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Christian Union
June 24, 2017

Christian Union Join City-Wide Outreach

By Tom Campisi, Managing Editor

BoldlyBlessingIt was Jesus Week in New York City. Scott Crosby had the honor of closing in prayer at the culminating event, a massive praise and proclamation rally to lift up the name of Jesus in Times Square.

Crosby, the ministry director for Christian Union New York, looked over the crowd of thousands of believers, seekers, and onlookers, and prayed the words of Psalm 107. 

“I prayed for boldness for the church in New York to talk about Christ,” he said. “This psalmist speaks to the redeemed about  all they have to be thankful for, all that which the Lord has redeemed them from, and the blessings He has given them. This is a prayer for us, as the church, to remember what the Gospel has done for us and to take it to those in the city who have not heard or who have not responded to this good news.”

Jesus Week was held from May 27 to June 3 in all five boroughs. Coordinated by Concerts of Prayer Greater New York, the event united Christians of various denominations and ethnicities for prayer walks through zip codes, worship, acts of service, ministry to the poor, and evangelism. 

On a beautiful Saturday evening, Crosby joined with other city leaders for the main event in Midtown Manhattan.

“The experience of praying on the stage in the middle of Times Square was memorable and surreal.  It was not something I had ever imagined doing, even though I have walked through that area countless times before,” Crosby said. “I had not imagined taking over a block in the heart of New York’s busiest square to pray and talk about Christ openly and unequivocally. Thousands of people were walking through the square, resting and conversing, shopping, being tourists—and on that day, they heard the Gospel.”

Christian Union, a sponsor of Jesus Week, often partners with Concerts of Prayer Greater New York for  various events and activities related to prayer in the city.  For the last 22 years, Concerts of Prayer has directed The Lord’s Watch, a 24/7, 365-day-a-year prayer effort with 100 churches that centers around four R’s: “Revival in the Church, Reconciliation between Churches and Races, the Reformation of Society, and Reaching out with the Gospel.”

With a passion for and a reliance on prayer, Concerts of Prayer and Christian Union are natural partners. 

“Concerted and consistent prayer has been a hallmark of Christian Union since its inception; we pray daily as individuals, as teams, and as an entire organization,” said Crosby.

Evangelism is also paramount, both on college campuses with Christian Union Universities and in key metropolitan areas with Christian Union Cities. Crosby has had the chance to see that emphasis grow in his community groups of young professionals in New York.   

“Evangelism is generally woven into the various community groups we organize, as well as in the events we host,” he said. “Generating thoughtful conversations about Christ is a natural outcome of what we do in the pursuit of our mission – to see lives and the culture transformed by the Gospel.”

In June, Crosby led a lengthy conversation about being a witness among colleagues and friends who identify as atheists and agnostics.  

“With millennials, in particular, there is an aspect to imagination that is important in conversations on the Gospel.  They aren’t in need of facts/information as much as the need to have their imaginations engaged to think about life and faith biblically...” he said. “And part of this involves community – that imagining a life where faith is central requires more than one person explaining it; it requires stepping into it with others…”

Looking back on the past year for Christian Union New York, Crosby was encouraged by the engagement of the community groups and participation in regular salons and forums  that were offered. As these young professionals grow in grace and continue to mature, they can help make his Jesus Week prayer of Psalm 107 a reality.

“These are young leaders who have the capacity to bring about far-reaching change,” Crosby said. “They have a lifetime ahead of them and are willing to approach their calling in different ways – looking at reshaping their vocations in redemptive ways, developing networks that cross spheres and cities, and challenging the status quo, as most new generations do.”
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