Have you ever wondered what it would have been like to have lived in the first century? Imagine if you had the opportunity to walk with Jesus like the New Testament disciples. What would it have been like to sit a few feet from Jesus and listen to the Sermon on the Mount; ask questions about the parables you heard; daily walk with Jesus.
Cross Style and the School of Practical Ministry have embraced the roots of Biblical Christianity: combining the teaching of God’s Word with the movement of God to touch a hurt and lost world.
Our typical methods of Christian education have failed to produce New Testament disciples. Isn’t it time we approached discipleship like Jesus did? Take a few believers, immerse them in the Word and lead them out into the world. Light shining in darkness; not light sealed within the walls of a college campus. Three years with Jesus, that is what we need. Believers who walk away from the normal life proclaimed as the American dream and embrace the dream of Jesus. “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19).
Have you heard the call of Jesus?
Do you read your Bible and say, “Why don’t I look like the disciples of the first century?” Do you desire to be a Stephen, Philip, Timothy, Silas, Barnabas, Theophilus, or Cornelius? Then study the same way the early Church did: men of God mentoring and training you while living the life of a disciple before you.
This is the vision of the School of Practical Ministry. We are not teaching a philosophy. We are living the Cross. You will bleed, suffer and die while God changes the world through you. If you are seeking comfort, ease, and a prosperous future, then the School of Practical Ministry is not for you. If you want to know what it really means to be Christ-like—a living Sacrifice and a true disciple—then perhaps you found a home.
Cross Style: Where Christ is All
Cross Style is intensely focused upon Jesus Christ and the Word of God. We believe that He should be our focus, our delight, and our all.
The wonder of Christianity is the fact that the outside God has come to be inside our personal lives—He is the resource which enables us to live far beyond ourselves. This intimate relationship with the indwelling Christ is at the heart of Cross Style.
We believe the Bible reveals Jesus as a bleeding-suffering Messiah who came with a lifestyle of continually pouring His life out to the world around Him, which culminated at the cross. This lifestyle of the cross—never think about oneself, pour your life out, bleed, suffer, and die—was the flow and tone of the life of Jesus. We believe in order for this to take place, one must be sourced (indwelt) with the Spirit of God (as seen at Pentecost) as we live in constant dependency upon and absolute surrender to Him. Simply, it is allowing the life of Jesus to capture us so that He lives and produces His life through us as we abide in Him.
Simply, it is allowing the life of Jesus to capture us so that He lives and produces His life through us as we abide in Him.
History of Cross Style
Dr. Stephen Manley began full-time itinerate evangelism in 1968 under the name Crusade Evangelism, later becoming Stephen Manley Evangelistic Association. In 1987, Stephen began taking interns each summer to train them in the study the Word and provide a Biblical and practical theology of ministry. Cross Style Global Ministries developed out of the summer internships as several interns wanted to link together in the ministry of the Word. Beginning in the 1990s with a desire to connect, train, and facilitate the reproduction of the Cross Style message around the world, Cross Style has grown to include several evangelists, ministry partners, over 180 international training centers, the School of Practical Ministry, the Cross Style Church, and the Cross Style Center.
What is the “Cross Style”?
We have discovered through the study of God’s Word and our personal relationship with Christ an attitude which is the basis of the Kingdom of God. It is the attitude of the cross. Christ did not live His own life but surrendered His life to the Father. This surrender was so complete it could be called “death.” Thus the death of Christ on the cross was a physical display of the style of His life. Jesus did not operate on His own or out of His own resource but lived in the continual flow of what the Father would do through Him.
In other words, the cross was more than an event one day in the life of Jesus; it was and is His continual lifestyle.
This style was manifested in His constant response to the will and leading of the indwelling presence of the Father, through the Spirit. Jesus did not operate out of His own resource but lived in the continual flow of what the Father would do and say through Him (see John 5:19, 30).
This lifestyle of the Cross—the “cross style”—is still the lifestyle of Jesus, which He now desires to reproduce as He comes to indwell us through His Spirit. As Jesus lived in this world, so we live in constant response to His will and leading in us—not operating out of our own resources—but in the continual flow of what He would do through us for a time such as this.
If we produce a Christianity which is a product of our own discipline and action, we have not produced Christianity but a religion. Through the indwelling of the Spirit of Christ, He will live His life through us.
The wonder of Christianity is the outside God who has come to be inside our personal lives. He is sourcing us which enables us to live far beyond our own ability. This intimate relationship with the indwelling Christ is the heart of Cross Style.
Cross Style is Message-Driven
The facilitation of this message takes place through a variety of means, including:
- Preaching and teaching from our faculty, pastors, and itinerant evangelists
- Cross Style Church in Lebanon, Tennessee – which is our base for ministry for students within the School of Practical Ministry
- International Training Centers – we are dedicated to the reproduction of the Biblical message around the world for informal pastoral training and education
- School of Practical Ministry – a Jesus and Biblically focused school that facilitates growth, learning, transformation, and ministry. While academic education is important, the Cross Style School of Practical Ministry moves beyond academics to emphasize intimacy with Jesus, sourcing of the Spirit, saturation within the Word of God, the radical transformation of one’s life lived in response to Jesus, and the practical outflow of ministry on a day-to-day basis.
- Online classes and resources, in conjunction with the School of Practical Ministry, to facilitate growth, transformation, and intimacy with Jesus for those who cannot attend the school in person.
- Resources and materials, including books, CD’s, DVD’s, and video courses/curriculum for training in saturation Bible study, theology, and the Cross Style message. [click here to visit our online store]
Cross Style Core Values
A consuming focus on and response to the indwelling Person of Jesus producing:
- The New Testament life of being sourced by Him through the Spirit
- The exposition of the Word of God as a lifestyle and basis for all ministry
- The proclamation of the message to as many people as possible
- The facilitation and training of others in the message