The Cross Church family will experience a special day on Sunday, April 21. Our Springdale and Pinnacle Hills campuses will welcome Clayton King as our guest preacher. Clayton King will speak at 9:15 a.m. at our Springdale campus and at 10:55 a.m. at our Pinnacle Hills campus.
I am eager to hear Clayton King preach the Word of God and I want to urge you all to be a part of this special day and to bring others with you. Let’s make it a great day at Cross Church all for the Glory of God!
Invite, Invite, Invite
Clayton King is a phenomenal evangelist and preacher of God’s Word. He serves as a teaching pastor at NewSpring Church in Anderson, S.C, and is also a campus pastor at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va. Between his NewSpring Church and Liberty University ministries; Clayton King reaches thousands of people each week for the glory of God.
Clayton King is God-anointed preacher and is extraordinarily gifted at reaching the lost and bringing them to the Lord. He preaches the Bible! And the Bible relates to each of us and every aspect of our lives, including family, leadership, and relational situations. So Cross Church, please use this opportunity to gather those around you who need to hear the life saving message of Jesus Christ. Adults, students, and children can ALL invite guests to join them this week at Cross Church – so everywhere you go this week invite, invite, invite!
Pray for Cross Church Student Day
This weekend our Cross Church student ministry teams are hosting three Student Day events across our region. Student Day is an amazing opportunity for students and families to respond to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Clayton King will be speaking at our Student Day events — reaching young people in Fayetteville, Springdale, and in the Bentonville/Rogers area.
Please pray that our students will invite their friends to join them at Student Day events and at church on Sunday morning. Please also pray, by name, for Clayton King as he prepares for the coming days and that people will respond to his presentation of the Gospel message.
If you have a student living on your street or in your neighborhood, invite them to Student Day.
There is no family like the Cross Church family! Let’s make a difference this week.
Yours for the Great Commission,
It was in the late 1980’s. Our church was buzzing and growing. God was moving powerfully. We had just moved into a new Worship Center and all of a sudden, transition was inevitable. While our numbers gained greatly, we also saw a few individuals and families depart. As any pastor would be, I was troubled.
It was a Moment for me
God had raised up a man to walk with me through these days of transition. His name was Ron Lewis. He was so helpful to me. He joined me on a trip to help the church in our advance towards reaching our region with the Gospel and he listened to me talk about a few departures we had along the way. As a Pastor, you know what it is like: we do not want to lose anyone and while God is bestowing our church with countless blessings, Satan sidetracks us with one little issue.
I will never forget what Ron Lewis told me that day.
Ronnie, Never let Anyone Outside of Your Circle of Love
In my February 13 blog about how I have stayed in the same church for 26 years, I mentioned this conversation briefly. Here was my executive staff sitting in an old Bonanza Restaurant working through how we could sustain the momentum and Ron said to me, “Ronnie, never let anyone outside of your circle of love.” I will never forget those words.
He Went on to say…
Ron expounded on his remarks. He shared with me that if my heart was big enough to forgive continually and love unconditionally, the very same people who may leave today, may come back around in the future. Even today I hear those words resounding continually; “Ronnie, never let anyone outside of your circle of love.”
How Have I Done?
I took Ron’s counsel to heart immediately. Additionally, the Holy Spirit reminded me of the words of the great scholar and teacher of evangelism at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Dr. Oscar Thompson. He taught us continually, “The moment you experienced the love of Jesus Christ at salvation, you chose to forfeit the right to whom you would love.” Boom! At that holy moment, God did a major work in my life personally and as a pastor-leader.
Beginning that day, I have never let anyone outside of my circle of love! I do not have the right to love this person and not love that person. Jesus sets the bar: love all people! Yes, unconditionally love for all people. Even for a Pastor and his family, there are times we are pressed on this issue. However, love and forgiveness always wins!
What can we do to Never let Anyone Outside of our Circle of Love?
Let me share three simple actions you can take to never let anyone outside your circle of love.
First: Take People to the Lord in Prayer
Pastor, you will have people in your church that will hurt you and even offend you deeply. Others will lie about you and cause problems in the fellowship. Others will leave the church, even after you have won them, loved them, discipled them, and cared for them through some of their deepest pain. How should you respond?
Take them to Jesus in prayer one by one. Call their name out to the Lord in prayer. I am convinced that if I pray for people who have hurt me or tried to hurt the church, I will never let them outside of my circle of love. Sometimes, we want to talk to everyone else about what they have done. Insure that you talk to God about them. He is the only one who can keep your heart soft and sensitive to Him and others.
Second: Forgive Continually
Forgiveness is a way of life for a Christian, especially for a Christian leader. Please do not take it lightly. Do not try to turn the rattlesnake of un-forgiveness into your pet or friend. If you do, it will strike you with a poison that will eventually destroy you and eventually even your ministry.
A Pastor and his wife cannot let Satan win this battle! He will destroy you, your marriage, your kids, and perhaps even your leadership in the church. Un-forgiveness and bitterness never has a place in the life of a Pastor and his wife. Forgive continually.
Third: Let it go
Regardless of what has been said about you, written about you, or presumed about you, let it go. Take it to the Lord in prayer. Forgive continually. Then, let it go!
You cannot go forward holding on to a past hurt. You cannot go forward resenting people or situations or the church itself. Let it go!
The End Result
When you do not let anyone outside of your circle of love, eventually, many of them will come back to you. I’ve lived long enough and pastored the same church long enough to see this occur. Just think, if I had not prayed for them, been forgiving of them and let my personal pain go, my heart would have never been opened to their return or called them to return to us as family.
My challenge to you today is very simple: Pastor, never let anyone outside of your circle of love! You will never do this unless you take them to the Lord in prayer, forgive them continually, and let it go. Remember, the moment you received the love of Christ into your life, you forfeited your right to choose whom you would love.
Yours For The Great Commission,