KANSAS CITY – The Missouri Baptist Convention’s (MBC) Multiethnic Church Planting Center expanded its ministry to internationals within the state of Missouri during an MBC assessment of potential ministers here, June 27. The assessment forms part of Missouri Baptist efforts to make disciples of the nearly 250,000 men and women who have come to Missouri from around the world.
The MBC’s church planting team assesses every potential Missouri Baptist church planter to help them find their fit in ministry. But this assessment reveals the MBC’s desire to reach internationals who live in Missouri, MBC Church Planting Team Leader Ben Hess said.
“The MBC Church Planting Team … is seeking to join God in making many disciples from the people groups coming to America,” Hess said. “We had an opportunity in recent days to join with several Christians who have come from Africa to Missouri. We believe God can use those who are indigenous to these people groups to share the gospel, make disciples, and gather them into new churches. Pray for us as we partner with these believers and God’s Holy Spirit in making disciples.”
The recent assessment involved four African men who sense God’s call to ministry: Oliver Kodo and Sylvester Lubani from Sudan; Juote Jalarue from Liberia; and Dany Byamungu from Burundi. Members of the assessment team included Hess; Omar Segovia, MBC church planting catalyst for the Kansas City region; Luis Mendoza, pastor of Palabra Viva in Kansas City and director of the MBC’s multiethnic church planting center; and Ken McCune, multiethnic church planting catalyst for the MBC.
“I’m very excited,” McCune said. “As far as I know this is the first time we’ve ever done a purely African assessment in the convention.”
McCune noted that the convention has already hosted two assessments for Hispanics. During these assessments, he said, MBC personnel help potential church planters understand their unique giftedness and niche in ministry. While not all of those who are assessed will plant churches, the assessment can still benefit their future ministries. Areas of assessment include one’s sense of calling, giftedness and faithfulness in ministry; effectiveness in personal evangelism; doctrine; ministry; community; and intercultural capabilities.