2016 Staff Articles

Leadership Team Retreat 2016

By Tracy Armentrout


We just had our annual Leadership Retreat at the church the first weekend in October.  We kicked off our time together Friday Evening with a bonfire and great conversation around specific topics concerning Crossroads Christian Church. We had an excellent evening of weather, S’mores, and discussion around ministry. This was followed by a bright-eyed-and-bushy-tailed Team Exercise in the gym Saturday morning designed to test our teamwork and patience! It turned out that Ben Sander, Scott Hughes, Pam Allen, and Vangie Kelso were able to blaze a trail for the rest of the team and, as a group, complete the exercise! Then, our workshop was all around “Dealing With Change” where there were insights into how each of us creates an environment to embrace and enhance change through action.

Thanks to the Crossroads Leadership Team for their willingness to step out and lead the teams that make this ministry not only possible, but an important role in the Shawnee Community. We appreciate your leadership.

We exist to bring people to Jesus Christ and to assist them in becoming His fully devoted, reproducing followers.

Welcome to the team Heidi!

After several weeks of searching, we have selected a new office support staff member. Heidi Wilder will be joining the team this month as our Administrative Assistant & Graphic Designer. Heidi is from Illinois. Her husband recently got a job at the KCI Airport and they have one son. Here’s an introduction from Heidi…

“I grew up in a small country town in Northern Illinois. I was raised in a Christian household and my parents found it very important to install Christian morals and beliefs in my sister and myself, and that is something I’ve carried throughout my adult life. I attended St. Ambrose University in Davenport IA which is where I obtained my B.A. in Graphic Design. My first career job was with the United States Department of Defense at Rock Island Arsenal where I worked in their Marketing Department as their Graphic Designer and Marketing Assistant. I am now starting a new chapter here in the Kansas City area with my sweetheart Thomas, our 15 year old son Tommy, and our little dog Captain. Some of my hobbies and interests are sailing, hiking, photography, painting, and running. I am looking forward to meeting all of you!

We’re excited to have Heidi as part of the team. Please join us in giving her a warm welcome. Feel free to send her an email to say hello at


A Season For Everything

I remember it like it was yesterday. It was the year 2000 and I was sitting in what used to be a chicken coop talking to a man I didn’t know well, but already respected immensely.  He said “I want to offer you a part time job with a three month probationary period.” I was thrilled inside and immediately said “Yes!” I didn’t need to think about it for a second because I had already spent time volunteering there and experienced the excitement and the purpose that was always buzzing around this office..and the people it served. I was determined to prove to him…. and more importantly….HIM….that this was going to work out. And…well…as they say…the rest is history.

A lot has happened in the past 16 years. I wish I could fully describe the thrill it has been watching God do His work through His group of followers known as Crossroads Christian Church! I have seen the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. I’ve seen the best and worst in people (including myself) and I’ve seen prayers that have been answered with miracles. I’ve worked with people I will be close to forever.  I’ve had the privilege of serving under leaders who have dedicated their lives to the most important thing ever…bringing glory to our Father who sent His Son to die for us! Planting seeds in non-believers and nurturing the growth and reproduction of those who believe.

As the verse goes there is a season for everything and my season here on staff at Crossroads has come to a close. I’ve been offered an opportunity with a ministry that allows me to work any place there’s internet access, whenever, and however much I want to. In a nutshell…FLEXIBILITY at the exact right time in my life. The decision was hard but it was clear the Lord was deliberately opening a door for me…so I am walking through it. But my job here at Crossroads is the only thing that is changing….Andy and I love our church family so we aren’t going anywhere. Thank you to all those I’ve served beside all these years and I look forward to serving with more of you for years to come….and…well….see you on Sunday! ~ Kim Bonser

A Note from Brad Fangman

By now you have heard the word. Kim Bonser, our administrative assistant in the church office for almost 17 years, will be stepping down. Kim first started back in the days when we as a church weren’t running but 125 – 140 in attendance. Back then, the church office was in one of the old farm houses here on the property. A lot has happened over the last 17 years! We appreciate so much all she’s done to help make Crossroads what it is today. The good news… her and Andy aren’t going anywhere. It’s a vocation change, yes. But she and Andy will continue to be an important part of the Crossroads family. We look forward to continuing to serve in ministry alongside the Bonsers. Be sure to express your gratitude to Kim for her years of service!


New Children’s Pastor!

Matt Richards & family

We’d like to introduce to you our new Children’s Pastor, Matt Richards. Matt, his wife Stephanie and their four boys Rance (12 years old), Cavin (7 years old), Carden (4 years old), & Kennet (22 months old) are from North Carolina. Matt first became a Christian when he was eight years old and felt called by God to work in ministry as an adult. He’s been in ministry for 12 years and the greatest lesson that he’s learned through those years is the importance of teaching parents as much as he teaches kids. His favorite aspect of being a Children’s Pastor is when kids understand that they are part of God’s big story.

