Month: March 2018

Rowlett church prays for “gift of desperation”

ROWLETT  Over the next three to five years, “Every single person sitting in this room will be discipling someone else to become a fully devoted follower of Christ.” 

On Vision Sunday in January, Jason Collins, pastor of Crossroads Church in Rowlett, shared that vision with his congregation, adding, “We believe that the world will look different if that happens.” 

The mission of Crossroads Church is to “Expand the KINGDOM one relationship at a time.”  

In an interview with the TEXAN, Collins elaborated on that mission.   

“Our methodology is centered on 1:1 Evangelism, so we teach, train and equip for that. We want to be a church growing through salvation and we want every member to be an active participant. So while we teach on this topic, we really focus on equipping for individual conversation to lead someone to Christ. Being a covenant member of our church means that I will be sharing my faith and discipling others to share their faith.” 

Relationships have been a priority throughout the church’s 25-year history. But in 2015, the mission statement was revised to make relationships the center of everything they do. 

Kelby Mullins planted the church in 1993 with a vision to reach people who were not typical church-goers. The church began in a shopping center before storefronts were a trend. As God grew the church, they purchased property to build, and for a time they met in an open pavilion in a park. 

Mullins, who is still an elder at Crossroads today, stepped down after about 10 years. Kent Cox, known for a deep focus on relationships, became the lead pastor. People who had become bored with religion or burned out in previous church experiences found a home at Crossroads. 

But after 12 years of impactful ministry, Cox died at the age of 49.   

Collins was called to be the lead pastor in July 2015 with a congregation of about 80 people. The church is now averaging 450 people for Sunday worship.  

In a video produced for the SBTC after the 2017 Empower Conference (, Collins explained how Crossroads emphasizes that every member is a minister, and that every believer has a story to tell. He said: “In the last year we’ve seen 100 people come to know Christ and follow in baptism at our church. . . . And that didn’t come through amazing preaching or worship. It came through people of God sharing their story of what God has done in their lives.” 

By the end of 2017, Crossroads had celebrated 160 baptisms. 

Collins and his leadership team attended the 2017 Empower Conference, after which Crossroads Church made the decision to affiliate with the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention. They had considered affiliating prior to the conference, and, said Collins (in the video), “After [Empower] it really solidified some stuff for us. We came and just heard the passion of reaching lost people, and that so resonated with who we are as a church.” 

Collins praised Empower for the inspiration and equipping they received there. “Since then our rep from the SBTC and the director of evangelism have both been incredible at following up with us to encourage us and motivate us.”

Church members who have embraced the church’s mission are being changed. Collins said, “The best thing that can happen for anyone is to be used by God as a part of reaching someone. It changes everything.”  

Some key priorities that have helped Crossroads leaders in living and imparting the vision to members, include: 

  1. Getting out of the office. Collins said, “People are not a distraction from our work; our work is a distraction from people. Long after sermons are forgotten, one-on-one conversations will remain.”¯ 
  2. Scheduling time with people. “We schedule what we value!” 
  3. Using a plan and teaching the plan. “People tend to do best with things that are reproducible, so not only do you share the gospel, you really begin a model of discipleship too.” 
  4. Modeling evangelism. “We cannot expect our people to do what their leaders avoid.” 
  5. Loving people. 
  6. Planning events to build relationships. “That will always maximize the return.” 

Crossroads is also actively engaged in relational ministry through church mentoring, prison ministry, rescuing victims from sex trafficking in India, and supplying water filters homes in Zambia. They are praying about expansion into church planting, orphan care and support ministries for people emerging from varied life struggles.¯  

“I want God to give us the gift of desperation. The Bible is full of desperate people who walked with Jesus Christ,” Collins said in his vision sermon. 

As biblical examples, he referred to two of “the desperate” in Luke 8.  Jesus was the only hope for Jairus, a synagogue leader, desperate for a miracle to save his dying daughter. And he was the only hope for the woman with the 12-year issue of blood, who pressed through the crowd just to touch his garment.   

Just as Jesus moved toward those desperate people, Collins said, “We need to see those who are desperate and move towards them. We can’t allow them to go unnoticed. That is our vision.”  

CP: Are You All-In?

On behalf of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention, I greet you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. I have had the joy of serving an SBTC church in Austin since August 2005. I have to confess, though, 12 and a half years ago, I was not “all-in” on the Cooperative Program. Our church was in great debt, so we had our own financial issues to attend to. I was also ignorant of much of the work of the SBTC. 

