My First Week in the Cross Church School of Ministry – Scott Ward

11.13.2014

Today’s guest blogger is Scott Ward. Scott is a recent graduate from Oklahoma Baptist University. He is with the CCSM for one year training in pastoral ministry. He is currently serving at our Cross Church College Avenue Campus alongside Pastor, Andy Goode.

6L4A9766 copyGoing to meetings, walking around big buildings, going to meetings, introducing myself to hundreds of people, being thrust into ministry roles, exploring new communities, and did I mention going to meetings? This describes my first week in the Cross Church School of Ministry. Sounds a bit overwhelming, doesn’t it? I truly believe it could have been, if this was any place besides Cross Church.

Family is very important to me. I have been blessed with amazing parents, great siblings, and an awesome extended family. I left my family and moved to a new state to live and work with strangers, all while changing my career path from youth ministry to pastoral ministry. All this had me feeling a little… uncomfortable.

I did not know what to expect coming into the Cross Church School of Ministry. I had met and talked with Dr. Jeff Crawford, President of Cross Church School of Ministry, a few times and after each encounter felt like this is where God was calling me. But as time drew near for me to make my move to Northwest Arkansas, uncertainty flooded in. I went to God repeatedly; asking for guidance and the strength to trust His plan for my life and to let go of the doubt that was building up inside me. Unfortunately, I could not shake the discouraging feelings.

On my first Sunday as a Cross Church School of Ministry student we were introduced to the church at the Springdale campus, then again at the Pinnacle Hills campus, followed by a “meet and greet” lunch. Everything prior to lunch was a bit of a blur. I had just moved in the night before. I had never stood on a stage looking into bright lights while being introduced to hundreds of people – and not just at one mega church, but two. During lunch there were more introductions and then the leader of the church, Pastor Ronnie Floyd, was asked to say a few words.

In those moments, The Lord completely blew away the cloud of doubt that had been hanging over me. Pastor Floyd reemphasized some points from the sermon he had just finished, titled “How to Walk Toward the Future God Has for Your Life.” He reminded us of what the Bible has to say in Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”

Pretty fitting, huh? It gets even better.

Then Pastor Floyd welcomed us into the Cross Church family! He told us how we could depend and lean on this family because – like a real family – they will depend on us, help us through the rough times, and celebrate the good times. And not just during our time here but from now on because family never ceases.  Amazing words from a great leader used by a sovereign God to give me the encouragement I needed.

In my opening I rattled off a few things that helped describe my first week, but I left a few things out. Things like being prayed for by hundreds of people, receiving smiles and words of encouragement from people I just met, being welcomed at every corner, and getting to see how God is using a faithful body of believers to take the message of The Gospel to Northwest Arkansas, the United Stated, and the World.

And more meetings.

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