Crossover to bring an ‘army of reinforcements’ to area churches
April 30th, 2018 / By: Michael Foust / comments
It’s been said that “everyone loves evangelism as long as someone else is doing it.” Shane Pruitt of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention has heard that adage, too, and he believes churches are ready to prove it wrong.
On June 8-10, Southern Baptists from across Texas and the U.S. will descend on the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex for Crossover, the annual evangelist outreach initiative that takes the gospel to the local community and precedes the Southern Baptist Convention meeting. It is the 30th year for the event, which began in Las Vegas in 1989.
The Friday-Sunday event will conclude with a Harvest America rally at AT&T Stadium featuring musical acts and an evangelistic message by Greg Laurie.
Pruitt, the SBTC’s director of evangelism, said Crossover is a unique opportunity for churches. It will be the first Crossover and SBC meeting in the Dallas-Fort Worth area since 1997.
“We bring thousands of people together for a convention,” Pruitt said, “so why not come together as the church to really impact the city with the gospel? What I love about Crossover is it’s not just saying that we love the gospel, but we're actually sharing the gospel and doing it by practice.”
Crossover organizers have divided the Dallas-Fort Worth area into nine regions, with “launch” churches in each region taking the lead and serving as launch sites for activities. For example, Tate Springs Baptist Church in Arlington will use the “Can We Talk?” evangelism model for door-to-door witnessing.
Baptists from within and without each region can sign up online—HarvestAmerica.com/crossover—to volunteer and serve at a specific launch church. Churches will promote two types of outreach: compassion ministries and direct evangelism.
“When we talk about direct evangelism, we mean things like door-to-door sharing of the gospel,” Pruitt said. “Compassion projects would be things like building houses, painting the fence and other hands-on projects—and then hopefully through that there's some opportunities for people to share the gospel.”
Crossover will conclude Sunday night with Laurie’s Harvest America and musicians Tedashii, Trip Lee, KB, Phil Wickham, Switchfoot, David Crowder and Chris Tomlin. Crossover volunteers on Friday and Saturday will invite unbelievers and new believers to the Laurie event, Pruitt said.
“Maybe during door-to-door evangelism the person says, ‘Hey, you know, that's not for me right now.’ [The Crossover volunteer could respond,] ‘Well, would you come join us at this crusade?’ But we're also using it as a celebration. Maybe the person, right there on their porch, surrenders and accepts Jesus as Lord and Savior. We're saying, ‘Come celebrate that with us at the rally.’”
Local churches, Pruitt added, are the heart of Crossover.
“Those local churches know how to reach their neighborhood,” he said. “Those local churches will be there for follow-up. And so basically, we’ve asked the local churches, ‘Hey, come up with evangelism efforts to reach your surrounding neighborhoods for Christ and mobilize your people to do it, and then let an army of reinforcements come in from across the state, across the nation to help you do it.’”
For more information or to sign up, visit HarvestAmerica.com/crossover.