“Being and Building Disciples of Christ.”
That was the vision of Crossroads Church when it opened its doors in Newnan, Georgia. Crossroads was planted by a parent church in March 1989 and since that time, the congregation has had a heart to plant even more churches.
When Scott Barber joined Crossroads as the Singles Pastor, the church was already supporting folks who served on the mission field with OM, so Scott agreed to accompany OM on a trip.
Scott explains, “I didn’t know a lot about OM at the time. I knew we were aligned theologically and sensed that we would be aligned philosophically as well.”
On June 14, 2002, a dozen members from Crossroads Church gathered at the Atlanta airport to voyage to Maputo, Mozambique, where one Crossroads family was serving aboard an OM ship called Doulos.
For Scott, the trip was a pivotal to understanding his personal calling.
“For me it was a life-changing trip. I came face to face with poverty that I had only seen pictures of. I met young girls who sold their bodies to make money for their families. I saw the church in another culture for the first time as well. I saw missionaries who had committed their lives to the spread of the Gospel.”
Not only did Scott see what God doing in the world, he also gained clarity about what God was doing in him. Scott explains that during the trip, “The Spirit of God changed my personal and ministry calling.” Originally Scott was called to be the Singles Pastor. He had dutifully agreed to take on missions at the church because he know God wanted the church to reach the world, but he had never felt it was his personal calling.
Scott now reflects, “After that trip I could see that God had put me in this role knowing that my heart would follow. That’s exactly what happened.”
And then, in 2009, God birthed something new through Crossroads Church’s partnership with OM.
Scott took a vision trip to Northern India, where OM ran a school in an area that had no local pastor or believers. In the village, Scott saw God at work and heard many stories of individuals and surrounding communities that had been transformed by the Gospel. His heart was ignited to partner Crossroads Church with OM to plant a church in this village. Scott wasn’t alone. The Crossroads elders shared his burden to use their resources in unreached parts of the world. “After some discussion and prayer, we felt Northern India was where we should invest,” Scott says. The next year, Scott took a Crossroads elder and the lead pastor to visit the village. All three men left asking, “How can we not be involved here?”
Crossroads now supports the village school, a local pastor, and surrounding communities. They regularly send medical teams and church-planting teams to the area. In the past five years, two churches and several other fellowships have been established and many new believers have been baptized. The work in this village is more than OM’s ministry and more than Crossroads Church’s ministry — it’s God’s ministry with the global Church.
The Crossroads congregation also partners with OM Haiti. Last year, Lead Pastor Ken Adams began an annual pastoral training conference to equip Haitian church leaders to develop more disciple-making leaders in their own congregations.
“Partnering with OM to train pastors and leaders in Haiti is an awesome experience,” gushes Ken. “The Haitian pastors have such a hunger and desire to fulfill the Great Commission that many of them are willing to travel hours just to participate in the training. This year we trained over eighty pastors to become leaders who not only have a heart for God, but also lead with knowledge and understanding of God (Jeremiah 3:15).” When Ken returns to Haiti later this year, a short-term mission team from Crossroads will also join him.
Most American congregations expect pastors to “do ministry.” But through OM’s partnership with Crossroads, the church has been able to send many people from it’s body on short-term mission trips. In 2014 alone, 180 people went out on 13 teams — from teenagers to retirees, and even one woman in her eighties. Several students have dedicated a “gap year” between high school and college to serve with OM, while some couples and families serve in the field for two years, and others settle in for the rest of their lives.
Crossroads was Nicole Walters’s church before she moved to attend New Orleans Baptist Seminary. When a Crossroads friend told her about OM, Nicole investigated traveling to India. She says, “Within four months I was serving in the largest slums of Asia in Mumbai.” Nicole raves about her missions experience through the Crossroads-OM partnership, “The process through the short-term department was so simple. They really made it easy to plan and raise funds to get there. I spent two months in India and came home with a greater love for missions and OM."
"It was wonderful to be a part of an organization with people from diverse backgrounds, nationalities, and denominations working together for the Kingdom of God!”
When she married, Nicole and her husband explored missions together. Nicole explains, “Crossroads was very supportive while we raised support. They allowed us to speak at small groups and helped connect us with groups we didn’t know personally. The church supported us financially and with advice in the support-raising process.” Circumstances eventually brought Nicole and her husband back to U.S. soil, but they continue to be involved with Crossroads and OM work abroad.
Today the relationship between Crossroads and OM is vibrant and the line between who is serving who has been thoroughly blurred. Crossroads has supported both short and long-term missionaries with OM in Montenegro, New Zealand, Egypt, Nepal, Italy, the 10/40 window, and Ireland. The church also commissions short-term teams to support full-time missionaries in the field.
In 1989, Crossroads Church was established with a vision built on the Great Commandment and Great Commission — to be a place where people could be and build disciples. OM has been a critical strategic partner, helping the church do just that.
Pastor Scott shares, “OM has been our greatest partner in terms of helping send short and long-term missionaries, and in personal mentoring.”
Nicole Walters also celebrates the church’s partnership with OM, noting, “Our relationship has continued to grow because they have given us opportunities to go where we wouldn’t have, when we weren’t sure how to begin. OM gave us the opportunity to be involved in India and gave shape to the dream God had given us.”
Lord, we thank You for Your heart of compassion toward the lost and forgotten. For us You sent Your only Son. We ask You, in Your great mercy, to shine Your light into the darkest corners of this world. Use us as You will, Father, to bring the beauty of new life in Christ to those who have not yet heard, that they might also believe and follow Him.
Join one of our many short-term trips or view our long-term opportunities.GO