Miracles still happen !
Yes, it's true! The Lord still does the seemingly impossible. The story of Crossroads, which was 30 years old when the new millennium rolled around, is living proof. Beginning as an unpretentious home bible study for 12-year-old girls, we at Crossroads have merely watched as the Lord has done far "above anything we could ask or think" in transforming the lives of many, many people.
The 70's and 80's
As the 12-year-old girls became teens, they invited boys to join them and Crossroads turned into a part-time high school youth ministry. In 1972, the ministry was incorporated as a tax-exempt organization and in January, 1973, Jack Gerry, an engineer at Raytheon Company, left his profession to become the full time director of the newly incorporated Crossroads, Inc. During the early years, Crossroads had already developed a five-part ministry which was obviously blessed by the Lord; many young people had become believers and had been radically transformed. A number of them had decided to pursue lifetime careers in Christian ministry.
During the 70's and 80's several young men and women who "graduated" from Crossroads were being noticed by the New England church community. As early as 1976, churches began to contact Crossroads, requesting staff people who could disciple high school students. None of what took place during these formative years was the result of careful planning; everything that happened was marked with an undeniable authenticity. The Lord called Crossroads into being, and He continued to shape it and use it as He so directed. He was the captain.
Miracles – late 70's
The girls' bible study which had started in the Gerry's home was providentially moved to a larger facility as the first of many miraculous provisions began to unfold. From that point on, whatever the rapidly expanding work needed was miraculously provided by totally unexpected means. The new meeting place was the Sudbury Grange Hall smack in the center of town; from there, the ministry moved to the more than adequate Howe Hall located just one mile from the high school. It soon became obvious to everyone involved in this exciting work that the Lord would provide for Crossroads' needs as long as the Board and Staff remained faithful to His call. By the end of the 70s, Crossroads had grown so large that even Howe Hall was not sufficient to hold the number of college and high school kids who were involved in the ministry. Obviously, something had to be done about the space problem.
Crossroads Church Teams – '76
During the summer of 76, Crossroads sent out its first six ministry teams to serve in area churches, and the "Crossroads Church Team Ministry" was born. By the 80's Crossroads had supplied more than 20 trained, salaried youth workers to Metrowest Boston churches.
Miracles of the 80's
In 1981, Crossroads was presented with a check for $200, 000 with the provision that we were to purchase a facility which
could become a live-in study center for other young adults who desired to live in a Christian Community. Thus, the new Community phase of the Crossroads ministry was born. As churches continued to request Church Team Ministry staff, a new concept of ministry naturally evolved. By 1983, Crossroads had a full-time staff of 12 very capable youth workers, a part time summer staff of 18 to 20, and numerous part time volunteers. It was at this juncture that the "Crossroads Church Alliance Ministry" came into being. This was a unique youth outreach program which was soon to become a popular ministry all over New England.
Miracles continue – '81!
The Church Alliances drew together groups of co-located churches, all of which were genuinely burdened and committed to reach local teens with a well done, biblically based discipleship program. A typical Alliance consisted of three to five churches which shared a youth ministry director who was trained and managed by Crossroads. Through an annual recruitment program and a three-month summer training program, Crossroads screened potential college age young adults who felt called to full-time youth work. Requests for more Church Alliance Ministries were pouring in faster than the personnel needs could be met. Crossroads was expanding at an impossible rate!
Still more miracles !!
Thanks to the colossal effort of a volunteer, a request was made to Digital Corporation. Digital was asked to consider giving Crossroads a computer system … and miraculously, it happened ! Once again the Lord provided far in excess of anything anticipated. A check for $154, 000 from Digital purchased a completely integrated computer system for the Study Center. This up-to-date, state of the art system added a new capability to the ever blossoming Crossroads ministry. As the decade of the 80's came to a close, the Crossroads ministry was bulging at the seams. Kids throughout New England were attending several large retreat gatherings each year and the Lord was bringing hundreds of kids to Himself annually.
Crossroads continues to grow – '89
By 1989, Crossroads was ministering to approximately 2000 New England high school and college-age young people. The Crossroads Study Center and live-in community in Framingham, MA was thriving and growing by leaps and bounds. From every vantage point, Crossroads seemed to be blessed beyond measure. That is …. blessed beyond measure except in one VERY significant area.
A Disturbing Observation
At this time (the beginning of the 90's), a number of the Crossroads staff were voicing a mushrooming concern; although just as many teens were still "accepting Christ as Savior", there was a noticeable lack of godliness in the lifestyle of new "converts." The transformation which had earlier been present in teens, following the new birth experience, was no longer visible. Something was different!
