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Craig Groeschel: We Innovate for Jesus
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Mark Driscoll: Revelation
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RESURGENCE LEADERSHIP #034: JOHN PIPER, WHY I TRUST THE SCRIPTURES, PART 2
Tue Sep 30, 2014
Resurgence Leadership #033: John Piper, Why I Trust the Scriptures, Part 1
Tue Sep 23, 2014
We’re Praying for Crossroads Church
One of the things we like to do at Resurgence is equip, encourage, and pray for pastors and leaders in various churches around the world. This week we are glad to introduce you to Pastor Chris Priestly and Crossroads Church in Morgantown, West Virginia.
Unlike the stereotypical pastor’s kid who grows up in the church but apart from God, Chris Priestley loved Jesus, loved his church, and wound up serving as a youth minister in Charleston, West Virginia. God’s call upon his life began to mature and take shape while he was in college.
The thought of planting a church never crossed Chris’ mind, but the desire to do so was evident in his evangelistic efforts at skate parks and concert venues. “I heard about church planting for the first time in college and it gave vocabulary to my passion and calling,” Pastor Chris recalls.
After marrying his high school sweetheart, Laura, they moved to Morgantown, West Virginia, to join a new church plant in the area. Unfortunately, soon after their arrival the lead pastor disqualified himself and no longer served the church. At this point, Chris and his wife had to make a decision: should they leave the church, or continue Jesus’ work in the area?
Jesus will build his church
Wrestling with the tension of uncertainty and a desire to see the gospel at work in Morgantown, Chris packed his bags and took a road trip to Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis. He had an opportunity to discuss the situation with a distant influence upon his life, Dr. John Piper. During his time at Bethlehem, Chris was profoundly influenced by Dr. Piper’s Sunday sermon.
“He preached a powerfully convicting sermon that day on Jesus’ statement, ‘I will build my church,’” Chris says. “It was in that sermon and the providence of God bringing me to the right place at the right time that God called my wife and me to commit our lives to serving Morgantown and replanting Crossroads Church.”
This was a turning point in the life of Chris and the church.
A new vision for Morgantown
Upon returning to Morgantown, Chris began a six-month process of teaching the Bible, developing a clear vision, training leaders, and counseling the wounded before re-launching Crossroads with a handful of people. Since that time, Jesus has been faithful in keeping his promise to build his church.
In the presence of what is considered one of the top party colleges in the nation—West Virginia University—Crossroads is now approaching its fourth anniversary. God has graciously grown the church every year, and they now have two gatherings each Sunday in a packed building filled with many college students.
“God called my wife and me to commit our lives to serving Morgantown and replanting Crossroads Church.”
Even though Morgantown faces one of the greatest disparity rates between rich and poor in the United States, Chris expresses his excitement that Crossroads is “becoming a gathering of diverse tribes, ages, and economic backgrounds united under the singular name and mission of Jesus Christ.” Chris shared how the church has witnessed “broken marriages renewed, sexual addictions broken, people . . . far from God meeting Jesus, a pastor who was burnt-out and disillusioned revived, and all three of his children becoming Christians.”
Jesus is at work in Morgantown
In order to connect with those who would normally not attend a worship service, Crossroads hosts a music venue for local bands. Their hospitality recently led to the opportunity to baptize the frontman of a local metal band.
Recently, one of their members who is a college student got a job waiting tables so that he could build relationships with his co-workers and share the gospel with them. During a cookout he hosted in his backyard, a drunken co-worker showed up, was connected with the church, heard the gospel, was later baptized by his friend, and now is a member of the church.
Jesus has been faithful in keeping his promise to build his church.
Although God’s work through Crossroads nearly came to an end at the beginning, Jesus faithfully kept his promise to build his church. In the words of Chris, “From the ashes of a messy church plant, God has called a beautiful bride.”
Bubbling over with enthusiasm, Chris exclaims, “We’re stoked to see and to participate knowing that every new member and every new Christian is a miracle.”
Join us in prayer for Crossroads Church
Please pray with us for Crossroads Church. Here’s how they asked us to pray:
Lives changed. “The majority of Morgantown doesn’t know the real Jesus. That gets us out of bed every morning. We love Jesus, we love our city, and we want the two to meet. Pray with us that God ignites every member of Crossroads as a missionary and a means to increase his fame and make new passionate followers of Jesus Christ.”
Leaders. “Pray for us to grow as leaders, to carefully develop our up-and-coming leaders, and for God to bring in mature, like-minded leaders (soul care, community group leaders, elders, and potential church planters). It’s a transient town and we are praying for more men and women to dig in, plant roots, and train up for the long-haul.”
Location. “Our current facility is maxed out and we’re looking to add a multi-site or move to a larger facility in the next year. Either option will require greater funding internally as well as investment in Jesus’ work here from outside partners.”