Happy new year! Things have been a little quiet on Crossring over the past few weeks (we didn’t even wish you a merry Christmas!) but we are ushering in the new decade with a new article series beginning today.
At this time of year, most websites are busy reflecting on the last twelve months. Crossring re-launched just four months ago, however, and I think the Team would agree that it wouldn’t be fitting to have a self-reflexive look at our highlights since September. I do think it would be helpful, however, to draw attention to our Mission Statement. Our Mission Statement is our declaration of what we hope to achieve with Crossring, and I hope that a reminder of our basis today will serve as a reminder of our vision for the coming year.
Organisations like Crossring have to have mission statements, and rightly bandy them about from time to time. But what does our seven-point plan look like in real life? How does the Mission Statement affect our planning of articles, contributions on forums, and whatever other activities we engage in? I remain convinced that Crossring is an exciting project, and I think a closer look at the Mission Statement demonstrates why.
With the obvious caveat of modesty, we are all thinking Christians (statement 1). The Team here are contributing to a website about Christianity, writing articles about the Bible and Christian living. Visitors to the site are reading pieces encouraging and challenging them in the Christian life; they are engaging with their faith actively beyond a church service. I can think of articles in our Mark Marathon which changed my thinking on a particular area, and I hope that other readers can say the same.
We also represent a broad church (2). It is striking that denominational differences do not play any part in Crossring – just search “Anglican” or “Church of England”, and you will find that in the hundreds of articles and hundreds of thousands of words on the website, each term has been used less than 10 times. Until this piece, we have not published the word “charismatic”. We accord to an evangelical position, and follow the Evangelical Alliance Basis of Faith. We adhere to a widely accepted evangelical position on issues judged by Christians through the ages to be of central importance to the gospel, and collectively defer to the conscience of each believer on others. And in so doing I trust that we remain united in the gospel (3). We may discuss disagreements from time to time, but aim always to encourage and edify one another.
We wish to provide Christians with resources which they will find useful and fruitful (4). We plan article series which are aimed at challenging and encouraging readers, helping them to deepen their love of God and his gospel. We publish reviews of good literature which will be of practical help or spiritual edification. We hope that we will not publish anything for the sake of it, but because it is fruitful and useful in the lives of those writing and reading it. But we also hope to resource those who write pieces by helping them develop skills and knowledge in the process of contributing to the site (5). Aside from rare occasions, none of the articles on Crossring are written by people with formal theological training. We are “non-professionals”, as it were, and the Team will doubtless testify that they have found contributing longer pieces to the site both challenging and rewarding. To this end, we are keen to get visitors to the site involved in writing for it – check out the Crossring Guide for information if you are interested!
Crossring is not the be all and end all of online Christian publishing, however, and we love to point people towards better, fuller, and more enriching resources elsewhere (6). This is an area of the site we have not developed particularly well (or, rather, at all) but efforts in this direction should begin to appear before long. We are looking to expand the selection of books, films, magazines, websites, journals, and any other media, that we review. We are also looking at a new feature profiling some of the latest resources. Again, if you can write a review or even just point us in the right direction, please do so!
In all of this, we hope that Crossring will glorify God as the gospel is studied and discussed on the site (6).
I wrote just a month ago about the recent changes to the look of the website. (Incidentally, we have continued to make small tweaks here and there.) The big project for 2010 is getting the website in line with what we want it to be. This means a bit of work in a few areas.
I do not think there is another website like Crossring. Our Mission Statement demonstrates a commitment to being faithful to the gospel first and foremost, but as a result also a commitment to Christian unity around the truths of Jesus. We hope to be outward-looking and “grassroots” in our efforts to help contribute to Christian resources on the Internet. I hope this closer look at our aims has demonstrated why Crossring is such an exciting project to be involved in, and why I am thoroughly looking forward to what is in store for 2010. Please join us as we journey into the New Year!
Ali grew up in London, but is currently at university in the North East of England. He helped to re-launch Crossring in 2009, and has acted as Managing Editor of the website since then. He occasionally dabbles in photography and web development - he also designed and maintains the Crossring website.
Crossring is a community of Christians who meet together online in fellowship around the Christian faith and the Bible.
As part of our active lifestyle of prayer and Bible reading, we are currently reading a small section of the Bible together each day and sharing our responses to it with each other. We also publish a short devotional thought on a key verse or two from each day's passage to prompt prayer or reflection.