Archive for October, 2016
Moments are special. While some moments are brief but significant, others are significant and comprised of a season of time. Earlier this week, I released part 1 on this subject of Moments. Today, I want to pick up where I left off.
More Favorite Moments
As I neared the end of my first 15 years here, I experienced a significant season.
A Significant Sabbatical
In the summer of 2000, I was gifted a sabbatical by the church. This was a season of eight weeks apart from preaching and leadership. Since technology was not as advanced as it is today, it was truly a season away. I left before mid-June and did not preach again until the first Sunday in August. I think I “called in” twice during these eight weeks and 90% of our time, we were traveling.
God used this time to work within me. I read no less than twenty-five books and the entire time was highly refreshing to both Jeana and me. When I returned, I came back highly refreshed and energized. There is something very refreshing about being away over a successive number of weeks. God used that time away in 2000 to prepare me personally for a tremendous season that was before us at Cross Church.
February 11, 2001
In the early fall of 2000, I thought God may be opening doors to sell our Springdale campus. The church was exploding in growth, the region was changing and growing, and a new season of possibilities was being investigated.
While God closed one door, our hearts were moved to expand our footprint through what was then only being done by less than 200 churches nationally. We became a multi-campus church.
Through detailed diligence and a mighty move of God, doors opened widely for our church. On February 11, 2001, I stood before the First Baptist Church of Springdale and shared a vision that would change our church dramatically. It was way beyond what I knew at the time.
February 11, 2001 will go down as one of the most memorable days in my pastoral life. What was preached as a vision that morning was experienced by our people on a cold, windy, frigid February afternoon as our people saw with their physical eyes what I believed God had shown me spiritually. That evening, the church voted powerfully to become a multi-campus church. When our Pinnacle Hills campus opened in August of 2001, it was a grand day and led to some mighty gospel opportunities.
June 2006 Was a Humbling Time for Me
In response to appeals from colleagues, my name was placed into nomination for President of the Southern Baptist Convention in 2006.
I did not win the election. The circumstances surrounding the election were difficult in many ways, and I was humiliated by the entire experience. Needless to say, it devastated me personally. But that was exactly what God desired me to experience. From that point on, I never thought I would even be asked to lead in silent prayer at the Southern Baptist Convention. God used this experience to break me further in my life and work within me powerfully. I was content that God just did not will this for my life at that time, and possibly ever.
June 2009 to June 2010: Leading the Great Commission Resurgence of the Southern Baptist Convention
After being off the scene for a while in SBC life even though I was attending our state and annual conventions, God opened the door for me to lead the 21-member Great Commission Resurgence Task Force of the Southern Baptist Convention. For one year, each day, I was faced with the lostness of the world and the fulfillment of the Great Commission as it relates to the Southern Baptist Convention.
While the burden was more than obvious, the joy of moving more money, emphasis, and missionaries to penetrate lostness motivated me greatly.
The year of leading the Great Commission Resurgence was one of the most impacting, life-changing years in my life and leadership. I was never the same again.
January 2011, Fayetteville Campus Began and Our Church’s Name Changed to Cross Church
We knew all along that when we became a church with three campuses, we would need to change the name of our church. We could not continue to add various names. The day we held our first service at our Fayetteville campus, we also changed our name to Cross Church. These decisions were made a few months earlier and the church believed in it greatly.
Changing our name gave us a chance to reidentify ourselves and reestablish our distinctiveness as Southern Baptists. It was a powerful experience. Our Fayetteville campus has continued to emerge and grow. Five years after we began the campus, just two weeks ago, the groundbreaking for the new building was another great moment. Furthermore, bringing the other two campuses located on College Avenue in Fayetteville and in Neosho, Missouri, into our Cross Church Family have been significant, memorable experiences and moments.
Fall of 2013: Prayer Gatherings Began to Occur
Due to an experience with four dear friends, God planted a vision in our hearts to call pastors from across America to come together for twenty-four hours in serious prayer for ourselves, our churches, our nation, and the nations of the world. God led us to host these national gatherings for pastors to call out to God passionately for revival in the church and spiritual awakening in America. Hundreds of pastors came from across America. God was creating a movement! The Lord moved among us powerfully. Doors began to open as I served as the leader of these national prayer gatherings.
June 2014 to June 2016: I Served as President of the Southern Baptist Convention
When I was elected President of the Southern Baptist Convention in 2014, it was more than obvious to me that God had raised me up by His grace and power to serve in this season.
What a great privilege and honor it was to serve. I have written volumes on my service during these years, so I will not repeat or even highlight anything specifically. But what I will say is: Thank you, Lord, for this incredible, life-changing leadership and service opportunity.
October 23, 2016: Celebrated 30 Years as Pastor of Cross Church
The Lord met with us powerfully last Sunday. The church witnessed the power of the gospel traveling on the tracks of relationships. From preaching and worship songs, to baptisms and testimonies, our God was honored in every way. Thank you, Lord, and thank you Cross Church for 30 years of doing life together.
From Here, Where Do We Go?
Our first 30-year chapter at Cross Church has now been lived. The Lord holds the future in His hands. I trust Him. You trust Him. We have trusted Him in our past and we will trust Him for our future. The moments have been special.
May the miracle continue!
