Rowlett church prays for ‘gift of desperation’
March 2nd, 2018 / By: Kay Adkins / comments
ROWLETT Over the next three to five years, “Every single person sitting in this room will be discipling someone else to become a fully devoted follower of Christ.”
On Vision Sunday in January, Jason Collins, pastor of Crossroads Church in Rowlett, shared that vision with his congregation, adding, “We believe that the world will look different if that happens.”
The mission of Crossroads Church is to “Expand the KINGDOM one relationship at a time.”
In an interview with the TEXAN, Collins elaborated on that mission.
“Our methodology is centered on 1:1 Evangelism, so we teach, train and equip for that. We want to be a church growing through salvation and we want every member to be an active participant. So while we teach on this topic, we really focus on equipping for individual conversation to lead someone to Christ. Being a covenant member of our church means that I will be sharing my faith and discipling others to share their faith.”
Relationships have been a priority throughout the church’s 25-year history. But in 2015, the mission statement was revised to make relationships the center of everything they do.
Kelby Mullins planted the church in 1993 with a vision to reach people who were not typical church-goers. The church began in a shopping center before storefronts were a trend. As God grew the church, they purchased property to build, and for a time they met in an open pavilion in a park.
Mullins, who is still an elder at Crossroads today, stepped down after about 10 years. Kent Cox, known for a deep focus on relationships, became the lead pastor. People who had become bored with religion or burned out in previous church experiences found a home at Crossroads.
But after 12 years of impactful ministry, Cox died at the age of 49.
Collins was called to be the lead pastor in July 2015 with a congregation of about 80 people. The church is now averaging 450 people for Sunday worship.
In a video produced for the SBTC after the 2017 Empower Conference (https://vimeo.com/240611662), Collins explained how Crossroads emphasizes that every member is a minister, and that every believer has a story to tell. He said: “In the last year we’ve seen 100 people come to know Christ and follow in baptism at our church. . . . And that didn’t come through amazing preaching or worship. It came through people of God sharing their story of what God has done in their lives.”
By the end of 2017, Crossroads had celebrated 160 baptisms.
Collins and his leadership team attended the 2017 Empower Conference, after which Crossroads Church made the decision to affiliate with the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention. They had considered affiliating prior to the conference, and, said Collins (in the video), “After [Empower] it really solidified some stuff for us. We came and just heard the passion of reaching lost people, and that so resonated with who we are as a church.”
Collins praised Empower for the inspiration and equipping they received there. “Since then our rep from the SBTC and the director of evangelism have both been incredible at following up with us to encourage us and motivate us.”
Church members who have embraced the church’s mission are being changed. Collins said, “The best thing that can happen for anyone is to be used by God as a part of reaching someone. It changes everything.”
Some key priorities that have helped Crossroads leaders in living and imparting the vision to members, include:
- Getting out of the office. Collins said, “People are not a distraction from our work; our work is a distraction from people. Long after sermons are forgotten, one-on-one conversations will remain.”
- Scheduling time with people. “We schedule what we value!”
- Using a plan and teaching the plan. “People tend to do best with things that are reproducible, so not only do you share the gospel, you really begin a model of discipleship too.”
- Modeling evangelism. “We cannot expect our people to do what their leaders avoid.”
- Loving people.
- Planning events to build relationships. “That will always maximize the return.”
Crossroads is also actively engaged in relational ministry through church mentoring, prison ministry, rescuing victims from sex trafficking in India, and supplying water filters homes in Zambia. They are praying about expansion into church planting, orphan care and support ministries for people emerging from varied life struggles.
“I want God to give us the gift of desperation. The Bible is full of desperate people who walked with Jesus Christ,” Collins said in his vision sermon.
As biblical examples, he referred to two of “the desperate” in Luke 8. Jesus was the only hope for Jairus, a synagogue leader, desperate for a miracle to save his dying daughter. And he was the only hope for the woman with the 12-year issue of blood, who pressed through the crowd just to touch his garment.
Just as Jesus moved toward those desperate people, Collins said, “We need to see those who are desperate and move towards them. We can’t allow them to go unnoticed. That is our vision.”