God’s Heart for a Multicultural Multiracial Church

June 26, 2009

At the Raytown Vineyard, we are convinced that God’s heart is to develop  churches that enjoy the multicultural and multiracial environment that is reflected in the broader community.

While we are clear in our understanding of this principle, we are continiously being challenged to find out how to actually DO what needs to be done to BECOME who we are called to become.

Here are some of the key questions we are wrestling with:

1)  How can we best join God in speaking to people’s hearts in their own language?

2)  How can we build more flexibility into our church community culture to become more adaptable–both over the long haul, and sometimes even “on the fly”?

3)  How much about what makes church “familar” and “comfortable” are we willing to give up to make others feel at home?

4)  How can we help people from diverse cultures and people groups feel not just “welcome” but truly “wanted”?

5)  How can we honor each person’s culture and perspective while maintaining unity of purpose and mission?

As a young new church, we have experienced some small successes.  But honestly, this is going to be a lifelong process as we continue to change and grow.  We are seeking to remain centered on the permanence of God’s nature while remaining completely adaptable in communication styles and methods.

What do you think?  Leave a comment below. 

And come join us this Sunday at 5 as we CONNECT with a challenging message about “God’s Heart for a Multicultural Multiracial Church”.

The Raytown Vineyard is a Growing Church

June 25, 2009

Father’s Day 2009 was quite memorable for our young church!  Following our worship service, we packed up and moved out to a community pool to share some baptisms and enjoy a cookout/pool party.

At the beginning of the evening, we were aware of 3 folks who were wanting to be baptized.  Several more came forward for baptism throughout the evening.  By the time all was said and done, we baptized 6, including 5 adults and 1 nine-year old.

Through baptism, each of these followers of Jesus has publically shared their decision to ask Jesus to be their Savior, and to follow him all the days of their life.

The Raytown Vineyard is a growing church.







The Raytown Vineyard is a Praying Church

June 24, 2009

Each week we e-mail out a brief prayer update. Typically we include a couple of “praise” bullet points, and a few “prayer” items.

You don’t have to be a member of our church. You don’t have to attend any meetings. You don’t have to commit to praying any particular time or any particular way.

All we ask is for you to pray over the items at a time and place that works for you, and let us know if you hear anything as you bring these items to God. Easy enough?

To be added to the weekly e-mail, just send a request to: raytownvineyard@gmail.com

The Raytown Vineyard is a praying church.

The Raytown Vineyard is a Tithing Church

June 19, 2009

From the very beginning, God has asked us to be a tithing church–where we give away the first 10% church’s income before we pay our bills.

As a new church in Raytown, we are committed to joining in with other ministries who are already doing effective ministry in our community.  This is a good opportunity for us to learn to be generous with no strings attached.

Thanks to God’s faithfulness through our generous congregation, we have already been able to give away over $4100 in the first 24 weeks that we have been a church!

Through this Sunday, we have donated to these great ministries who are addressing critical physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs in the greater Raytown area in Jesus’ name:

Kansas City Alpha Invitation http://www.alphausa.org/Articles/1000048660/Vision_Event.aspx

Hillcrest Ministries  http://www.hillcresttransitionalhousing.org/

Kansas City Dreamcenter  http://www.rivercentral.org/Groups/1000043823/River_Christian_Fellowship/Things_To_Do/Impact_Community/River_of_Refuge/River_of_Refuge.aspx

Hope Network  http://hopeforraytown.org/

Open Door Dinner Program at One Spirit Methodist Church  http://www.gbgm-umc.org/onespiritumc/

Raytown Emergency Assistance Program http://www.raytownreap.org/,

Summer Backpack Lunch Program http://raytowncc.org/sites/default/files/pilot/pilot.pdf

Living Word Testament Church–Another church plant right here in Raytown.

God’s Plan for Fatherhood–“Its Never Too Late”

June 17, 2009

What is your image of fatherhood? 

Wishing you could turn the clock back to a time that was real or imagined?

Are you struggling with your father’s inability or unwillingness to meet your needs?

How can you be the Father you want to be, that the children in your life are needing?

This Sunday at CONNECT, we explore God’s Plan for Fatherhood.  God’s truth: “Its never too late.”

