Archive for March, 2019
Gospel advancement cannot be divorced from the power of prayer. Nor should prayer be divorced from the need for gospel advancement regionally, nationally, and internationally.
Let History Teach Us Now
In 1806, there were five college students who began to pray twice a week for a mighty move of God to occur. The second Great Awakening had affected at least one of these five students. College student Samuel Mills’s father had served as pastor of a church that had been touched powerfully by this awakening.
These five students of the Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, had come together on a hot Saturday afternoon in August for their prayer meeting. They were going to discuss William Carey’s missionary manifesto, An Enquiry into the Obligations of Christians to Use Means for the Conversion of the Heathens.
On their way to their prayer meeting, a major rainstorm began, filled with wind, lightning, and thunder. They noticed a large haystack, which would provide an opportunity to seek shelter underneath from the wind, rain, and lightning. It was in that setting, after discussing Carey’s missionary manifesto, they went before God in prayer.
Samuel Mills proposed they would go on mission to India. While three of the five agreed with Mills to focus on reaching Asia, it was Harvey Loomis who believed deeply they must focus on reaching America first.
Dial in closely with me: Beginning with what is now known as the “Haystack Prayer Meeting,” two years later, in 1808, a group who became known as “The Brethren” was formulated. These five young men and others focused on prayer and missions. In 1810, after they graduated, they requested that a group send them to India as missionaries. The General Association of Massachusetts formed the first official missions organization in the United States in June of 1810. It was called The American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions.
By the way, Adoniram Judson and his wife, as well as Luther Rice, were some of the first missionaries commissioned and sent across the ocean by this new mission board. It was Judson who became known as the father of Baptist foreign missions. Just think: It all began in a prayer meeting under a haystack.
After praying under the haystack that afternoon, these five young men sang a hymn together. It was then Samuel Mills said loudly over the rain and the wind, “We can do this, if we will!” That moment changed those men forever. Many historians would tell you that all mission organizations trace their history back to the “Haystack Prayer Meeting” in some way.
Yes, these men turned the world upside down. And it all began in a prayer meeting under a haystack. At the place where this meeting occurred, a monument stands today, commemorating this historic God moment. At the top of the monument is the phrase, “THE FIELD IS THE WORLD.” Underneath those words, it says, “The birthplace of American foreign missions. 1806.” This great gospel advancement all occurred because five college students cried out to God in prayer.
Prayer, Movements, the Power of God, and Great Gospel Advancement
The proper place of prayer is minimized. A spiritual movement is seen as mystical. The power of God is ignored. Then, we wonder why great gospel advancement is not occurring.
Integrating these things is imperative. In fact, it is biblical. Think of this familiar verse found in Acts 4:31. It says, “When they had prayed, the place where they were assembled was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak God’s message with boldness.”
- Prayer prioritized?
- Spiritual movement occurring?
- Power of God evident?
- Gospel advancement occurring?
With the condition of things today, we need to return to the biblical and historical model now.
Six in 10 Protestant Churches are Plateaued or Declining
On March 6, 2019, LifeWay Research released a new study from Exponential. It revealed “Six in 10 Protestant churches are plateaued or declining in attendance.” It further said that more than half saw fewer than 10 people become new Christians in the past 12 months.
While growth is happening in some churches across America, it is more than evident that churches and the denominations many of them are connected to are not healthy and growing.
Unquestionably, we need to learn what we can from other churches, but more importantly, it is time that we get ourselves under the nearest haystack, study gospel advancement, and cry out to God over the challenges we are facing today.
Then, we can leave this unique place declaring what Samuel Mills declared over 200 years ago, “We can do this, if we will.”
We need to see what Samuel Mills saw.
THE FIELD IS THE WORLD.
Now is the Time to Lead,
To request an interview with Dr. Ronnie Floyd
contact Gayla Oldham at (479) 751-4523 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunday Snow Day
Sunday was an encouraging day across all of our Cross Church campuses. Even though it was cold and snowy outside, the Word of God was proclaimed and the Lord was worshipped. Yes, it affected our attendance dramatically, so for those of you who were not able to be here, please make up your giving to our Ministry Budget this Sunday, online, or by mail. You can give here or mail your gift to Cross Church, 1709 Johnson Road, Springdale, AR 72762.
Speaking at Today’s Summit Luncheon
What we began in the fall of 2001 with the launch of our Pinnacle Hills Campus, we are continuing with great success in 2019. Soon, we will wrap up our 18th year of investing in the business and community leaders of Northwest Arkansas through the Summit luncheon. In the beginning, I spoke weekly. But soon we began to engage leaders around us as well as from across America to speak to the business leaders in our region. We are still reaching 300-500 leaders for about 20 weeks each year. This is a remarkable praise to God. Thousands have grown and been challenged through the dynamic leaders we have invited to pour into this gathering. If you would like to join us today for the Summit, tickets can be purchased at the door.
Sunday, March 10 is Time Change Sunday – Move Your Clocks Forward 1 Hour on Saturday Evening
Sunday, March 10, is Time Change Sunday… the BAD ONE… YES, the one where you will need to advance your clock one hour before retiring on Saturday evening. Refuse to miss church on this Sunday! Overcome your emotion and mental challenges of this time change—join us and be on time. Let’s EXPECT to meet God on this significant day. This entry into Daylight Saving Time may be a challenge on day one, but it is a blessing afterward. This is just the beginning of a fantastic spring at Cross Church. Find out more by watching this video.
Powerful Sermon Series on Romans 12 is Underway
Do not miss one Sunday of our expositional series on Romans 12. The series is entitled Life Against the Flow: How to Live Upstream in a Godless Culture. If you missed this past Sunday’s opening message in the series, you can watch it here. You can prepare for this week by reading the entire twelfth chapter of the book of Romans. This is one of the great and cherished chapters in the entire Bible.
Are You Being Faithful Financially This Month?
Are you being faithful to the Lord by giving through His church at least the first tenth of all He has given to you? You will never regret doing this and you will quickly discover that you cannot out give God! We are so moved by this extraordinary God, we gladly give this and offerings above. That is why we are challenging you to give a special over and above offering to the Annie Armstrong Offering for North American Missions over the next month. This offering enables efforts of evangelizing the United States and planting gospel churches across America. Together, our 47,000 plus Southern Baptist churches will give no less than $60 million!
Easter Weekend is April 20-21: Our theme is “My Living Hope”
While Easter Weekend is still one month away, begin to think and pray through the person or family you will invite and bring with you on April 20-21. We are planning now and know that we will see thousands upon thousands in worship services all weekend. This may be a record-breaking Easter Weekend for God’s glory! Let’s make it great! Let’s see many come to faith in Christ our Lord. Use #MyLivingHope on social media leading up to Easter to help us spread the word and invite friends to join you for services at Cross Church.
3 Prayer Priorities for America this March 2019
This past Monday, we released our 3 Prayer Priorities for America for March 2019. Here, you can see our special prayer infographic or download and print the list for your daily prayer time. Please pray for the financial needs of our National Day of Prayer Task Force, which I presently lead. In order to pull off this major national prayer initiative in a positive way, we need to see at least another $400,000 come in before the end of May. If you would like to help, please do so by giving online or sending a gift to our home office at PO Box 64225 Colorado Springs, CO 80962. This is a legitimate and real need. America needs prayer now more than ever before.
See you Sunday,
Ronnie W. Floyd