Vision tour looks at needs in Kansas City

As the hot late August sun beat down, Matt Miller, lead teaching pastor, stood in front of New City Church and said, “We have a lot of people who are beginning their spiritual journey in this place.”

New City Church meets in a former movie theater in the shopping center on the northwest corner of 75th Street and Nieman Road in Shawnee, Kan.

“God put us here. I really believe that,” Miller told participants in the first “Catch the Vision” tour for Send Kansas City.

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 first “Catch the Vision” tour of the Kansas City area Aug. 27-28. The group included staff members from KNCSB, the Missouri Baptist Convention 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.

The goal of Send Kansas City is to create partnerships to help start new churches. There also is a great opportunity to partner in revitalizing existing churches.

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 church staff members participated in the tour. Senior Pastor Steve Dighton joined the group for dinner Tuesday night, Aug. 27.

Tour stops on the Kansas side of the state line included the area surrounding the Kansas Speedway, where development has exploded.

The group also went into inner-city Kansas City, Kan., and saw The Mission House. Several churches, including Westside Family Church in Lenexa, have partnered to share the gospel and revitalize the neighborhood there.

The Mission House offers internships for young people. And a Hispanic church meets there on Saturday nights.

At New City Church in Shawnee, Kan., tour participants saw how the church serves a lower-income area of the community.

New City Church launched in January 2012. It averages more than 400 people in two Sunday morning worship services.

Brad Brisco told of numerous communities in the Kansas City, Kan., area where new churches need to be started. Brisco is church-planter strategist for Kansas City, Kan., Baptist Association.

The details for Send Kansas City are now taking shape. For information on how your church can get involved, contact Matt Marrs at
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