At Crossgate Church our purpose is to make more and better disciples for Jesus Christ. (Matthew 28:19)
We would love to partner in your journey to learn more about Jesus Christ. Visit us at: www.crossgate.org for more information.
We look forward to hearing from you soon!
“We Are Servant Leaders”
Matthew 20:20-28; 1 Peter 5:1-3
We’re right in the middle of our September teaching series simply entitled, “We are Crossgate.”
At Crossgate Church, we have a definition of a disciple that goes like this: “A disciple is a growing follower of Jesus, who lives and loves like Jesus and leads others to follow him.”
If we’re going to “live and love like Jesus,” then that means we should also L-E-A-D . . . lead like Jesus in whatever context he has placed us. If you’re a parent . . . lead like Jesus. If you’re an older sibling . . . lead like Jesus. If you’re a supervisor of anyone in a professional context . . . lead like Jesus. If you’re a husband . . . lead like Jesus. If you’re serving in any leadership capacity in this church . . . lead like Jesus.
We’re going to see today that servant leadership is the ONLY way to lead.
1) The Gold Standard for Servant Leadership (Matthew 20:20-28)
Who is the gold standard for servant leadership? Who is the ultimate pace setter? Jesus Christ!
When Jesus was teaching his disciples on this matter, He drew a comparison between (1) on the one hand worldly power and selfish ambition and (2) on the other hand godly posture and selfless submission. He said, “If you want to be great, you’ve got to be a servant; if you want to be first, you’ve got to be last.”
You’ve heard me say it before and I’ll say it again, “The higher you go, the lower you must be willing to become.”
After giving them his expectation, Jesus then referred to his example—he said, “The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve.” In other words, Jesus put his money where his mouth was.
There’s nothing more powerful than an example, and Jesus knew how to give an example, didn’t he?
Regardless of where and in what capacity you lead, I want to strongly encourage you to live, love, and LEAD like Jesus!
2) The Pace Setters in Servant Leadership (1 Peter 5:1-4)
Let’s talk about leadership in our church. We’ve got several types of leaders at Crossgate—LifeGroup leaders, Deacons, Trustees, Ministry Team Leaders, Pastors, Staff, and Elders—and I would expect that all of our leaders are pace-setting, servant leaders. But when it comes to leadership . . . and servant leadership, in particular . . . where does the buck stop?
Yes, it stops with the Elders. (1 Timothy 3:1-7) (Titus 1:5-9)
In the New Testament, each local church had multiple Elders, men appointed by the apostles and key leaders to be responsible for everything that happened or failed to happen in that church.
As the Lead Pastor at Crossgate Church, I’m also the Lead Elder.
I am absolutely committed to setting the pace at Crossgate Church. In fact, I’ve got four priorities for myself as your Lead Pastor and Lead Elder that I’ve had since day one, December 8, 2019: (1) preach the Word, (2) love the people, (3) lead the leaders, and (4) set the pace.
“I am what I am by the grace of God—and not without result. I worked harder than all of them; yet not I, but the grace of God that is within me.” (1 Corinthians 15:10)
I’ve challenged our elders along these same lines. And I’m proud of our Elders. Yes, we gather monthly in the conference room to make big decisions on behalf of our church. But they’ve also shown themselves to be pace-setting servant leaders—from leading LifeGroups and Discipleship Groups to being “basin and towel” men who serve in children’s ministry and waiting tables on Wednesday nights in Wholly Grounds.
So as we prepare to enter into our nominating process this week, I urge you to bathe this in prayer. Our Elders are the foundation of our leadership here at Crossgate Church and we all need to ask God for wisdom and direction as we add proposed leaders to our Elder Board.
I am a huge proponent of transparency, and if you have ANY questions about this process, you can reach me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"We Are Generous"
Mark 12:28-31; Proverbs 11:24-25
Today, as we say once again, “We Are Crossgate,” we’re going to highlight our “generosity” priority. You know, we have seven priorities at Crossgate—glory, truth, love, prayer, community, generosity, and reach.
