News

It seems like for the last few months, maybe even year, that there has been quite a bit of speculation regarding my future plans. People have asked me what’s next, and I honestly haven’t known what to tell them. However, God has made it abundantly clear to me that my time in New York and on Long Island is coming to a close, at least for now.

I’ve felt like for a while now that God has been calling me to long-term overseas missions. It’s incredibly exciting on one hand, and nerve-wracking on the other. In order to pursue and chase after the calling He has given me, I feel the best way to prepare for that is by taking seminary classes and getting a master’s degree in Missiology. I am pumped to see what God will do and to be a part of His plan in this unique way.

My plan is to move back to Texas near my family in the Dallas area this November, and get a job while also pursuing my master’s degree.

As exciting as all of this is, it’s incredibly bittersweet. This is not a decision I have taken lightly and it has been weighing on me for quite a while.

I cannot adequately put into words what Crossroads means to me. Over the last three and a half years, I’ve worn many hats. I’ve been an intern, driver, teacher, janitor, youth minister, mission team leader, small group leader, and worship leader. I’ve gotten to work at three of our four Crossroads campuses as well as with other churches all over New York City. Although I love leading worship, my favorite “hat” I’ve gotten to wear has been “observer”. I don’t mean like sitting on the sideline and not participating kind of thing, but getting to see people’s lives change over the last three and a half years is what will always mean the most to me. I’ve seen more adults come to know Jesus and be baptized in my time here than in my entire life. We’ve baptized well over 100 adults since I have been up here. It’s one of those things that will never get old. There is nothing like the power of the Gospel being realized. One of my favorite things about it is that it’s almost like a song that’s playing as God is calling out to people. You can see when the song has started in someone’s life, and you’re just waiting for the chorus and the bridge. The first verse is when they start coming to the church or maybe are meeting with one of the pastors and start asking questions. Then the second verse comes in and they are really beginning to realize that this God that they are learning about isn’t some made up story to make them feel better, but that He is alive and real and that He loves them.

And that’s when the chorus hits. They can no longer deny who He is. The song gets bigger and louder and they begin to tell others in their lives around them about what God is doing in their lives. They often get confused looks from people who have known them for a while that see this change in them. The longer this goes on, the more contagious it is.

By the time we get to the bridge, they’re getting baptized and making it publicly known that they have a Savior whose name is Jesus. Their sins are no longer counted against them.

Watching that happen is amazing. It’s a process that can take weeks or even months, but it makes the baptisms that much more special because we’ve gotten to witness firsthand what God has done to bring them to that point.

I know God is leading me away, but Long Island will always have a huge part of my heart. Some of the best people I know live here. It’s great to work with people that you get along with, but it’s another thing to get to work with people who become your family. Our staff has seen me on my best days and on my absolute worst days. We have laughed together in the highest of highs and wept together in each other’s pain and sorrow. Two of those moments that stick out the most are after being here only ten days, my father passed away unexpectedly. Crossroads and Sterling especially surrounded me in that time and the love I felt that day will never be forgotten. I also remember golfing with Jamie one day when I received the news that one of the twins my sister would be having wasn’t going to make it. Jamie and I cried together and most importantly cried out to God together in that moment. I truly believe God knew I needed Jamie there with me when I found that out and God delivered. There have been so many moments that were so clearly orchestrated by God that all we can do is thank God and stand in awe.

Not only is the Crossroads staff like family, but some of them actually will be family in May! My younger brother Braden is marrying our Senior Pastor Sterling Edwards’ daughter, Madison! We had no idea 3 years ago that me coming here would have this kind of impact!! You’re welcome, Braden and Madison!! Sorry, Sterling! Hahadsc_0418

It really does ease some of my pain in leaving knowing that I will always have that connection here and that I will certainly be back to visit Crossroads and my brother’s family!

I want to thank everyone who has partnered with me over the years by praying for me, buying a t-shirt from me, sent a random check in the mail, or sent an encouraging note or letter. God has used you and all of these things to provide exactly what I needed here. It was amazing how time after time when I thought I wasn’t going to have enough support to get through, God would deliver in a big way.

I can’t wait to see what God is going to do next in my life. Whatever it is, I know that I am more prepared than ever after what He has taught me on Long Island and in New York. I truly believe that the best is yet to come and that God is going to continue to move like crazy in my life and in the lives of people on Long Island.

family

Good Friday

I’ve always loved Good Friday. I know it’s not a day of celebration, but I love it. I love it for the same reason that I love sad and depressing movies(Legends of the Fall, The Count of Monte Cristo). In the end of the best stories there’s almost always some form of redemption. It’s why I’m drawn to the characters that are flawed and that fail and that seem to have little or no hope. Then I’m reminded of one of my favorite quotes from one of my all-time favorite movies(Lord of the Rings) where Aragorn says, “There is always hope.” Every time I watch that I can’t help but think about how as a follower of Christ I always have hope. Despite how dark the world is around me, I always have His light shining in me. No matter how bad I mess up or how hard I fall, He’s there to pick me up every single time. Despite how much I don’t deserve His love or His grace, He gives it freely and He never changes. 

