Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Salvation: The Greatest Transformation

Previously we spoke about Saul transitioning from a passive observer of sin to an active participant. It cannot be overstated just how active Saul truly became in sin. This guy was not just simply walking away from God, he was actively attacking his people. Saul undoubtedly became the most feared man among early Christians. If someone were to research Saul's life, they would be horrified at the things we did to the church and Jesus' followers.

The funny thing about it though is that Saul was very religious. He himself admitted in scripture that he was a Jew among the Jews. He was very well educated on the major religious principles of the day and as well respected among his peers. His religion had become distorted and the church was suffering for it. I cannot help but wonder if the Church (the overall church, not one specific group of believers) has some very  well-intended Saul's in its midst. These are the guys who look like they know just about everything about everything, but are destructive in their approach to religion.

Many of us who live in the Church world who run into these guys do everything we can to avoid them. It is a good thing that God does not read from our playbook. God did not avoid Saul, nor did he allow Saul to continue persecuting his Church. Rather, God confronted Saul on the road to Damascus and changed his life. He got a hold of Saul in a way that Saul could not ignore and miraculously brought him to a point of transition. Saul would not simply transition into a relationship with Jesus Christ, but he transformed into a radical servant of the one true King.

If you are reading this and you relate to Saul before God got a hold of him, we want you to know that God can transform you as well. You are never too much of a sinner to where you cannot be redeemed. Allow God to meet you on the road right where you are and open your eyes like he did to Saul. If you are a believer and you run into a Saul character, do not run and do not hide. Engage them and allow God to use you as the catalyst of transformation in that person's life. You may not have to look much further than your own congregation to find someone who is destructively religious and needs the transformative power of Jesus Christ.

-Pastor Ethan

Monday, March 20, 2017

Review It March 19th, 2017

Passive Observer or Active Participant?

A few months ago, Crossroads Church Circleville embarked on an adventure to reach college & career aged young people. We began meeting on Sunday nights after 8 (which is the name of the service). As Pastor Dan and I began to look at the needs of that age group, we wanted a theme or series that would fit close to home and speak to this group where they live. As a recent college grad, I can say without a doubt that this season of life is full of transition and change. Our hope is to help these students and young adults to navigate these times transitions and turn them into times of great transformation.

As we looked at scripture, no person exhibited more change and growth than Paul the Apostle. He spent his entire recorded life in a constant state of transition. We went on three missionary journeys that took him all over the known world at the time. However, his story did not that way. In fact, his story did not even start as the persecutor of the church from before his conversion. To get a sense of where Saul (then he came Paul) started, you have to go back to Acts 7:57-58. At this time, Stephen had made some enemies with his relentless preaching of truth and we find ourselves picking up in these verses as he was about to be stoned to death. If we look at these verses, we find Saul in a different role than we see down the road. "At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. Meanwhile, the witnesses laid laid their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul." Saul was not a part of the group that stoned Stephen. In fact, he was only used to watch the clothes of the witnesses. At this point, he was a passive observer of sin. This may not seem like much of a theological point, but look at where Paul ended up before he was converted. He went from passive observer to active participant, and eventually became one of the most feared men in the church.

As we look at our lives, we must be careful of what we are passively observing. It may not seem like it is influencing us, but the story of Saul tells a different tale. If we allow ourselves to be passive observers for too long, eventually the moment comes when we actively participate. These are the moments that the enemy thrives on. He wants us to watch and be amazed by sin. Don't give the enemy that much territory. Actively RESIST sin through the strength and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

-Pastor Ethan

"Ethan is the Communications Pastor at Crossroads Church Circleville. He is a recent graduate of Ohio Christian University with a degree in Emergency Management. He also co-leads the College & Career Ministry and the heads up the church's Emergency Response Team. His heart is to build a set of online platforms where people can come to regularly hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ."

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Introduction & Purpose

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Ethan and I get to serve as Communications Pastor at Crossroads Church in Circleville, Ohio. As a part of this role, I am always looking for new ways to let people know all of the amazing things God is doing within the church and through the church. I have never been much of a blogger, but I thought this would be a great format to share messages, helpful thoughts, and encouraging words to a wider audience than our congregation on Sunday mornings.

The mission of Crossroads Church Circleville is to lead all generations to love God and love others. That all generations part is an interesting dynamic, but it is one that is ripe with opportunity. That is why in this blog, you will see post from more than just myself, the 24 year old millennial who can navigate a computer. You will here from staff members who specialize in Children's Ministry, Student Life Ministry, and even ministry to the elderly.

If you stick with us, we promise that you will see the heart of this church to see people of every generation impacted by the saving grace of Jesus Christ. I can't promise you will always like what you read, because scripture by its nature is challenging. I can say that we will share insights and truth that is hopefully relevant to your walk and life. If you have any questions or one of the posts on this blog really impacts you, let us know by emailing me at

-Pastor Ethan