Notice that this definition of generosity flows out of a love for God. It’s about an others-centered compassion that’s grounded in a vibrant relationship with Jesus Christ. Notice also that it’s comprehensive—time, talents, and treasure—that is, it’s not just about material resources.
1) Generosity Principles - Let’s consider some generosity principles—and let’s remember these are broad principles that apply to time, talents, treasure . . . and beyond. Remember, “God + Others > Me”. The bottom line is that a Jesus follower is others-centered . . . just like Jesus.
Scripture References: (Mark 12:28-31) (Philippians 2:3-5)
2) God’s Generosity Boomerang Goes BOOM
Scripture References: (Proverbs 11:24-25) (Luke 6:38)
Here’s the irony of generosity: “The more you give, the more you get; the more you grasp, the more you lose.” Keep in mind that God gives back primarily by degree, not necessarily in kind. The degree to which you give of your time, talents, and treasure to others and for others, God gives back to you his joy, peace, and contentment.
Listen, God wants us to enjoy the ride on the generosity highway. Life on the generosity highway is meant to be the joy of the fast lane with the top down, laughing and smiling and enjoying God’s best. The only way to enjoy that kind of living is to be an others-centered Jesus follower.
3) Generosity Pathways
As we’ve already said, based on our generosity priority, we’ve got three generosity pathways at Crossgate Church—three ways to be a plus and not a minus.
Those three pathways are (1) time, (2) talents, and (3) treasure.
At Crossgate Church, we focus on a comprehensive disciple-making pathway called “Next Steps.” This pathway is structured around four key steps: (1) Make a decision, (2) Join a group, (3) Become a member, and (4) Meet a need, and we encourage everyone to take their “next step” with Jesus. As you may or may not know, there are tons of opportunities to take the “next step” of generosity by meeting a need both on-campus and off-campus.
In some cases, we have opportunities that are talent-oriented and experience-oriented. These are opportunities such as worship team and tech team. Some of you have experience in audio and video, and we have a need for YOU and your generosity with your talents at Crossgate Church. When it comes to being generous with your time and talents at Crossgate Church, I would ask you to seriously pray about your “next step” toward generosity and meeting a need. Will you seriously ask the Lord, “God, where would YOU have me serve—regardless of my comfort zone?”
Generous Jesus followers willingly give of their treasure to others and for others. Scripture References: (Malachi 3:10) Exodus 35:29)
Conclusion: How are you using your gifts of time, talents, and treasure for God’s Kingdom?
Today we begin a new sermon series entitled, “We Are Crossgate.”
Have you noticed that we all want to know who or what is the greatest? It even goes back to the time of Jesus, when a Jewish scribe/lawyer asked by far the ‘greatest of all time’/The GOAT question of Jesus.
The question was this, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
Let’s look at Jesus’s response, “What is written in the law? How do you understand it?” The scribe answered, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.”
1) LOVE GOD SUPREMELY
Jesus commands us to make God the highest passion in our heart, the one we think about first and most; the undisputed champion of our affections.
2) LOVE OTHERS GENUINELY
We should care about our neighbor’s needs as much as we do our own; rejoice in their happiness, worry about their futures and weep about their sorrows just as much as we do our own.
3) WHAT IT MEANS TO LOVE OUR NEIGHBOR
Jesus taught something radical. We are to help those, especially those, with whom we have little in common; even those who might have wronged us. Which could mean:
The person you barely know. Those on the other side of the political aisle. Those whom you feel are suffering because of mistakes that they, or their family, have made. The boss at work who has taken advantage of you. Muslims fleeing Afghanistan. “Do not withhold good from your neighbor when it is in your power to act.” (Proverbs 3:27)
The weightiest part of the law is to love your neighbor as yourself! If we want to evaluate our walk with Jesus, look at how much of our resources and time are poured out for others in Jesus’ name?
4) WHY WE LOVE OUR NEIGHBORS
You see, if we understand Jesus’ life, we are the ones saved by radical grace by a God who had every right to regard himself our enemy. And when we embrace that we to will become givers of radical grace.
