Archive for September, 2014

The Next Generation of Ministry Preparation | The Cross Church School of Ministry: Year 2


Today, I am co-writing with Dr. Jeff Crawford. Dr. Crawford is the President of Cross Church School of Ministry and a Teaching Pastor at Cross Church.




Cross Church has a long history of raising up young leaders and sending them out for global kingdom impact. Through the years, we have invested in emerging leaders on our staff team, summer internships, and beyond in many ways.

Several years ago, we began to explore the question: What if we became very intentional about what God was doing organically among us? What if we put systems and strategy into raising up and sending out next generation leaders?

On February 1 of 2013, the Cross Church School of Ministry was born. Intense work began over the course of the next six months to develop partnerships with academic institutions, write curriculum, orient our ministry staff, renovate physical space, and in short, build the foundation for the mission of the Cross Church School of Ministry – A One Year Residential Experience preparing leaders for life, ministry, and Gospel advancement globally.

In August of 2013, God gave us ten young men. Ten God-called, next generation leaders. They came on faith. Lived and worked among our staff team, exposed to the highest levels of ministry practice. They traveled the world with us logging thousands of miles on two North American mission trips and one international mission experience. We poured the best of Cross Church into them and then…we sent them out.

This August, the process began all over again. This year, God has once again brought to us His called servants; An amazing collection of 18 emerging leaders. As word of the unique experience of the Cross Church School of Ministry has spread far and wide, so the diversity of our second class has expanded.

We have single adults and married folks with us. Ages range from 19 to 45 years of life. Some have only a high school diploma and some a masters degree from seminary. They come from five states and for the first time, two foreign countries – Iran and Spain. And we are thrilled for the first time to have with us three women that God has laid His hand upon. To say that we are thrilled with this second class of School of Ministry students is a gross understatement. The potential for the future and the Kingdom of God is tremendous.

As you look below at the individuals that make up this collection of next generation leaders, notice the variety of ministry tracking they have chosen to study and practice with us. Notice the sheer diversity. And ask yourself this question: Is God calling me to join the next class of the Cross Church School of Ministry?

We are recruiting now. You can apply online today. Has God called you to join us? I hope so!

Ronnie W. Floyd                                                  Dr. Jeff Crawford

Senior Pastor, Cross Church                                  President, Cross Church School of Ministry
President, Southern Baptist Convention                  Teaching Pastor, Cross Church


Justin and Moriah Benson

Fort Worth, Texas
Pastoral Ministry



Colby Blair

Neosho, Missouri
Worship Ministry



Cade Colburn

Checotah, Oklahoma
Student Ministry



Rachelle Crowder

Van Buren, Arkansas
Children’s Ministry



Rickey Crowder

Van Buren, Arkansas
Media Ministry



Pablo and Florencia Daut

Hispanic Ministry



Steve and Michelle Farris

Keller, Texas
Church Planting



Brian and Leslie Hellard

Knoxville, Tennessee
Discipleship Ministry



Jake and Kara Hilburn

Harrison, Arkansas
Church Planting



Micah Lynn

Corpus Christi, Texas
Student Ministry



Raimon Najjarian

Iran via Berkley, California
Church Planting



Kane and Rachel Powell

Inola, Oklahoma
Student Ministry



Rosalva Rodriguez

Dardanelle, Arkansas
Women’s Ministry



Jeremy Smith

Crowley, Texas
Worship Ministry



Brandon and Heather Stokes

Fort Smith, Arkansas
Church Planting



Andy and Amy Wade

Heber Springs, Arkansas
Missions and Counseling Ministry



Scott Ward

Noble, Oklahoma
Pastoral Ministry



Darien Williams

Fort Smith, Arkansas

Overcoming the Wrong Mindset

Has anything ever happened to you that you thought was bad when it happened, but realized later it had happened for good? Have you ever had an experience like Job where you lost everything only to find God sufficient? Have you ever had an experience like Joseph where suffering gave way to God’s blessing? Most followers of Christ have had some kind of experience like these.

God’s perspective on life and events

The challenge during times like this is to remain focused on things above, not things on the earth. In other words, we need God’s perspective on life and its events. ANY perspective we have apart from God’s results in a “wrong mindset.”

When Joseph was approached in prison by the Pharaoh’s cup-bearer and baker to interpret their respective dreams, Joseph asked, “Don’t interpretations belong to God?”1 Two years later when Pharaoh was startled by dreams, he sent for Joseph and asked for an interpretation. Joseph responded, “I am not able to. It is God who will give Pharaoh a favorable answer.”2 When Joseph revealed himself to his brothers, whose very lives depended upon his mercy, he informed them, “God sent me ahead of you to preserve life…God sent me ahead of you to establish you as a remnant within the land and to keep you alive by a great deliverance.”3

Set your mind on things above

When Jesus instructed His disciples to pray, He mentioned the heavenly view of life. “Our Father in heaven, Your name be honored as holy. Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”4 When Paul addressed the Colossian believers about perspective, he wrote, “So if you have been raised with the Messiah, seek what is above, where the Messiah is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on what is above, not on what is on the earth.”5

How you see things determines your reaction to them

The perspective through which we view the events of our lives in large part determines our reaction to them. If we believe God is in control of everything, we may find it easier to believe He is purposeful in His actions. If we believe things just happen, trusting God in the middle of those things will be challenging.

Romans 8:28 also provides us with this assurance, “We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose” (HCSB). This is a verse that brings us perspective about everything that happens in our lives.

God always has a plan for you

Nothing is accidental. Nothing is haphazard. Everything in the life of a child of God works out within the framework of His plan. There are no accidents. We may not understand everything, but we can have understanding when we try to view life as God does, believing that His way is best and His plan perfect.

This is what we learn from Joseph. At every turn of his life, Joseph looked for the heavenly perspective rather than the earthly perspective. We should do the same.

Yours for the Great Commission,

Ronnie W. Floyd

Senior Pastor, Cross Church
General Editor, Bible Studies for Life
President, Southern Baptist Convention

1– Genesis 40:8
2– Genesis 41:16
3– Genesis 45:5, 7
4– Matthew 6:9, 10
5– Colossians 3:1, 2