KANSAS CITY – United Believers Community Church in Kansas City was planted in 1997. “We were planted on the worst street,” Darron Edwards, senior pastor, said, “surrounded by lots of violence and crime.”
Edwards reported that the church faced a history of adversity. “We stayed faithful to the gospel,” he said, “and we were community oriented. Love for the community is still the fabric of our church.”
United Believers hosts a Back to School Blast. “We serve thousands of students from all over the area,” Edwards said. “We partner with the Kansas City Chiefs to supply students with school supplies.”
According to Edwards, the church grew the most from 2002-2007. “We grew from a small band of worshippers to more than 500. We are always involved in the community, make Jesus big, and we love people.”
Currently, United Believers is partnering with Prison Fellowship to plan a sports clinic. “We plan to work with about 200 kids who have a parent in the penal system. We will have members of Kansas City Chiefs, top student athletes and celebrities conduct the clinic sessions.”
A local school, Ingels Elementary, is happy that they are active in the community. The school awarded the church “Volunteer of the Year for Community Service.”
“Our church is less than five minutes from the school,” Edwards said. “Most of the students are underprivileged and we are working with the school to improve their lives.”
Edwards listed some of the projects that the church does for the school. “We do teacher appreciation lunches; we furnish school supplies; several of our men serve as hall monitors, as well as provide security for after-school programs,” he said.
Another partnership with the Kauffman Foundation works to improve the lives of students. “We wrote a grant to Kaufman for parenting classes to reach people and it was accepted,” Edwards said. “We are using the Word of God to present tips on raising children. The Foundation provides $25 gift cards to present to the parents who attend the classes.”
“What we are trying to do is transform,” he said. “We want to not be so broad,” Edwards continued, “we want to be narrow and focus on just a few programs.”
In addition to the focus on Ingels Elementary, United Believers works with Hospice House. “We provide dinner and spiritual assistance to the patients and the families,” Edwards said. “The house has 35 rooms of terminally ill patients and when loved ones come to visit, they are thinking about the patient and not what they are going to eat. We provide dinners and just stay out of the way. We want them to know love and we make Jesus big.”
The third focus of the church is discipleship. “We are doing intensive discipleship,” Edwards said. “We are not called to make numbers, but we are called to make disciples. Our goal is to make 100 men and 100 women disciples and have them disciple others. We are using the books, Kingdom Man and Kingdom Woman by Tony Evans, as our study. We have already commissioned more than 50 people already.”
Edwards reports that people are being discipled at Starbucks, in classrooms, on Facebook Live and on conference calls.
“That’s our theme,” Edwards said, “Discipleship anywhere, everywhere, all the time.”