Nick Maples (sr) first went to Crosspoint Church during May term a couple of years ago. Another IWU student, Ben Peltier (sr), led worship there and told Maples about it. Maples continued attending the next semester.
Maples then invited Joe Scavotto (sr) and Max Blumer (sr). Now, the three Christian Ministries majors intern as pastors.
Scavotto is the outreach pastor, Maples is the discipleship pastor and Blumer is worship pastor.
Even though the three of them are leading as college students, they said the church body — about half college students and half not — is very inviting. This wasn’t always the case.
The lead pastor, Dan Dye, came to Crosspoint three years ago. When he arrived, the church had a small group of several older people. Dye saw it needed a change.
According to Dye, Crosspoint has been in Marion since 1989. He said it was a dying church due to its focus and amount of members.
“As you can imagine, having a church that’s there since 1989, a lot of people were set in their way,” Dye said. “It took some time to get things in place where we could make the changes necessary. Some people got angry with it. They left. Other people enjoyed it and came on board.”
Dye said Crosspoint “literally changed everything over the course of two to three years.”
This includes the overall style, music and even some of the theology. Dye said the church is “basically non-denominational,” but he doesn’t want to put a label on the church. Many of the members come from different denominations.
Through this change, Dye encouraged more college students to attend. He even opened up opportunities for college students to serve in the church.
Maples and Scavotto started helping in the church through practicums for the Christian Ministries major. Blumer came to serve in worship last spring, and it continued into an intern position this semester.
Scavotto and Blumer said a lot of churches in the area don’t allow college students to preach in an actual service. They needed to preach for Homiletics class, and Dye gave them the opportunity to do just that at Crosspoint.
“I enjoy being able to pour influence into [students], giving them the opportunity to raise up to where God’s called them,” Dye said. “They can come in and feel comfortable and preach and get that first experience there that they may not get anywhere else.”
Blumer said he and Scavotto preached last semester. Preaching alongside another college student, according to Blumer, is a great way to keep encouraging and improving on it before being pastors after college.
Scavotto said the opportunity has been incredible.
“It’s such a blessing to be able to not only practice what we’re going to be doing for our careers,” Scavotto said, “but also … to be able to impact people in the community and IWU students through words that God gives us.”