COVID helped Crossroads learn about itself & connect with other churches

Editor: Act Locally Waco is sharing a series of blog posts — Faith Doing Good — about local religious groups working in the community. These pieces were written by Baylor University students from the Department of Journalism, Public Relations, and New Media.

By Kaylee Cannon

Derek Nease, the family teaching pastor at Crossroads Fellowship in Waco, expressed his love for the Waco community and gave details on how COVID-19 has affected the church congregation.

“The church is more than just a building, it’s more than just a place in the neighborhood. It truly is a group of people that want to see the gospel of Jesus Christ go forth,” Nease said. 

Nease said one of his favorite parts about serving the Waco community is the healthy partnership and communication among many of the churches in the area. It’s not just a certain denomination, but all of the churches coming together to serve the community.

Derek Nease

“That’s what I love about this community. That there are pastors that are willing to say I have a church I am leading, but the bigger thing is how we as a city can do this together,” Nease said.

Nease said the church had a project in November 2020 called, “All In.” They worked with organizations such as Mission Waco to help the community with various needs.

According to the Crossroads Fellowship website, part of their mission is to form relationships. They believe relationships with God and each other form the foundation of their purpose as a church.

“What I enjoy about the Waco community is that the people have appreciated and welcomed us in and have said thank you for still being a part of bringing change whether we’re able to meet in-person or not,” Nease said.

Nease said that the church had to make quick changes to follow COVID-19 guidelines. They had to get the Sunday teachings available for people to watch and listen to online. In the spring, they began holding in-person services with masks, as well as streaming online for those who wished to stay home.

“What do we value as a church organization? Do we value the meeting? Or do we value life transformation?”COVID-19 helped people “realize how we can still have an impact on people’s lives,” Nease said.

Crossroads Fellowship believes in meeting people where they are with a welcoming environment with accessible worship and preaching, its website says.

“We have and will continue to do the missional things that we always do which brings people, even those not in the church, together,” Nease said.

Communication among churches is new in Waco, Nease said. It has been a very good change in the community as pastors have gathered to pray.

“It’s special for several hundred pastors to be in one room together and pray together,” Nease said. “Not only for their organization and their church specifically, but for the name of Jesus to be raised and praised in the city of Waco.” 

Kaylee Cannon is a sophomore at Baylor University majoring in business management with a minor in public relations. She is from Jacksonville, Ore.

The Act Locally Waco blog publishes posts with a connection to these aspirations for Waco. If you are interested in writing for the Act Locally Waco Blog, please email Ferrell Foster at [email protected].