Good Friday was an absolutely devastating day. The Son cried out to His Father, but His Father had turned His face away. The spotless Lamb was crucified on the Cross for sinners like you and me. Jesus had died. Surely this wasn’t the end. Surely Jesus had something up His sleeve. This anticipation for redemption was short-lived. Three days later the greatest redemption this world has ever known took place. Jesus Christ defeated death as He rose back to life. He is that hope. He brings redemption for us all. 

Although the night is dark, morning is coming. Sunday will be here soon, and there is always hope. His name is Jesus. 

Summer Recap!

 

Hey everyone, I hope all is well! I’m doing extremely well here on Long Island. I wanted to let all of you know what God has been doing here and how He has been using our church to minister to the community.Interns

Over this last summer, our Reconcile519 network has hosted multiple mission teams that totaled over 500 people from all over the country and even a few from Germany! We had 5 interns serve with us this summer, and I will be posting soon about what the life of a Reconcile519 intern is like, so stay tuned!

 

Aaron Small
Aaron Small & I

One of the highlights from this summer was a baseball camp featuring former New York Yankees pitcher, Aaron Small. We got to share the gospel with over 80 kids every day for a whole week. It was amazing to see how God used one small component—bringing in Aaron Small—not just with the kids, but especially with the dads. A large number of the dads stayed at the camp all day every day. They were giddy about meeting Aaron, who is one of the most humble and gracious guys I’ve ever met. Through this camp we made some amazing contacts and have since seen some of the parents come and visit our church.

Another high point was “The Reconcile519 Experience” at Crossroads, in Farmingdale. We hosted Pastors and representatives from a lot of our supporting churches, and had Champion Forest Baptist Church from Houston, TX lead worship. At this event we were able to communicate the vision for this ministry more clearly to some of our supporters. If you’d like more information about the experience and/or the Reconcile519 Network, go to www.reconcile519.org.

Another major undertaking for us was to conduct multiple Vacation Bible Schools on our campuses, with the addition this year of our first ever “Special Needs” VBS. It was an incredible event to witness and be a part of.

One week that was especially near and dear to my heart was when my sending church, FBC Midlothian, TX sent a team up here and I got to do ministry with my stepdad, Ben Condray. The work that the team did was amazing. Spending time with people from home, seeing familiar faces, and then getting to lead worship and have Pops preach was such an incredible blessing.

                   sundaymorning

If you watch the news, you may have heard that we got a little rain here a couple of weeks ago. After over 13 inches in less than 4 hours, the rain finally slowed down. As you can imagine, homes were flooded and people’s stuff was damaged. In response, the Southern Baptist Convention Disaster relief team sent a few people and we got to help assess the damage and meet new people. We got to pray with one lady, and she said she will be coming to our church soon. It is so exciting when God allows good things to come out of devastating situations.

A few weeks ago, we went on a mission trip upstate to Rochester, NY. One of our Reconcile519 church planters, Elliott Sneed, moved up there with his family and started Discovery Church (http://discoverychurchny.com/). He’s got a great heart and a clear vision for Rochester. 9 out of 10 people there don’t have a relationship with the Lord, so there is a desperate need for this church. All of our churches up here are growing, but we all need support. It would mean a lot to me if y’all would pray about helping Pastor Elliott Sneed and Discovery Church. As you pray for them, please pray with an open heart about the Lord leading you to support this church financially or maybe taking a mission team up there. Who knows? Maybe the Lord will call you to move up there and help! God is doing amazing things, and it wouldn’t surprise me if He used you to help Elliott and Reconcile519.

Lastly, I just want to thank all of you who have supported me over this past year as I’ve served here. My official last day as an intern was a few weeks ago and I’m proud to announce that the Lord has called me stay here longer. I will be serving as the Worship Pastor at our East Islip, NY campus! I originally committed to staying for only a year, but the Lord has given me a heart for these people. I don’t have a definite timeframe for how long I will be up here, but I know that God is moving here like crazy and I love sharing the gospel with these New Yorkers. They are often viewed as extremely cynical and skeptical, but they are very real with you, and I love it—I love them.

I do ask that you would continue to pray for me and the work the Lord is doing. The cost of living up here is crazy high, and if you feel led to supporting me financially, that would be amazing! I pray all of you are doing well and that you would be encouraged.

 

Kendall Doles

Crossroads Church of Long Island

610 Carmans Road

Farmingdale, NY 11735

www.crossroadsli.org

www.reconcile519.org