After two years in a former steakhouse, our CrossRoads church plant in Salina, Kansas, purchased the largest bar in the city and converted it into a house of worship.

Taking advantage of a natural divide in the building, we used about two-thirds for a worship center and the other third as a multipurpose room/fellowship hall.

Influenced by church-growth principles and the call of Scripture to “grow and go,” from the very beginning, we resolved to be a church that reproduces. So, it was an easy decision to use the multipurpose room to assist new church plants in their birth processes.

It was dubbed the “Womb Room” — a safe place for a new church body to grow strong enough and large enough to venture out on their own.

  • Our first “child” was a small Hispanic congregation. They occupied the “Womb Room” on Sunday afternoons for about three years before moving out and eventually purchasing a building of their own in north Salina. They are now a vibrant and thriving BIC church known as Aliento de Vida.
  • The second “child” came about a year later. Jeff Piepho joined the CrossRoads staff with a vision for reaching Generation X. And a Saturday night service was started in the “Womb Room.” It soon grew into a strong new congregation called Revolution. When they were ready to move out, they searched the city for a suitable building. Eventually, they found one right next door to CrossRoads. It was also a former nightclub. “Mother” and “daughter” now live next door to one another, both occupying former bars. How is that for redemption?
  • Some years later a western-heritage congregation —  a type of church ministering to individuals who identify with a lifestyle of ranching and farming (often called “cowboy churches”) — named Dry Creek Revival occupied the “Womb Room.” On Sunday nights, they came for about a year before disbanding after failing to reach “critical mass.” It was a sad loss. But in church planting, it happens often.

Now this may sound glamorous and exciting. But do not assume that it is easy. It is costly and inconvenient.

 Schedules often conflict and can be difficult to maintain.

Wear and tear on the house increases dramatically.

Natural tensions develop when people live in close quarters with one another.

But what child hasn’t cost us and caused us some measure of inconvenience?

It is our calling. We are called to “be fruitful and grow in number.” CrossRoads has come to the conclusion that the extra stress and expense are worth it. The kingdom is advancing, and after all, isn’t that what it’s about?

Pray for CrossRoads. Right now the “Womb Room” is occupied by a thriving Celebrate Recovery ministry. It is a Christ-centered 12-step program for dealing with the “hurts, habits, and hang-ups” of life. It is amazing how many it has brought into the church … and they are helping many to be born again and healed.

Is there another “baby” in our future? Only God knows!

Ron Bowell
Ron Bowell, founding pastor of CrossRoads Church, Salina, Kansas, is a preacher, writer, and musician with roots deep in Kansas soil. He and his wife, Kerry, have five grown children and 16 grandchildren. 

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