July 10, 2002
JEFFERSON CITY – Missouri Baptists will undertake an unprecedented evangelistic mission in Springfield and the surrounding area in the days immediately leading up to the Missouri Baptist Convention’s (MBC) annual meeting the last week of October.
Crossover Springfield, designed much like the Crossover events preceding the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting, will feature block parties, sports evangelism events, prayer walking, servant evangelism projects and more, according to Jerry Field, MBC evangelism initiative coordinator.
"We’ve never done anything like this in our state convention," Field told the MBC Executive Committee during its quarterly meeting June 9 at the Baptist Building.
The Executive Board responded to Field’s call for support and a presentation by Jim Wells, director of missions for the Tri-County Association, by unanimously passing a resolution endorsing Crossover Springfield.
Citing Acts 16: 6-10 where the Apostle Paul has a vision in which he hears a request from a Macedonian to come to his region to tell them about Jesus, Wells exhorted the board members to get their churches — and themselves — involved.
"Maybe the way to set the tone for the Missouri Baptist Convention’s annual meeting is to go out soul-winning, sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ, keeping the main thing the main thing," Wells said.
"God has called us to preach the Gospel to Missouri. More than 50 percent of the people in this state are lost.
"In the counties where I serve as director of missions for Tri County Association, one of them, Christian County, has had its population grow by 66 percent" (between the 1990 U.S. census and the 2000 census).
He noted that other nearby counties had experienced considerable growth as well.
"We are being inundated by people from all over the country and literally from all over the world. So I’m asking you do three things: Pray for Crossover Springfield and pray for us in southwest Missouri. Pray that during this emphasis we will be able to impact our region with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
"Second, vote as a board to adopt the Crossover strategy for Springfield and by your vote say, ‘this is a priority for us as a convention.’
"And third, I’m asking you to hear the Macedonian call today. I’m asking you to come over and help us. There are pastors, lay people and agencies in this room and if we would all get together and say, ‘the main thing is the main thing,’ Springfield and this state could be changed forever."
The theme for Crossover Springfield, scheduled for October 26-27, is "Sowing the Seed of Kindness." It marks the beginning of a five-year evangelistic strategy focusing on "reseeding" the fields of Missouri with the Gospel seed.
Field is encouraging churches to bring their youth, collegiate and mission action groups to participate in Crossover Springfield.