“We love because he first loved us.” (1 John 4:19)
5) HOW WE LOVE OUR NEIGHBORS
Here at Crossgate Church we Love our city. We’re on a mission to share the kingdom of God in every corner. We believe Jesus is King of it all, so we are not content to live in the safety of our Christian subculture.
So in closing, how are you doing in loving those around you?
"Reaching The Nations"
We’re wrapping up our “Reach” teaching series today. This has been a great series with an emphasis on an outward focus on our neighbors and the nations fueled by a genuine and powerful filling of the Holy Spirit.
1) God’s Heart for the Nations God has a heart for the nations that stretches from one end if the Bible to the other:
John 3:16 – “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
Revelation 7:9-10 – “After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!’”
I want you to know that the same Gospel that God commands us to verbalize to our neighbors is the same Gospel that God commands us to verbalize to the nations.
2) Our Reach to the Nations At Crossgate Church, we have a heartbeat for the nations, and it’s displayed along three lines.
We pray for the nations. We make it a point to pray for those on the international mission field, especially that they would realize a harvest of lives transformed by the power of the Gospel.
We go to the nations. We send people to the nations at Crossgate Church in two ways: We currently have two full-time, long-term missionary families from Crossgate Church. The Shipp family in Bangkok, Thailand and the Rickett Family in the Pacific Island nation of Vanuatu. These families have been sent from our church and we’re excited about what God is doing through them.
We also send short-term mission teams, most recently to remote and forgotten villages along the Amazon River in partnership with the missionary sending organization, Amazon Outreach.
We give for the nations. At Crossgate Church, we give for the nations along two lines:
First, as of this year, 10 percent of your tithe gifts given to Crossgate Church go directly to missions, both local and international. To my knowledge, that’s the highest percentage toward missions in the history of Crossgate Church. Part of that ten percent goes toward the International Mission Board, which is the international sending agency of the Southern Baptist Convention—the denomination with which we partner. That supports missionaries all over the world.
Second, last fall, we introduced the idea of bi-annual missions offerings for very specific initiatives and projects. These offerings provide direct opportunities for everyone to put their hands on the missionary enterprise here at Crossgate.
Conclusion: Ask yourself, and more importantly ask God, “What role will I play in my praying, my going, and my giving that will add people to that great multitude?”
"Reaching Our Neighbors"
“Reaching Our Neighbors”
Acts 1:8; Matthew 28:19; Luke 14:23
Acts 1:8 – “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
We’re continuing our “Reach” teaching series where we’re highlighting our REACH priority at Crossgate Church. Our purpose is to make “more and better disciples for Jesus Christ.”
And during the month of August especially, we’re asking ourselves this question: “How are we going to make ‘more disciples’ without a reach and an outward focus on those outside these walls?
This week and next week, we’re going to get very practical with what we share:
For now, let’s consider how we can reach our neighbors for Jesus Christ along two lines: (1) taking every opportunity and (2) making every opportunity.
1) Taking Every Opportunity
I invite you to examine the following scripture when Jesus told his disciples to “GO” and verbalize the Gospel (Matthew 28:18-20)
The point that I want to make regarding that scripture is that, grammatically speaking, Jesus commanded his followers to verbalize the Gospel “as they were going” or “while they were going.” That is, they were to engage others with the Gospel while they were out and about living their lives.
What does this mean for us? It means that as we live our lives in Hot Springs and Garland County, as we’re out and about here and there and everywhere, we should take every opportunity to be a verbal witness and a non-verbal witness for Jesus Christ. Let’s get very practical now and talk about ways to do that in the coming days.
Invitational witness - One of the easiest ways to engage your neighbors is to invite them to one of our many gatherings on campus, whether that is our Sunday worship service, Lifegroups, Wednesday Night activities, or events such as our upcoming Trunk N’ Treat.
Testimonial witness - As we mentioned last week, the story of how you were saved will always be your best witness. And I’m going to conduct some very practical training on Wednesday nights in October and early November that will equip you to share your testimony in a concise and compelling way.