Concurrent with the recognition of this lack of transformation, Jack was serving on the Board of Directors of the National Network of Youth Ministries. Having become close friends with several outstanding youth ministers, he inquired about this absence of godliness. He learned from seasoned youth ministers nation-wide that this situation was not unique to New England. New Christians country-wide were not displaying the same godliness that had previously been shown. Coinciding with this problem of ministry "fruit", Crossroads reached a point organizationally which demanded wise attention.
The Crossroads Board had grown to the unwieldy size of 44 very busy men and women. In addition, Crossroads had hired, on faith, two additional full-time senior staff, both of whom were exceptional youth workers. With these additions to the staff, Crossroads was on the map! Some Board members were even thinking "franchise" during this explosive period. But … in the language of the business world, Crossroads was under-capitalized. The work had grown to such an extent, that it took every penny of income received just to pay the operational costs of the ministry.
That was a significant problem in and of itself, but an even more significant predicament became obvious. All of the headquarters staff were seriously overloaded with work and the Gerrys were indeed burned to a crisp. Although the ministry had begun 20 years earlier based on a total dependence on the Lord, Crossroads was now suffering from a runaway growth experience that was devastating. Despite the fact that Crossroads had become known for its well done programs, the behind the scenes picture was alarming. Jack and Nancy were exhausted. The passion for Jesus Christ that had ignited the initial flames of the ministry were all but depleted and Jack and Nancy were operating on fumes.
However, by the Grace of God, the Lord was not finished with Crossroads and He made it abundantly clear to the Gerrys and a handful of close-in Board members that the youth ministry was to slowly be terminated.
A change in mission in the wind – 90's
As plans for discontinuing the youth ministry were being made, the Lord showed that He also had other changes in mind. With unmistakable clarity, He mandated a dramatic reduction in the size of the Board. In addition, He called the new Board to change the mission of the ministry. During the 90's, Crossroads underwent a facelift that was to forever change, not only its mission, but its very heartbeat as well. What had been a high profile, high energy, multi-faceted program to teens was to become a ministry which would work almost exclusively with adults.
Neither the Gerry's, nor any member of the new Crossroads Board could have guessed what the Lord had in store for Crossroads. The youth ministry feature gradually phased out during a two-year time period. Then, much to their surprise, the Gerry's were called to provide part-time, interim pastorship in four N.E. churches in the early 90's. The four interim assignments in different, denominational, evangelical churches were richly blessed. Jack and Nancy gained valuable church-management experience that would later serve them well. In retrospect, this period was all a part of the Lord's on-the-job-training for what lay ahead, In addition to Jack's serving as interim pastor, the Gerry's expanded an already existing seminar/conference work.
At the same time, Jack was also asked to speak at numerous church and para-church retreats and to become licensed to marry. This was a delightful time! As the adult and church-focused ministry grew, it became apparent that Jack and Nancy had to make another major change in their ministry lives. As the Board observed the direction the ministry was taking, they became concerned that, as pleasurable as the new ministry was, coupled with the Study Center demands, the Gerry's were too busy . Heeding the Lord's call to pray and listen, they agreed together that the changing nature of the ministry, the tremendous overhead demands of the Framingham Study Center, Jack's obvious ministry gifts and the Gerry's newly blessed calling, clearly pointed to selling the Study Center.
The new mission begun – '97
In light of the mission change, the Study Center was no longer needed. The sale would eliminate the encumbrances entailed in operating such a large facility; it further reduced the administrative demands on the Gerry's which allowed them to completely refocus the direction of the ministry. In 1997, the Study Center which had met Crossroads' needs for 15 years, was sold.
A new Study Center in Sudbury – '98
To accommodate the new direction of the ministry, a two level addition to the Gerry's home in Sudbury was built. The new Crossroads' Study Center provides the ministry with ground level office space and the large, second floor "Meeting Room" which also houses Jack's extensive Christian library. Since the completion of this facility, Crossroads, formerly a highly programmatic, high powered youth ministry, has become a quiet ministry to adults. The work is aimed at encouraging too busy laymen and pastors to get back to the basics of a rewarding devotional life.
"Spiritual Intimacy" has become the defining message of the Crossroads ministry. In contrast to having plans and schedules that define the ministry, the Board has redefined the mission in terms of availability. The Board, along with the Gerrys, desire nothing more than to be available to proclaim the message of intimacy wherever, whenever, and however the Lord may lead. Whether by means of the pulpit, seminars, or face-to-face meetings …. and particularly by means of regular, planned phone conversations and e-mail contacts ….. the Gerrys and the Crossroads' Board members serve a number of "fellow-travelers" in a wide geographical area. As the end of 2001 fast approaches, the Gerry's schedule is filled with ample opportunities to encourage other Kingdom laborers via these avenues. What some call mentoring and others label discipleship, the Gerrys call life-sharing. Believing that there is only one true Discipler or Mentor,
Jack and Nancy share their life journey with anyone who desires a listening ear and a prayerful spirit. Crossroad's message is sharply focused as this web site illustrates. The engine that drives the ministry is the growing passion for intimacy with Jesus Christ as Friend, as well as, Savior and Lord, and the desire to share that passion with others.
