Joel Nelson, Minister of Missions

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Crossroads Fellowship is a wonderful community of believers.  I am grateful for the opportunity to serve such a unique and passionate congregation.  I am the Minister of Missions here at Crossroads and that means I have the responsibility and the privilege of calling the congregation to participate in the Kingdom of God here on Earth.  Simply put, where we see suffering, injustice, tragedy, destruction, and the lonely--in both a physical and spiritual sense--we seek to bring comfort, parity, joy, creation, and the solidarity that are so close to God’s heart.  I am fortunate that my wife Sarah, Steve, Cyndi, and Ben, as well as the congregation, all share a similar understanding of God’s love that allows me to explore the ever-expanding borders of missions.

I was born and raised in Dallas, Texas.  I attended some of the same schools my parents did when they were kids.  It was at one of these schools (elementary) that I met my future wife, Sarah.  I always somehow knew that ministry was what I was called to do.  I’m not good at math, science, and most of the stuff you learn in school, but I have always been drawn to “church stuff”.  It wasn’t until college that I was better able to define my calling.  Just before we graduated from college in 2003, Sarah and I got married.  We then moved to Waco so that I could go to seminary at Truett.  The next few months were tough for us.  We didn’t know many people and we didn’t have a church home.  A coworker of Sarah’s suggested we check out Crossroads and from that moment on we were have been dedicated to the ministry that Crossroads is doing.  I helped out with the youth group and played bass for the worship band, and Sarah helped with the children.  We didn’t realize at the time that we would end up on staff and that Crossroads would be such a significant part of our lives.  In 2008 Sarah and I had our first child, Joshua.  He has been source of joy, humor, frustration, and pleasure.

Some Facts About Me

  • Education: I attended Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas.  There I earned a B.A. in Missions and History.  Shortly after graduating we moved to Waco where I attended George W. Truett Seminary and earned a Master of Divinity in Theology.  I love learning, and look forward to further education.
  • First Job: I worked at Sav-On Office Supply.  I unloaded trucks, stocked the shelves, mopped the floors, and ran the cash register.  I hated that job…
  • Favorite Places: I love to travel – especially through Europe.  Paris, France, has been my favorite city so far, but I haven’t seen all of Europe yet to make a final decision.
  • What's on My iPod: The Beatles... and a few other artists and songs.
  • Favorite Books: I like anything written by Shane Claiborne and Rob Bell.  I love to read the writings of theologians as well.  I also enjoy World War II history and books written by Robert Ludlum.
  • What do I TiVo: TiVo, what’s that?  I have a VCR… for those under 18, ask your parents what that is.  If I had a TiVo, it would be full of The Office, 30 Rock, anything on the History Channel and Ghost Hunters and Destination Truth (I know… the last two are a guilty pleasure, don’t judge me).
  • Favorite Movies: I love to watch movies, especially historical movies, action, and thrillers.  Netflix may be the greatest invention ever!
  • Hobbies: I enjoy playing and listening to music.  I also like woodworking and furniture making – insert Jesus joke here – yep, I’m a minister, with a beard, that does carpentry…
  • Odd Fact: I have a natural ability to roll a towel into a perfect rat tail and leave a sweet whelp.  I impart this essential knowledge to anyone willing to listen – especially 3rd through 6th grade boys at Kids’ Camp every summer.
  • A Memorable Moment: Everything changed the moment I saw my son born.
  • Life Verse: Matthew 5-7 – the Sermon on the Mount.  It’s more than a verse, but I have a hard time putting the complexities of the teachings of Jesus into a verse.  The Sermon on the Mount inspires me and terrifies me all at the same time!