Grace Fellowship started in the home of Roger and Mary Jo Freeman in December, 2007 with a handful of people. Our mission statement comes from Matthew 28:18-20, to reach people with the Gospel and grow them into faithful followers of Jesus.
Grace spent four years meeting at the YMCA in Independence; then the next five years in various rented facilities. FBC Blue Springs allowed us to meet in their Youth Facility for a year, and then we met back in our home. With fifty-five people attending, it was certainly challenging! More than half have been saved while here at Grace. The Lord assured us He had a place for us, we needed to just wait!
Gordon Chrisman, Pastor of Celebration Community Fellowship Church, and I were acquaintances, having both been on staff at Kansas City Youth for Christ. We saw each other while waiting for jury duty in downtown Kansas City. God was at work. Gordon shared that he was considering retiring from the church and was interested in Grace taking over the building and the loan. In the months that followed we prayerfully came to a process to make the transition. When Celebration learned of Gordon’s decision to retire almost all left. In January 2019 Grace Fellowship members joined Celebration Church and I became the new Pastor. Just this last month we changed the name of Celebration to Grace Fellowship Blue Springs.
The world needs to see real Christians, living out the commands of Jesus in their daily lives. Dallas Willard, author and uncle of my wife Mary Jo, challenged me personally to have a systematic discipling process in our church. For too long we have focused on making converts and have not made disciples, leaving the world to ponder at the inconsistencies and lack of Christian character in our churches. I have strived to emphasize the development of godly character as the mark of the presence of the Holy Spirit.
Grace Fellowship uses a process we call Life Builders to mentor and disciple our members. Life Builders has four steps, each taking a year to accomplish, that involves reading the Bible, praying, studying lessons, memorizing Scripture, and ministering to others. Our goal is to bring a person to the place where they are able to feed themselves spiritually and mentor others.
We have spent most of this year remodeling and repairing our new home and are reminded of Jesus’ words in John 4:35, “Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest.”