Relational witness - Building relational bridges with your actual neighbors in your neighborhoods is critical for reaching them. One easy way to do this is through a website called, “Bless Every Home.” Visit: www.crossgate.org/prayer for more information.
Neighborhood Hangouts. These are exactly what they sound like—opportunities to hang out with your neighbors with redemptive relationships in mind. Examples could be block parties, football watch parties, etc.
Digital witness. Just about everyone listening to the sound of my voice has opportunity for a digital witness—social media being your primary outlet. Our team plans to ramp up our most shareable content to make it as easy as possible for you to pass on the digital Gospel witness of Crossgate Church to those in your digital sphere of influence.
Vehicular witness. Nearly everyone 16 years and older drives, and you’ve probably noticed that most people use their cars and trucks to advertise something so why not use your vehicle to identify with Crossgate Church? I want to encourage you to get a Crossgate decal from Wholly Grounds—they only cost $4.00—and use your vehicle as a rolling witness for the Gospel thru Crossgate Church.
As we live our lives, God wants us to build bridges with our neighbors and those close proximity that we might share Jesus . . . as we go . . . taking every opportunity that comes our way.
2) Making Every Opportunity
If Jesus commanded us to be witnesses “as we go” here and there and everywhere and take every opportunity that comes our way, Jesus was also adamant that we should make opportunities by going at specific times and places specifically to be witnesses.
So what are some
“God’s Witness Projection Program”
Have you ever heard of the witness protection program? Well, this morning I want to talk to you about the witness PROJECTION program. Rather than hiding and concealing a witness from the world, that’s where God projects a witness into the world based on what they’ve seen, heard, and experienced in Jesus Christ—God takes them and projects them into the world. (Acts 1:8)
Last week we talked about the power of the Holy Spirit in the lives of Jesus’ followers. Without that power there is no mission and there is no witness.
1) A Witness Emphasizes What They’ve Seen, Heard, and Experienced
In the Bible, Jesus followers are supposed to bear witness to what they have seen, heard, and experienced. (Acts 4:18-20) (Acts 22:14-15)
One of the most basic things that a Jesus follower should be able to do is to share what he or she has seen, heard, and experienced in Jesus Christ. That’s what we call a “testimony.”
2) A Witness Verbalizes the Gospel Through the Power of the Holy Spirit
It’s true that we can have a witness through our lifestyle choices but don’t kid yourself into thinking that your witness is complete without a verbalization of the Gospel. Jesus followers must speak to others about Jesus . . . otherwise, how in the world will people repent, believe, and follow him? (Romans 10:13-14)
Why do we struggle to talk to others about Jesus Christ and persuade them to also follow Jesus? I’ll tell you why. MOST Jesus followers are not filled with the Holy Spirit. Oh, they’ve received the Spirit and they were baptized with the Spirit at conversion. But they are not presently filled with the Holy Spirit—remember the glass of chocolate milk illustration from last week’s teaching.
The bottom line is that when the Spirit of God fills your heart, the Word of God comes out of your mouth with confidence and boldness. It’s one of the chief pieces of evidence that someone is filled with the Spirit.
3) A Witness Recognizes that Everybody Needs Jesus
We all recognize that God that God wants everyone to be saved. (1 Timothy 2:3-4) But do we really believe that each and every man, woman, boy, and girl we personally meet and interact with needs Jesus?
Michael Catt – “It simplifies everything when you realize that every person you meet is either saved or lost.”
4) A Witness Maximizes Every Opportunity
Every time you speak with someone and every time you interact with someone, you have an opportunity in some way to have what we call a “Gospel conversation.” I challenge you to view everyone you meet as an eternal being who will spend eternity in one of two destinations.
In closing, If God miraculously said an immediate “YES” to every prayer you prayed this past week, how many new people would be in the Kingdom? And when was the last time you talked to someone about their relationship with Jesus Christ?
Pastor Shawn's messages are relevant, impacting, and very authentic. His passion is contagious. Each of his first five messages have significant meaning whether you are 20 or 80. Enjoy!