KANSAS CITY – It’s a great view at Tower View Baptist Church in Kansas City, Missouri. The congregation with a gospel-centered, and Christ-serving vision has been praying for other area congregations. This ministry for other local churches started in April 2015 when Pastor Darin Smith began ministering at Tower View. Initially prayers were random. Then in 2016, they began praying for their affiliated association and local congregations. “On the first Sunday in 2016, we started praying alphabetically through the Clay-Platte Baptist Association church list. It took most of the year, but we contacted each pastor or head leader each week, asked for specific prayer requests, and then prayed for them during our pastoral prayer time each Sunday before the sermon,” said Smith.
They also began praying through list of churches in the Saint Joseph Baptist Association. Worship pastor Gilbert Imbiri is a native of Saint Joseph, and attended Missouri Western State University located there. “I always think it is important to pray for other brothers and sisters in Christ. It’s good to support each other’s ministries because we belong to the same family and have the same goal: To make Jesus’s name known to all the nations,” said Imbiri.
This has not been just a staff activity. The congregants are involved too. They hear prayers for other churches each week. “At first, most folks weren’t sure what to expect! They were a little taken aback that we were doing this and praying for other churches. Like most things church life in the local church, over time people really enjoy hearing about other churches and it has emboldened and enlivened their prayers for the Body of Christ,” he said.
Prayer items from churches can be very specific or general, Smith explained in an interview. Some of the requests pertain to VBS, some Christmas and Easter. Some are for holiness and unity. A specific area church was out of space, telling Smith of the need. “We prayed that specifically, and God answered in a mighty way!” Smith says, “They have merged with another congregation and it has been a benefit to both.”
Group ministries at TVBC are participants. Busy Hands, a sewing ministry sat Tower View, has a prayer sheet showing the ‘church of the week.’ Other ministries use this sheet also.
The youth are involved too. “I typically look up the church during the week sometime and see what’s going on. I pray, and pray together with the congregation when we [the youth group] are led by Pastor Darin on Sunday mornings,” said youth pastor Matthew Andrews. Because of a need in the men’s and women’s groups, the youth participate in them. They attend meetings and this helps fill needs some of the youth may have too. “For the boys are meeting with the deacons and the deacons are stepping up and engaging with the youth and vice versa,” he said. He has also noticed youth pray for churches which have suffered tragedy—and pray by their own prompt. “It has been truly amazing to watch a reflection of our Lord,” Andrews added.
They have decided to have a youth camp at Tower View as well. It would offer a camp experience that would be monetarily compatible for area youth. Andrews hopes to welcome other churches who are having difficulty finding youth activities or camps. “It is our hope that one day we will do it association wide,” he said.
Tower View has also been recipients of their own prayer ministry as other congregations have reciprocated. Darin Smith’s first reaction—surprise. God uses His people, and in this case He used the ones praying to be in the prayers of others too. Many have prayed for us as well from the pulpit,” said Smith.
To say prayer is powerful is one thing, but people must execute the action. That is most definitely going on at Tower View Baptist Church in Kansas City, and it is a great view of ministry.