Now is the Time to Lead,
Ronnie W. Floyd
The rapid pace of life is no longer friendly to moments. Moments can be significant, historical, or brief. In a recent post, I shared 30 Lessons I Have Learned in Leadership Through Leading the Same Organization for 30 Years.
In this article, I shared two lessons about moments:
- Enjoy the special moments.
- Walk slowly through the crowd.
When I presented these lessons at The Summit, I talked about how I wish I had known how to enjoy the special moments of life and ministry more. It is something I intentionally work on, and was privileged to learn the principles personally from men like J.B. Hunt and Jerry Falwell, Sr.
This Brief Season Was Filled With Great Moments
My church just celebrated my 30th anniversary of serving as Senior Pastor. This past Thursday afternoon, our entire staff team surprised me with a very special and touching reception for Jeana and me. It was filled with testimonies from some of our staff team from all walks of life.
- How they raised their children by the way we raised our two boys.
- How their lives were shaped from their youngest years to today by what we have taught them.
- How God used our preaching of the Word of God to transform their entire lives and career trajectory.
- How they wanted Jeana and me to sit back and experience the moments of this past weekend and not rush past them.
Then, yesterday morning, my son, Dr. Nick Floyd, preached on legacy. He was outstanding! Our Communications Team put together a powerful video of encouragement. I spoke only briefly at the end of the services.
Last night, as a complete surprise, many of our former preacher guys and staff guys came from across America to be with us. They, along with our Leadership Team and a few other dear church leaders, witnessed the power of ministry multiplication through the years. There were others who were not able to attend. We had video messages from former staff members and church members, from Ryan Blackwell who pastors First Baptist in San Francisco, to our dear friends, Coach Gus and Kristi Malzahn, Head Football Coach, Auburn University. There is nothing like the gospel traveling on the tracks of a relationship. As we drove away, I told Jeana I was exhausted! It was emotional, encouraging, celebrative, and even compelling to continue forward in this journey. We laughed, cried, prayed, and fellowshipped. Oh, my cup is overflowing!
Some of My Favorite Moments
I will not go deep and long into some of my favorite moments, but I will mention a few in order to celebrate the work of the Lord among His people:
My first Sunday as Senior Pastor, October 26, 1986, when from a small gymnasium, the Word of God was proclaimed as the church welcomed this very young pastor and family.
The first Sunday in our Worship Center in the First Baptist Church of Springdale on February 14, 1988. The day was historic in many ways, including then Governor Bill Clinton congratulating the church in this accomplishment. More importantly, when looking back, it literally changed the entire trajectory and influence of our church to this very day.
On Sunday, January 21, 1990, I opened God’s book and informed my beloved church that their young, precious pastor’s wife and my life partner, Jeana, was diagnosed with breast cancer. With tears and emotion, they embraced us, loved us, prayed for us over the next 12-18 months filled with surgeries, tough chemotherapy and radiation treatments, and trips to Houston’s M.D. Anderson Hospital. Through this experience and challenging time, it was when I truly became their pastor not only in the title I received in 1986, but in life in 1990.
On Sunday, June 4, 1995, after I had just completed my first forty-day fast, I shared what God had done in me and was doing in me. God moved in, and when He came to church that day with us, He brought real revival, yes, church revival. The schedule went out the window that day, leading to a two-hour plus morning worship service with at least 3,000 present. 70-80% returned on Sunday night, leading to a service lasting for four hours. This day changed our church because God had changed their pastor, me, for forty ongoing days during a time of fasting.
In June of 1996, I was asked to preach the convention message to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in the Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. In those years, thousands attended and the convention message was one of the major highlights. I sensed God wanted me to give a public invitation, which was unprecedented, and literally hundreds responded with a brokenness before God most of us had never witnessed or experienced. Just this past week, on October 21, 2016, this was shared in the SBC This Week podcast in their moments in SBC History (You can find it at about 30 minutes into the podcast). It was humbling to listen as they discussed a Baptist Press Article released October 21, 1996 regarding my sermon.
Learning leadership and leading in the Southern Baptist world in 1996: In 1996, I was acting as a member of the 7-member Program and Structure Subcommittee of the Southern Baptist Convention, which reduced our nineteen SBC entities to eleven entities and the Executive Committee. Simultaneously, I was serving as Chairman of the SBC Executive Committee and was elected to be the President of the SBC Pastors’ Conference, preparing for 1997 Southern Baptist Convention in Dallas, Texas. None of this was sought after, but for some unique reason in this time in my life, God called me to do these things simultaneously, teaching me so much about leadership within and outside of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Saturday, October 4, 1997, I preached to 1.3 million men at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. as part of a ministry movement of men called Promise Keepers. After preparing with forty days of fasting and prayer for my 9-minute message, I preached what I believed was God’s vision for America.
More to Come
When you pastor and lead a church over a long period of time, there will come a time when you do not know when you begin and the church ends or when the church begins and you end. This is what happens with a relationship. Never forget this: The Gospel travels on the tracks of a relationship. This is what pastors do.
More on this subject in Moments, Part 2.
Now is the Time to Lead,
Ronnie W. Floyd
Senior Pastor, Cross Church
To request an interview with Dr. Ronnie Floyd
contact Gayla Oldham at (479) 751-4523 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.