Every once in a while, you meet someone whose heart, core values, and mission fit hand-in-hand with your own. When it happens you feel you are with lifelong friends. That best describes what happened when I visited Doug and Dawn Routledge at Crossroads Farm, in Reading, Michigan. They have a passion for the mission field of rural America, with a specific focus on rural teens.
Crossroads Farm was founded in 1999 and is out in the middle of nowhere. They minister to 200 rural teens with a ministry that equals or surpasses that of even the largest churches. Teens travel for up to an hour to experience worship, quality teaching, and discipleship designed just for them. I was more than impressed with what this ministry is doing.
A dream I have shared with many people is to simultaneously plant a cluster of rural churches in a region. Part of that vision involves a regional youth ministry. This would allow rural churches to have the critical mass needed to attract and disciple rural teens. We even envisioned it being a metal building out in a field somewhere. This is what Crossroads Farm is doing.
I am currently praying about how God would have us partner with this ministry. Their vision, like ours, is to go national. They are starting ministries in northern Michigan and are partnering with Celebrate Church in South Dakota. I cannot help but wonder if they will be a strategic partner in our rural church planting and revitalization initiatives.
Our next steps involve several DRN leaders visiting Crossroads Farm in January. They will experience the weekly meeting on a Sunday evening, meet with the staff on Monday, and then join in on the monthly training leaders and volunteers experience monthly.
I highly recommend visiting their website Crossroadsfarm.org. Take the time to watch the videos and listen to the podcasts. This is a time-tested ministry that has a lot to teach all of us interested in rural ministry.
I also ask for your prayers and financial support. We need God’s wisdom on how to partner. We also need to raise the funds to send a team to learn from them and discuss future partnerships. If you would like to financially support DRN Click Here. (Be sure to check Dirt Roads Network in the pull down menu.)
Thank you for your prayers and support. Who knows what God has in mind.