Congregation sells building to help church plant
TORONTO (BP) -- What Crossroads Church in Hinesville, Ga., is doing to obey God and penetrate lostness in Toronto seems crazy. They are, you might say, at a bit of a crossroads and have decided to take the path less traveled.
Crossroads Church is selling their church building and its 16 acres, setting aside more than $1 million and -- with no solid prospects of where they'll meet -- continuing to call themselves a church and make plans for future ministry. They have hopes a local school will let them use their space.
The church has designated the funds from the building and property sale for church planting work locally, throughout North America and globally -- and has no plans yet to start building anything new. To top it all off they're sending their pastor, Danny Eason, to another country to start a church just as things were getting good.
Eason and his family are leaving where they've been their whole lives and moving to Toronto, a place they've been twice. He admits this is a miracle in itself.
"Sometimes I think I am nuts for leaving," Eason said. "The church is a great church. They're willing, with reckless abandon, to charge the gates of hell."
It's difficult not to think of David and his five smooth stones.
David: "There is a God in Israel."
Crossroads: "There is a God in Hinesville."
And apparently they aren't content with keeping God to themselves, because by the end of this year Crossroads could be buildingless and pastorless with a budget and passion for changing the world.
"Anything less," Eason said, "would be disobedient."
It's the inevitable outgrowth of God's work in a once-dying church formerly known as Faith Baptist. Seven years ago, when the church called Eason -- a lifelong member -- as its pastor, it had 20 in attendance most weeks. During a process of re-launching -- essentially planting a church within a church -- Faith Baptist emerged as Crossroads Church. The 15 people who remained in the congregation took seriously a desire to live missionally and to become a reproducing church.
The rebirth culminated in a plan to start giving toward mission work locally and beyond. And at the end of six years, members had made personal sacrifices, hard decisions and held loosely to their assets, including their building and pastor.
The long-term plan for Crossroads Church is somewhat undecided, though they suspect God might keep them "mobile" for the foreseeable future as they become global in their multiplying efforts through church planting.
"Hopefully we'll see God birth a network out of Crossroads," Eason said. "It might continue the way it started when the leadership told the church, 'We don't really know what we're doing. We just know that God is telling us to take this step of faith.'"
Adam Miller writes for the North American Mission Board. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress) and in your email (baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).