Since then, I have not only learned about the work of our state convention, I have grown to confide in its leadership. If you are like I was, then you too may need to be reminded of our work together. Allow me share with you just three of the reasons why I’m now all-in for the Cooperative Program strategy of funding missions, and the work of the SBTC. 

We Are a Network of Faithful, Biblical Churches 

The SBTC is a fellowship of more than 2,650 churches. Since the beginning we have embraced a high view of Scripture, believing that the Bible is God’s Word and is without error. We continue to stand on God’s Word as true and trustworthy for preaching and teaching the generations salvation in Christ.   

We Are a Network of Faithful, Mission-Minded Churches 

The SBTC has always maintained a kingdom focus. We believe the way to impact lostness in Texas and the world is by proclaiming Jesus and him alone. For this reason, we have been driven by a missional focus to give generously through the Cooperative Program. In 1998 our budget was $903,500, and we sent 50 percent to Southern Baptist Convention ministries and retained 50 percent in Texas. 

However, our founders had a great vision—to be the leading state convention in percentage giving. They established a goal and moved to a 55/45 SBC-Texas giving split within 10 years of our founding. Now 55 percent of every undesignated dollar given goes to Southern Baptist Convention ministries; 45 percent is retained for mission and ministries of the SBTC.  

Because of the generosity of our churches working together through the Cooperative Program, we’ve been able to plant 646 churches since 1998.   

Because of the generosity of our churches giving through the Cooperative Program, we were able to initiate our Reach Houston strategy, where we are seeking to plant and revitalize churches in the Greater Houston area. 

Because of the generosity of our churches working together through the Cooperative Program, we are able to initiate our new Reach Austin strategy modeled after Reach Houston.  

As long as you continue to be generous, we will be able to continue planting churches. In fact, there are so many people moving into our state’s metro areas that we cannot plant churches fast enough to keep up with population growth.  

We Are a Network of Faithful, Caring Churches 

Because of the generosity of our churches working together through the Cooperative Program, we were able to care for churches and pastors affected by Hurricane Harvey. We provided 298,431 meals, shared the gospel with 494 people, resulting in 135 professions of faith, and helped “mud-out” 762 homes and churches.  

Because of the generosity of our churches working through the Cooperative Program, we were able to care for our brothers and sisters in Sutherland Springs in the wake of a mindless act of violence that left an entire church devastated and a community in mourning. The generous gifts of SBTC churches allowed us to pay for the funerals of all those who tragically lost their lives. In addition, your generous giving is allowing us to provide staffing support for the pastor as he adjusts to ministry in this context. 

As long as you continue to be generous, we will be able to care for our churches and our pastors in their times of greatest need.   

Are you “all-in” on CP?  

Are you all-in on the Cooperative Program? Are you all-in to partner with faithful, biblical churches? Are you all-in to partner with faithful, mission-minded churches? Are you all-in to help care for our brothers and sisters in need?  

Whether your church is not currently involved in the Cooperative Program or your church gives minimally through the CP, I want to challenge you to be all-in. As we celebrate our 20th anniversary this year, will you commit with me to move forward in giving for this missional cause? In 2017 our churches gave more than $26 million in Cooperative Program funds. This means more than $14 million went to the Southern Baptist Convention for our institutions and agencies to train and send pastors and missionaries, serving faithfully on the mission field or pastoring churches. The remaining $11.7 million is focused on mission and ministry in Texas. God has truly blessed the SBTC and our faithfulness to him during the previous year.  

As a part of being all-in, let me encourage you—if your church has not given in recent years—to make an effort this year to once again join us in this missional giving strategy as part of our 20th anniversary. Consider giving just $20. If every church would give something, we would truly be able to say we are all-in.  

Cooperative Program Sunday is April 8. Let me encourage you to use this special Sunday, or choose another date convenient for your church, to promote the Cooperative Program. If your church gave $0 in 2017, consider using Cooperative Program Sunday as a special missional love offering in order to join in giving through this missional strategy.   

The SBTC staff are available to come and speak in your church if you need a guest preacher on CP Sunday. You can request a speaker by going to and selecting the “Resources” tab. The staff of the SBTC is available to serve you in any way. Please do not hesitate to call on our team. And as president, if I can serve you in any way, please let me know.  

Grace and peace.