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These pastors use new approaches to get the whole family to church together

Published on: December 20, 2012

By PENNY FLETCHER

TAMPA & SOUTH COUNTY — Pastors Greg Dumas and Joey Adkins think church should be relative to the problems 21st Century people face.

That’s why they’re always looking for new ways to get families to go to church together.

“The family unit is what holds the country together,” Dumas said.

And they practice what they preach.

Dumas is the lead pastor at the Crossing Church, 10130 Tuscany Ridge Drive, Tampa. Since the entrance is off Causeway Boulevard between U.S. 301 and Interstate 75, many people think of this as Brandon. This church is the mother church to the Crossing that started meeting at Lennard High School in Ruskin last summer.

The demand for a second church in South County is so high that Dumas is currently in negotiations to lease the former Bealls Department Store in SunPoint Plaza on State Road 674 in Ruskin. When the lease is signed, a complete renovation of the 40,000-square foot space will be done.

“We need a sanctuary, Sunday school rooms for all ages, a stage, a place for our music people and band. Then there’s the carpet and all the more minor things. One very important thing is to have a whole wing just for kids,” Dumas said.

Dumas and Adkins are very much into serving the younger generation. Many teens have no knowledge of God or the Bible at all, they said. “We want to reach them,” they agreed.

So they’re always coming up with new ways to get whole families into the church. Acoustics and lighting- music that the younger generation relates to. Small groups for all ages. And now, for the Christmas holidays, a new event called Jingle Jam.

“We’ll have an Open House to acquaint anyone who wants to learn about our church with what we can offer them,” Dumas said. “But Jingle Jam is about a family spending the day together. We wanted to have something for them to enjoy not separately — but as a family unit.”

With “Jesus, still the reason for the season,” Dumas has also brought in things children look for at Christmas: like Mr. and Mrs. Claus, a petting zoo (with reindeer that remarkably resemble ponies), snacks and all kinds of Christmas music.

“It’s a Christmas party big enough for your whole family,” Dumas said. “We want to bring a fun wonderland to both churches. Even without snow, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to the North Pole and we even have a Polar Express to pick you up.”

The events will be at different times at both campuses of the church.

In South County at Lennard High School, 2342 Shell Point Road E. Ruskin, the Jingle Jam celebration will be Sunday, Dec. 23 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. The Tampa/Brandon campus will have two days of celebrations: Saturday, Dec. 22 at 4 and 6 p.m. and Sunday Dec. 23 at 9 and 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. There will also be an Hispanic celebration at the Brandon/Tampa campus Sunday, Dec. 23 at 1:30 p.m.

For more information visit http://crossingonline.org or call (813) 626-0783 or (813) 626-3293.

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