Have a comment or question?  Leave a note and join the conversation.

We are a Multicultural Multiracial Church

June 10, 2009

We recognize that the Raytown community as a whole is becoming more and more multicultural and multiracial.  Laurel Hills Elementary,the school we are partnering with, includes more than 60% African American and Hispanic.

We want to be effective at sharing the Gospel with a community filled with people of diverse cultures and races.  We have been intentionally praying for this, and we have also been intentional in preparing for it.

One BodyAccording to George Yancey, the common “critical mass” for a multiracial church is met when a cultural minorities reach at least 20% .  (Check out his book One Body One Spirit for further insights.)  This is true whether the majority of the church body is white, African American, Hispanic, Laotian, etc.

This past Sunday, we got to minister at the Swap Meet.  Of the 16 from our church, exactly 50% were people of color.  That’s a good thing, because at the Swap Meet, more than 90% of the kids and their parents we served were people of color.

At our Sunday Night CONNECT Worship Service this week, we continued the trend of becoming a multicultural multiracial church.  For example:

1)      Folks in attendance represented these people groups:  African American, Mexican, Honduran, Gypsy, Indian (Sub-Continent), and Argentine.
2)  Of the 60 in attendance, 21 represented “non-majority” race/culture.  This reflects a 35% rate. 

3)  We enjoyed providing simultaneous Spanish translation for the 2nd time.
4)  Reflecting our diversity, we included a bilingual English/Spanish song during our worship for the first time.

As an aside, I personally had the incredible opportunity of doing an interview this week with Jeff Adams, Senior Pastor at KCBT, a Raytown area church that is widely recognized as a national model for multicultural multiracial churches.  When Adams arrived, the white population in the congregation was 98 or 99%.  Today, it is approximately 25%.  It takes a special person to navigate a church through this metamorphosis.  I learned a lot.

Click here to read the Interview with Jeff Adams.

If you have thoughts about this topic, please leave a reply below.


Launching the Summer of Love at the Swap Meet

June 7, 2009

A group of 8 kids and 8 adults was on hand this morning to launch the Summer of Love ministry at the Swap Meet.  We spent about 2 hours sharing God’s love with approximately 200 kids and their parents.

We got to give away donuts, flavor ice pops, and coloring pages.  We were also able to do free face painting.  We had a bubble machine going which was a great attraction for kids and adults alike.

Our multi-cultural, multi-racial team gave us great connections with the community at the Swap Meet.   We were able to pray with families in English and in Spanish.

We are planning to go to the Swap Meet each Sunday through the end of August.  Meeting at the Truesdales House at 9 AM to convoy out.  Please feel free to join us!

God Empowers Us as Parents

June 5, 2009

This weekend, Missy MacPhail willl be bringing a challenging message about God’s plan to empower each one of us as parents for the kids he is bringing to our church.

If you have spent any time with us, you know that we value kids! In many ways, we see them as equal members of God’s Kingdom. In fact, there are times when Jesus says that to follow him, we must become like children!

As the Lead Pastor of the Raytown Vineyard Church, I find it exciting to simply watch what God is doing as we seek his heart for the kids in our church, our community, and the world.

This weekend, we all get a real treat! I get to spend time hanging out and ministering with our kids downstairs. And upstairs, our Leader for Ministry with Children, Missy MacPhail, will be bringing another challenging message to the adults. Missy and I get to “switch places” 4 times each year. And I eagerly look forward to it each time. (Someday, I hope to spend time ministering with kids at least once a month. Everything in due time…)

If you’ve heard Missy speak about kids, you know that she has tremendous insights into God’s heart. And this week, she will be sharing about how God empowers us as parents and spiritual parents to teach our kids about Him.

Thankfully, we are now recording the messages, because I can’t wait to hear it later! But I know I’m going to have a great time with the kids. As usual, I expect I will learn more from them than they learn from me…

Let’s kick off a discussion here…how have you personally observed God empowering parents and spiritual parents who are seeking to teach kids about God?

Please feel free to go scroll down and leave a note! And, feel free to come CONNECT with us this Sunday at 5 to hear Missy’s challenging message!