Eva Wilson/Kansas-Nebraska Convention of Southern Baptists
KANSAS CITY – As the hot August sun beat down outside, a group in the basement of the stately stone church building here enjoyed Cuban food for lunch and heard testimonies of how God is at work.
The Multiethnic Church Planting Center, housed in the former Presbyterian church building at 217 Benton Blvd., was one of the stops on the first “Catch the Vision” tour held Aug. 27-28. The tour was part of Send Kansas City, an effort to create partnerships in planting new churches throughout the metropolitan area.
Send Kansas City is part of the North American Mission Board’s Send North America strategy to start new churches in major cities in the United States and Canada. Kansas City was recently named a Send City.
About 15 people gathered for the “Catch the Vision” tour of the Kansas City area. The group included staff members from the Missouri Baptist Convention, Kansas-Nebraska Convention of Southern Baptists and the three Baptist associations in the Kansas City area.
Church staff members from the Kansas City area also participated. Other participants came from as far away as West Plains, Mo., and Council Bluffs, Iowa.
Tour participants got a whirlwind tour of places in the Kansas City metropolitan area that need new Southern Baptist churches.
Along with starting new churches in the Kansas City metropolitan area, there also is a great need to partner in revitalizing existing churches.
Read more about Send Kansas City at http://www.namb.net/KansasCity/.
Matt Marrs is coordinator for Send Kansas City. He is director of missions for Clay-Platte Baptist Association in the Northland of Kansas City, Mo.
Lenexa Baptist Church, Lenexa, Kan., is the Key Partner Church for Send Kansas City. The church provided a bus and drivers for the vision tour. Several of the Lenexa church’s staff members participated in the tour. Senior Pastor Steve Dighton joined the group for dinner Aug. 27.
At the Multiethnic Church Planting Center, tour participants heard a testimony from church planter Luis Mendoza. He is pastor of Iglesia Cristiana Palabra Viva, which meets in the stately stone building that is more than 100 years old.
Andrew Huesing told of the vast need to reach a growing number of ethnic groups in Kansas City. Huesing is People Teams coordinator for Blue River-Kansas City Baptist Association.
After a quick tour of Independence, the group headed to Wornall Road Baptist Church.
The church was founded in 1921. Its building on the corner of Wornall Road and Meyer Boulevard has been a Kansas City landmark since 1929. But the dawn of the new millennium in 2000 saw the church in serious decline. Six years later the congregation had dwindled to only 18 people, and the church was faced with closing its doors.
Lead Pastor John Mark Clifton told how Wornall Road staged a comeback. It is now a thriving congregation that is serving its community.
Clifton told of efforts now underway to revitalize other churches in Kansas City.
The details for Send Kansas City are now taking shape. For information on how to get involved, contact Matt Marrs at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Find an overview of the Kansas City area on the North American Mission Board Web site at http://www.namb.net/kansascity/overview/. Send Kansas City is made possible by giving through the Cooperative Program.