    Thursday 6:00 PM, Sunday 9:00 AM, Sunday 10:45 AM
  • The Crossing - Hannibal
    205 S 5th St, Hannibal, MO 63401, USA
    Thursday 6:00 PM, Sunday 9:00 AM, Sunday 10:45 AM
  • The Crossing - Jacksonville
    803 S Diamond St, Jacksonville, IL 62650, USA
    Sunday 10:00 AM
  • The Crossing - Keokuk
    610 Timea St, Keokuk, IA 52632, USA
    Thursday 6:00 PM, Sunday 9:00 AM, Sunday 10:45 AM
  • The Crossing - Kirksville
    810 E Shepherd Ave, Kirksville, MO 63501, USA
    Sunday 9:00 AM, Sunday 10:45 AM
  • The Crossing - Lima
    2902 IL-96, Lima, IL 62348, USA
    Sunday 9:00 AM
  • The Crossing - Macomb
    1600 W Jackson St, Macomb, IL 61455, USA
    Thursday 6:00 PM, Sunday 9:00 AM, Sunday 10:45 AM
  • The Crossing - Monmouth
    215 S 1st St, Monmouth, IL 61462, USA
    Sunday 9:00 AM, Sunday 10:45 AM
  • The Crossing - Mount Sterling
    979 895e St, Mt Sterling, IL 62353, USA
    Thursday 6:00 PM, Sunday 10:00 AM
  • The Crossing - Pike County
    28842 IL-107, Griggsville, IL 62340, USA
    Thursday 6:00 PM, Sunday 9:00 AM, Sunday 10:45 AM
  • The Crossing - Quincy 48th Street
    150 S 48th St, Quincy, IL 62305, USA
    Thursday 6:00 PM, Sunday 9:00 AM, Sunday 10:45 AM
  • The Crossing - Quincy 929
    929 Monroe St, Quincy, IL 62301, USA
    Thursday 6:00 PM, Sunday 9:00 AM, Sunday 10:45 AM
About The Crossing
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The is a multi-campus, non-denominational Christian church with locations in Illinois, Missouri, and Iowa. We exist to minister in local communities, following our core values to bring people to an intimate and personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Visit www.thecrossing.net to learn more about our church.

To make the most of your experience, we encourage you to follow along with the provided sermon notes, as well as take your own notes. You can also download the OneCrossing app to watch past sermons and stay connected. www.thecrossing.net/app
If you are having trouble with the terrible two’s or navigating the murky waters of elementary school kids, hanging on for dear life during the teenage years, or watching while holding your breath as they graduate high school, you are not alone.









We can feel incredible pressure to make sure that our children turn out OK, do better than we did, and don’t make any disastrous mistakes. Having a child is like having your heart walking around outside of your body. You are only responsible for your part, God always does His part, and they have to do their part.

The younger the child, the more control we have. The older we get the more we fall into the role of consultant. Your ability to become a consultant in the future is how well we manage the transition out of control. This is how we help them do their part. The way we do this is with circles.

Everyone needs someone. That is why God created the family. In His plan you would have a father and mother who would help you grow and develop. Beyond that you would have grandparents, family members, step parents, coaches, directors, teachers and Difference Makers.
When Jesus came to earth, before He began His ministry, the first thing He did was create a circle. In fact, He created two circles. The inner three, Peter, James and John. The remaining nine were His outer circle.
In fact, God is a circle unto Himself - The Father, the Son and the Spirit.
Another way of looking at a circle is to see it as a board room. If you are the company, who do you want calling the shots for you, for your kids? This would be a helpful exercise. List the eight loudest voices in your life. List the 8-12 loudest voices in you child’s life.
You have heard the saying, “it takes a village”. That is a nod to the circles in your kids’ lives.
You may have also heard that you are the average of your five closest friends. Sociologists have taken this a step further in their studies. It is not just how you are influenced but your five closest friends, but by who influences friends of friends. They tracked it through obesity and drug use. Obese friends make you 45% more likely to gain weight over the next two to four years. If a friend of a friend becomes obese, your likelihood of gaining weight increases by 20%. Drug use had similar results at 61%, 29% and 11%. The same is true of happiness. If a friend of a friend of a friend is happy, you are 6% more likely to be happy yourself or experience a 6% increase in happiness. While 6% may not sound like much, if you all got a $10,000 raise it would only trigger a 2% increase in your happiness.
Friends of your kids’ friends end up having significant influence.
The younger your child is, the more control you have over their board room. The older your child gets, your goal is that your kids allows you to consult on who is in the board room and eventually prepare them to carefully consider who they put in the board room of their life.
This is important because a better circle provides a better experience.
The quality of your circle increases the quality of your child’s life, choices and direction.
How we treat the other people in the board room has an impact on the quality of the circle we help create. Parents fighting or divorced parents refusing to agree creates chaos in the board room and your kids start looking for other people to fill your seats. That is why you need people in your circle, sitting in your boardroom, to guide and direct you.
Furthermore, as your child ages, they will start filling seats even if you are doing everything right.
How many of you have said the same thing over and over to your kids and they don’t listen, but as soon as one teacher, or coach says it they are all in? Instead of getting frustrated that they didn’t listen to you, be thankful that they have other great people in the boardroom of their life. They have wise counsel in their circle.
That is why we want to partner with you as a church. We want to help you fill out your circle and the circle of your kids. Difference Makers, Mentors and Life Group Leaders all play a huge role in your spiritual development and the development of your child. My parents did this with me on multiple occasions. Jennifer and I were always thankful for the investment others have made in Kennedy’s life. We love it when the coolest people in our boys’ lives are people from church. This is why regular attendance helps. This is why we have our Difference Makers pick a service to serve at regularly. We are not childcare, we are helping to build a better circle so your child has a better experience. This is one of the reasons that camp is so critical to your child’s spiritual journey. It gives them plenty of time with a circle.
The circle needs to challenge them. A good circle will never leave you where you are. It will accept you and love you where you are, but it will not leave you there.
I am not saying that your circle shouldn’t comfort you.
But, I am saying that your circle should push you.
We do not need to delay spiritual maturity. We do not need to put off pushing and challenging each other and our kids in the area of growth.
We do not get everything right, so we need people to coach and help us navigate the challenges of life.
We have changed our kids ministry to This Gen. For a long time we have called it next, but our kids are not next, they are now. We are going to push them, challenge them and give them chances to lead. We are developing leaders of today, not tomorrow.
We want them prepared to make a difference. We want them ready to handle their faith. We want them equipped to choose their circles, we want them empowered to be in someone else’s.
This sermon is not just for your kids, it is about you. Who is in your circle? Whose circle are you in? What kind of board member are you being?
I know we are at church, but let me tell you why you all need to seriously consider letting Jesus be the chairman of your board. He left His privilege and His rights to identify with us. He lived a life of perfection, not just as an example for us to follow, in order to pay a price we could not pay. He willingly chose to suffer alongside us and in our place. He sacrificed so we could be set free. He gave up control that was rightfully His, and it is up to us as to whether or not we seek Him out for counsel and advice. He has all the answers since he is the one who created life in the first place. If you don’t have Him in your life, not only will it never become what it was designed to be, but you will never be able to fulfill the role you were destined to play in the circles of others.

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