A Huge Change: A Move to Raymond, ME.
In August of 2003, Jack and Nancy and family moved to Raymond Maine.
A Growing Passion
After much prayer the Crossroads Board sensed that the Lord was sharply focusing the mission of ministry. More specifically, the Board sensed that the intimacy message was to become the heart and soul – the very passion of the Gerrys – as they began to respond to the repeated calls to meet with others concerning the need for a "return to the essence of the Gospel". What was becoming increasingly clearer was the Gerry's call to be available to ministry leadership people who were wrestling with the dramatic impact of the "Post Modern" era on the Christian culture.
It is what has taken place since that change in location… now three years ago … that is simply a Divine confirmation of the Lord's direction: that the Board's sensed that the Gerrys needed to be totally available to people as they were called to listen to hurts and struggles of many evangelical ministers of the Word. As of this update Jack and Nancy are literally swamped with calls asking for one-on-one meetings with good, solid, ministering people who feel overwhelmed by the shifting sands of the changing Christian culture By means of this web page we will continue to describe the events of ministry that are causing the Gerrys to live the life Paul describes in Ephesians 5:15-20. Stay tuned as we continue to unfold the current events that occupy our 24/7 days at our quiet retreat setting in Raymond, Maine.
Since summer of 2003
This brief update is being written in January 2009, six years after the Gerry's moved to Maine. Once again the report of the Gerrys and the Board is the same: The Lord's faithfulness to His calling has continued. At nearly 78 years of age Jack and Nancy have slowed down a bit, but their passion has grown even stronger. Believing that Jesus Christ, and His overarching Desire to become the very Life of all believers, is the ONLY answer to every true believer who wants to please his or her Heavenly Father..
Although the first 18 months in Maine were seemingly very dry, even during that period the Lord was at work. Jack and Nancy visited several local churches; but, what became increasingly obvious was disheartening. Most churches in the neighboring towns were not preaching a Galatians 2:20 life and lifstyle.
During 2006, Jack was invited to preach in two different denominational churches. Jack and Nancy attended one of these churches for a year and a half. In fact, in the early spring months of 2007, Jack was asked to do a six (6) week Monday night seminar on Spiritual Intimacy in the church the Gerrys were attending. The pastor was extremely gracious; but, out of a group of 30 plus "good-church going people", only two (2) or three (3) families actually experienced a genuine life transformation.
The original, founding pastor left the church the year after the seminar and another man took over the pulpit. After a few one-on-one meetings with the new man, the sad truth once again came forth. This man would pay little or no attention to the intimacy faith-journey. The gospel of works is the sometimes subtle and sometimes not so subtle message that is preached and taught through in every church out this area.
Despite the negative account just described, the Crossroads' ministry has literally exploded for three years now.
During last few months of 2007 and continuing through 2008, Jack and Nancy have witnessed an overwhelming number of people who wanted to develop a deeper life in Christ. The still growing email, phone call, and home meetings' ministry has continued to keep the Gerrys more than busy. Their plight, as they enter 2009, involves exercising good, prayerful, judgement in keeping themselves from becoming TOO BUSY !
This is not a small problem, for anyone who is a lover of people and a person who wants to be truly available to the Lord. The blessed truth that supercedes all other truths is that "His Grace is Sufficient". But!!! It is we who must come boldly to the throne when we sense that our connection has become weak.
Updated in 2015
As 2015 comes to an end Crossroads continues to minister the message of Spiritual Inimacy to indiviuals who contact the Gerry via phone or email. The past year journey has had several unexpected bumps for Crossroads' board members..
The fall was filled with the passing of Jack Fogg, the much loved close friend of Jack and Nancy, and the chairperson of the ministy. And, Kathy Sketchley had an appreciable set back with surgery on her back. On the home front, Nancy had a number of trips to doctors and hospitals in Portland.
Despite the medical probllems, Crossroads has been blessed beyond measure by several long-time believers who have contacted the Gerrys to schedule phoncons in which to discuss the Intimacy paradigm.
In September Wayne and Sara Jacobsen spent a week with the Gerrys; and, Wayne did an invitational seminar to a few leadership people in NE. This meeting was received with a great deal of enthusiasm and 30 plus men and women came .. some from as far away as NY.
Jack added a new web site opening page that was prompted by a 1996 book by Chuck Swinddoll entitled "Intimacy with the Almighty". As soon as the new page hit the wire, emails came in saying that some believers had already discovered the new page.