When we started the ministry at KCKCC, our purpose was threefold: 1) See lost individuals rescued from the dominion of darkness and transferred into the Kingdom of God’s beloved Son and then become functioning members at Masters Community Church or another faithful Church in the area; 2) See unchurched believers become members of Masters Community Church or another faithful Church in the area; 3) Provide opportunities for MCC members to participate in Christ’s mission to seek and to save the lost.
By God’s grace, we have maintained this purpose for over a year now. We do wish that the first two elements of our purpose were being accomplished more regularly, but we ultimately acknowledge that we cannot accomplish those tasks on our own. We have planted and watered many seeds, but it is only our great and sovereign God who can bring the growth in His perfect timing. We pray for God to do just that in the days ahead as we stay faithful and keep our hands to the plow.
While we haven’t seen the first two elements of our purpose fulfilled yet, we certainly have seen God answer our third element in an overwhelming fashion. The following reflections are from three of us who have seen God faithfully answer our prayers to participate in Christ’s mission to seek and to save the lost and have been forever changed by our time at KCKCC this past semester. We hope this edifies every member of MCC and reminds us of God’s grace and kindness in knitting our hearts together through our partnership in the advance of the gospel.
My experience with KCKCC this last semester has had a profound influence on me. I found myself really engaged with the students that came by and it also gave me a feeling of both joy in sharing the gospel and overwhelming heaviness at the staggering amount of students that are really clueless on the way of truth. It’s really encouraging that the campus life administration sees at least some value in what we can offer the students by way of enrichment. In all these things we must recognize at the core is the all-encompassing providence of God (Acts 17:24-28). He gives people an awareness of Himself through the Spirit of God. It’s evident that God has used this ministry to make His name known in the young people that we encounter. In some cases, as I have experienced, they are very eager to hear and give thought to eternity.
As I sat down to write this and began thinking through the events and conversations of this past semester at KCKCC, I was simultaneously overwhelmed and amazed. Overwhelmed by the hungry hearts, questioning minds, and purposeless lives we encountered. Overwhelmed by the brokenness of my own generation. Overwhelmed at the openness those young people had about their beliefs, their confusion about Christianity or the hurts they’ve experienced in the church, their goals in life, their search for truth. Overwhelmed by the beauty and fullness and power of the gospel we repeatedly shared each Thursday. Overwhelmed at the power of the Spirit to bring conviction, not only seeing it in the faces of the students standing in front of us each week but also experiencing it in my own heart. Overwhelmed by the joy, peace, and strength that came from praying with my brothers and sisters before and after our time at the school. Overwhelmed by the Lord’s work in each of us day by day, week by week, as He grew us in our walk with Him and our relationships with one another.
One of the things I’ve discovered about being part of a small, perhaps seemingly insignificant ministry like the one we have at KCKCC, and that truly amazes me, is that it is never too small or insignificant for God. We never know who we will speak with on any given day. We never know how many people will stop and answer our questions, or what their response to the gospel will be. We never know if we will talk with a Hindu, Muslim, agnostic, professing believer holding onto works-based righteousness, or a true believer who needs encouragement. Sometimes we give full, passionate presentations of the gospel. Other times we’re stumped and don’t know what to say. But God knows, and I believe with every fiber of my being that He cares about each of the people we interact with, and the details of their lives, far more than we ever could. It is worth everything to be able to tell even one student of the precious blood of Jesus shed and the amazing grace extended for sinners like you and me. What a beautiful gift He has given me in being part of this ministry!
The thing that stood out to me the most this past semester was the misconception that people of all ages have toward Christ and what it means to follow him. A majority of the people that we met claimed to be believers, but when asked about their faith, they almost always resorted to a works-based understanding of the Christian life. They traded one to-do list (get more stuff, indulge the flesh, bring glory to oneself) for another to do list (go to Church, be a good person, don’t drink or smoke, etc..). We certainly acknowledged with them that these things were not bad, but they were not the basis for their right standing before God. I can count on two hands the people who actually understood the gospel and the fact that their good works were a response to God’s love and not a requirement.
The same can be true of the nonbelievers that we interacted with. A majority of the nonbelievers that we met were raised as Christians but abandoned that conviction due to the hypocrisy that they saw around them. As we got to hear more of these peoples’ stories, we began to see that they weren’t walking away from Christ, but rather, they were walking away from the false picture that they had of Christ. This is heart breaking to me because a lot of this does fall back on the role of the local Church.
I account much of the misunderstanding of what it means to be a follower of Christ to local Churches. Thankfully, we at MCC have faithful shepherds who nourish us with the Word, and equip us to do the work of ministry that God has called us to. I’ve learned that this is the exception in our society. How these young people could say that they grew up in the Church their entire life but did not know what the gospel was absolutely baffled me and even stirred up some righteous anger. We even had one gentlemen who was a youth pastor who was not able to answer our question, “What is Grace?” I don’t say this to bash these individuals, but rather, to remind us of the spiritual famine that is all around us.
All this has inspired me to be extremely clear with the children and students in our Church about who Christ is and what it means to follow Him. I don’t ever want to have one of our students leave our Church saying that they are abandoning Christ when really they are just abandoning a works-based religion. I aim to be more intentional about explaining terms we often take for granted when speaking with people who have been around Christianity and also treasuring the blessing that I have at being a part of a Church that truly delights in Christ above all else and seeks to grow up into Him.
Prayer Requests as We Prepare for the Spring Semester
- God’s Spirit to Regenerate Hearts
- God’s Continual Favor with the Administration
- God to send more laborers into the harvest
- Local churches in the Kansas City area to grow stronger
- Protection from the evil one for the ones who are going to KCKCC every week.
- Strengthen relationships between us and the Christian ministries on campus
- God to open doors for us to get involved in their Sports programs on campus.