When pastor Andy Lindo came to the Church of Christ in Poway, California, a town near San Diego, the church membership soared, especially among young people. Something else soared at the Poway Church of Christ: controversy. As Lindo’s ministry took hold, some parents of young members began picketing.

Lindo is a practitioner of a much-debated renewal movement spreading throughout local congregations of the Church of Christ across the country. For want of a better term, outsiders call it “The Crossroads Movement,” because it started with Chuck Lucas, pastor of the Crossroads Church of Christ in Gainesville, Florida, in 1971. Lucas conducts seminars for other Church of Christ ministers.

The practices include discipleship, aggressive evangelism, prayer partnerships in which older Christians are matched with newer ones, and something known as “one-another Christianity,” a term that summarizes the emphasis on personal growth in the faith.

There have been some excesses that caused much consternation among Church of Christ members who are not part of the movement. At Lindo’s church in Poway, it was once a practice to discuss the personal problems of members openly in a “soul talk.” This is no longer done.

Ronald Brumley, an elder in the Poway church, said, “We have been overly strong in giving out advice” about how participants should live their lives, and people who wanted to leave the movement have been unduly ostracized. He and Lindo say they regret the division and controversy surrounding the movement, but they also feel the blame does not lie only with them, and say they are making efforts at reconciliation.

Some accusers attack the books used by Crossroads workers. Jay Adams’s Competent to Counsel is labeled “a Calvinistic book ...

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