KANSAS CITY, MO– 2017 was another busy and productive year. We celebrated many victories with our BR-KC churches. Some called new staff members they desperately needed. Some finished remodeling projects. One moved into a brand new sanctuary, greatly expanding their ability to minister to their community. Some saw numerical growth, others saw spiritual growth and a deepening of their people’s faith.
The suggestion has been made by some that perhaps the decline that evangelical, Bible-believing churches have experienced in the last ten years does not mark a failure of the gospel to reach people who have never heard it, but rather the slow and steady exit of cultural “Christians” who never really knew Christ. From visiting our pastors, I believe more of them are encouraged and hopeful about the future now than they were a few years ago. We still face many struggles, but I am thankful for what we see God doing in our churches.
BR-KC 2017 Highlights
Here are a few highlights from 2017:
- Last year I led ten monthly Legacy Cohort Meetings, the name of which has now changed to Revitalization and Leadership Cohort. The purpose of this group meeting for pastors and their staff is to equip and encourage pastors with resources to bring health and growth to their churches. From this group of pastors we have mentored a formidable team of men who desire to help other churches and pastors who are struggling.
- Out of these Cohorts, we are working to put together a Revitalization Team who could be called upon by any or our BR-KC churches to assess, strategize, and gently lead them toward a better path forward.
- We held the annual Lifeway VBS Training Clinic at Grain Valley Baptist Church this spring. Over 50 attended to prepare their workers and directors for a quality VBS.
- In May, we hosted our annual Williams-Farmer Preaching Fellowship at Harvest Baptist Church in Blue Springs. Pastor Hosea Bilyeu, formerly pastor of Ridgecrest Baptist in Springfield, Missouri, was our conference leader. He provided every participant with his recent book and taught key concepts of effective preaching.
- BR-KC launched a partnership with Diakonos Counseling in Independence, MO through which our pastors, staff, and their family members can have access to professional, confidential counseling at a fraction of the normal cost.
- In addition to our lending library of Bible studies and discipleship resources, we are utilizing an exciting online resource opportunity with Right Now Media. BR-KC is paying for a limited number of one-year subscriptions for some of our member churches in 2018.
- I was invited by two churches to lead them through Transformational Church and the accompanying church assessment. This has been fruitful time spent with our churches over a seven-week period, usually on Sunday evenings.
I welcome other invitations to come along side you and to help you look at your church with an outsider’s eyes. It is a joy and privilege to serve you and the churches of BR-KC and I am grateful to God for the opportunity to serve in this capacity.