Matt would describe himself as a quiet person who loves telling kids about Jesus. His favorite colors are red and blue and his favorite food is pizza. For fun, Matt enjoys anything that has to do with sports, but primarily soccer and basketball. His favorite TV show right now is Last Man Standing. Matt is excited to join our team and would like families here at Crossroads to know that he looks forward to doing ministry alongside each of you and reaching Shawnee for the Kingdom of Christ.

Matt will begin his ministry at Crossroads in mid-August. Please join us in welcoming Matt and his family to Crossroads! Send him an email at


Children’s Ministry Changes

Crossroads Christian Church Family,

A little over six years ago God provided an open door for me to seek an opportunity to serve as Children’s Pastor in the Kid’s Ministry here at Crossroads Christian Church. Each of you opened your arms and hearts to me personally, to my family, to my leadership, and to my oversight of various ministry teams.

While serving as the Children’s Pastor, I have been blessed and encouraged through the many relationships: through the children, their families, those of you volunteering within the Kid’s Area, the leadership within the church, and the church body as a whole. Never once have I felt discouraged or unappreciated. Crossroads Christian Church truly is a family that loves God and knows how to love His people.

Over the past year the thought of stepping down from the Children’s Ministry has been on my heart and mind. With family changes in Eric’s and my life, I did not want to make any decision based on emotion. Through prayer, time, discussion with Eric, and wise counsel, I feel confident in the decision to resign from my position. My final day serving as Children’s Pastor at Crossroads will be June 30, 2016.

Although I feel at peace with this decision, it will not make stepping out of the position easy, especially when I am not sure where that direction may lead. Scripture states in Ecclesiastes 3:1, “For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.” It is my season to step out, allowing God to work through someone else stepping in.

I will be in prayer for God’s leading the right person to this position. My prayer will also be for the church, its leadership and for all of you. All of you will be the key to making this transition smooth for the children and their families. Thank you for your confidence in me and for your continual encouragement throughout the past six years.

Sincerely in Christ,

Shelly Gossett


A Few Thoughts…

Shelly has been a real asset over the last several years here at Crossroads. Many of you, especially those who have young children, have seen that first hand! And that includes those of you who have faithfully served alongside her as volunteers. Her energy, love for the Lord and hands on approach to ministry have caused her to effectively impact many young lives. Though we are sad to see her stepping down from her role as Children’s Pastor, we are grateful for the difference she has made through her ministry. So…. “On behalf of the entire church family, thanks Shelly. Appreciate all you have done!”

And, just so everyone knows, we are already in the process of communicating with candidates interested in this Children’s Pastor position. Your prayers, during this time, are important to us. We will keep the church family updated as we get closer to a decision. In the meantime, we plan to continue to benefit from having Shelly around a few more weeks as June 30th approaches. Over the next couple of months, as you have opportunity, I’d encourage each of you to personally thank Shelly for her years of faithful service.

Brad Fangman


Special March PrimeTime

By Brad Fangman 

I wanted to give an additional plug regarding our March 2 PrimeTime that is coming up. As you know, Jeff & Indra Palmer will soon be heading to New Zealand to begin the work of starting a new church. Without a doubt, the fact that it is on the opposite side of the world, and a completely different culture, will present numerous challenges. It is our intent on March 2 to undergird them in prayer. Inspired by the example set in the opening verses of Acts 13, we want to “set them apart” for this ministry, like the Antioch church did with Barnabas & Paul. Also, during this service, the Elders of Crossroads will be officially ordaining Jeff. That is our way of putting our “stamp of approval” on him… recommending him for ministry to mission organizations and churches alike.

We have enjoyed having the Palmers around for almost four years now. While they are making preparations for an upcoming departure, let’s use our March PrimeTime as an opportunity to send them off with our blessing!


Volunteers Graphic


By Tracy Armentrout

This year, the workshop for our Leadership Retreat was geared towards “Volunteers”. All this was based on a survey from the leadership team to find out what we need to hold up as our main focal point within each ministry. We had an excellent time of discussion around topics ranging from “Why People Don’t Volunteer” to “Volunteer Environment”. All topics were based on research from other church resources and experts in the field of church environment building.

It really boils down to this….the church can’t survive, or better yet, THRIVE without the volunteers within that congregation!  Every ministry and every aspect of service is built on volunteers stepping in to share the load and, in a lot of cases, carry a HUGE part of the load within the body!

So a big THANK YOU to those of you who really step up and do all the functions within the family of this Congregation! And if you’re sitting in the wings, we need you! Church was never meant to be a spectator sport, it takes players, and coaches, and water boys, and field mowers, and vending workers, and bleacher cleaners, and ticket takers, and announcers, and….well, you get the gist! Don’t miss out…you can make a difference in the effectiveness of the church today.

Come be a part of the Crossroads Church Team and use your gift to help us achieve our mission statement: “We exist to bring people to Jesus Christ and to assist them in becoming His fully devoted reproducing followers”.