Archive for the 'Guest Post' Category

What an Acts 1:8 Mission Strategy Can Do for Your Church

Doug Sarver-headshotToday, welcomes guest writer, Doug Sarver. Doug is the Minister of Global Missions at Cross Church.

When it comes to missions, unfortunately, many churches practice without strategy. Even scarier than not having a strategy, is not having the right strategy. There are many possible strategies, some healthy and some not. Warren Wiersbe says, “Ministry is not done by imitation but by incarnation”. (Philippians 1:6) The best strategy would obviously be a Biblical strategy, and I love using Acts 1:8 as ours for Cross Church. It says, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

As a pastor, when you are setting a missions strategy, you should ask yourself, “What is God doing in and through me as pastor, and our church, to fulfill Acts 1:8?”

Here are 4 things an Acts 1:8 missions strategy can do for your church.

1. Brings focus. Pastor, don’t just throw spiritual darts at a map to select where or what your church will do in missions. It is a key responsibility of the pastor to set missional focus for your church. Use Acts 1:8 to bring that focus. Acts 1:8 does not move on tracks like a train, with whistle stops along the way in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the world. It moves like the sweeping hands of a clock, never ending, and with continuous movement. I love the thought that I can connect Jerusalem (local) missions to the ends of the world! Focus on how your missions strategy can connect local missions to the far ends of unreached peoples around the world. Begin reaching the nations in your own back yard to learn about the culture and language etc. Then you will be equipped to travel to their nation more effectively and with great focus.

2. Prioritizes the focus. Start with local missions, then move to regional, national, and international. I have said for years, at Cross Church, we will not forsake Northwest Arkansas on the altar of the world when it comes to missions. I believe we earn the right to go abroad. Pastors, let’s make sure we are getting it done in our own communities equal to our efforts abroad. It is a tragic thought to think we have thousands of churches in America that aren’t reaching and baptizing people in their own churches, but will buy plane tickets to go overseas to share the gospel.

3. Empowers the people. Jesus said, “you will be”. When we have a biblical strategy, it actually empowers people to be involved personally in your church’s missional vision. I want to see as many people as possible empowered to bring the gospel to the ends of the earth. When we communicate clear, biblical strategy, it is amazing how many people feel empowered to get personally involved. When our people are empowered missionally, they will begin to live and believe “I am Acts 1:8”.

4. Honors Jesus and the Holy Scripture. “My witnesses”. The emphasis (mine added) on MY. Wow, what a thought. I can be a witness to the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ beginning in my local community, and extending to the ends of the earth. Now, that honors Jesus and His Holy Word. There is nothing that brings more honor to Jesus and His Holy Scripture than when people are led to place their faith in Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior. When we, as believers, practice being a witness for Jesus Christ, we can almost hear a proud Father say, ”they are MY WITNESSES and wow, I am honored!”

Pastor, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I bring focus in my church’s missional strategy?
  • Do I prioritize our church’s missional strategy?
  • Do I empower my church members to fulfill the church’s missional strategy?
  • How much honor is being brought to Jesus and the Holy Scripture through my church’s missional strategy?

I would love to help you or your church in any way I can. Feel free to contact me at or 479-751-4523.

Doug Sarver

Minister of Global Missions, Cross Church

Guest Post | There Is Still Time to Join Us for This Next Year at the Cross Church School of Ministry, by Edward Upton

Ed-blogToday, welcomes guest writer, Dr. Edward Upton. Dr. Upton is the President of Cross Church School of Ministry.

This summer has been a wonderful and productive time so far at Cross Church. We took over 900 people to Beach Camp, over 300 to Middle School camp, and over 2,000 are participating in VBX this week. Over the course of these events, we have seen well over 200 people baptized, and there will be many more before the summer is complete. Needless to say, it is an exciting season in the life of our church, and our Resident Ministers of the Cross Church School of Ministry have been heavily involved throughout the entire summer!

Here at Cross Church, our mission is to reach Northwest Arkansas, America, and the world for Jesus Christ, and in the School of Ministry, you can play a vital role in that mission. Our one-year residential ministry experience is designed to prepare the next generation for life, ministry, and gospel advancement globally. We firmly believe that training and education can open a whole new world to men and women who have given their lives in service to the Lord. Both formal education and practical training are necessary for ministry, but few are able to achieve both at the same time. In the School of Ministry, that combination is made possible through our unique partnerships and gifted staff.

Exciting New Opportunities

There has never been a better time to be part of our School of Ministry here at Cross Church. We are creating an environment that masterfully blends both formal theological education and practical ministry experience. This is one of the best ministry training opportunities in the country, and we are improving it each year. Over the course of the last few months we have been developing new and stronger partnerships with all of our Southern Baptist Seminaries. We have also entered into a partnership with the North American Mission Board to train church planters, and are developing a new partnership with the International Mission board to prepare our missionaries for work around the world.

It’s not too late!

The best part is, there is still time for you to join our team. Simply visit and click Apply Now. The next cohort starts on August 20, and we would love to have you join us. Over the next 12 months, a whole new group of dedicated ministry students will take part in an international mission trip, several North American mission trips, and each week serve on staff with one of the greatest ministry teams in America. You will leave here more equipped than ever, and if education is your next step, we will give you a substantial head start toward either graduate or undergraduate degrees. If you are called to ministry, and want to receive training but want to start working now, you should definitely consider joining the Cross Church School of Ministry. So, whether you are degree seeking or just looking for more practical experience, if you join us next year at the Cross Church School of Ministry, I promise it will be one of the greatest years of your life and you will see lives changed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Dr. Edward Upton
President, Cross Church School of Ministry