Our Stories

Authentic Community

by Sam & Patti Park

Patti: God knew that what we truly needed was an authentic community, a place to call home.

Sam: Growing up, church was a place we went to put our Christianity on display. We dressed up, sang praise songs, said the right things, and served.

Then after many years of serving and getting burnt out, we moved to a bigger church, hoping to find rest, but the actual result was that we regressed into becoming Sunday Christians.

But thankfully, God had a different plan for us.

Patti: Then we were invited to CrossWay.

We weren’t really looking for a new church, but that didn’t stop God. He let us know that something was missing.

After our first visit, we knew what that was, a place to call home. I felt a deep sense of peace and belonging, which was confirmed when I discussed it with Sam and the kids because they felt the same way.

Sam: For me the biggest testimony to authentic community was my first men’s group. The intensity, openness and safety of the group helped me to finally put off my mask and start sorting through the real stuff in my life. And the best part is I didn’t have to do it alone.

The proverb “iron sharpens iron and one man sharpens another” became truly tangible for me. It was this sharpening that had been missing from my life for a long time.

Patti: I’m also beginning to truly understand what authentic community is.

It’s a place where I can be myself. Sometimes it’s uncomfortable and messy; sometimes it’s painful; sometimes I feel exposed; but it is always freeing.

The bottom line is I no longer walk alone. I now have a community of sisters who hold me accountable.

In the 90’s TV show, Cheers, the opening song ended with the words: “You want to go where everybody knows your name.” We believe God brought us to CrossWay to show us that there is an authentic community that not only cares to know our names, but wants to share their lives as well.

God has given us something different, something unique at CrossWay.

He has given us a place to call home.