Celebrate with us that we launched a new missional community today. God is putting a desire in the heart of Creekers and Via De Esparaza to serve into the needs of the Latinos among us. The sense of urgency is growing. This Sunday, September 22, after the second service thirty-one of us met together to listen to each other and to listen to God.
We shared a meal that had a distinctively Latin flavor. We enjoyed each other’s company. Introductions were made and the key question asked, What is it that God has put into your heart to do?
The thoughts fell into several buckets and the first was obvious, we could do more in partnership with Via De Esparanza. We’ve been building relationship over the time we’ve shared the same facility. I’ve been speaking for their worship service every 5-6 weeks. There is certainly more we could do and there is an interest. Several from Via, including Pastor Daniel and his wife Christina, were part of the group. Via could become a campus of Indian Creek if that was advantageous to both.
The second set of thoughts had Indian Creek and Via on parallel paths but going the same direction. We would work together but not necessarily doing the same things. There are unique things Via does well and there are some things that Indian Creek could do that would be similar but different. We don’t have to do everything together to be one heart.
The third idea was intriguing. A blended service of English and Spanish is a possibility. The worship could have a distinctively Latin rhythm. The message could be in English and translated to Spanish or visa versa. The goal would be to create a multi-cultural service that is inclusive where various cultures are honored and welcomed. Did you know there are 17 countries all considered Latino in Central and South America? There are many families where the children are learning English and the parents are speaking their national language. There are families where the husband and wife speak different languages but are learning the other’s native tongue. A blended service on a Saturday night or a Sunday night could be a unifying way to worship. It might meet a growing need in Johnson County. There are very few opportunities like this available.
The fourth strategy holds a lot of hope. We could start a series of house churches each with a distinctively different national flavor. For example, a Brazilian house church (much like a community group), a Colombian, a Mexican and more. The emphasis would be on evangelism and discipleship more than worship. Then once a month we could bring them all together for a worship service. We would train leaders how to build and lead a house church. It wouldn't require a lot of overhead or resources. There are many apartment complexes that this opportunity could serve.
A fifth thought was to start a new campus of Via or Indian Creek in Gardner where there is already a core group of thirty plus Hispanics who want a church. Pastor Daniel has already met with them and they say they are ready. There is the possibility we could partner Via and Indian Creek in Gardner like we are doing in Olathe using the same facility if there was a room large enough for them (perhaps the gym?) This one sounds like it could come together quickly if we have the right plan and leader.
Brad Harvey voiced the need for Anglos to speak up with Latinos for immigration reform, which is a cause near and dear to my heart. In fact, we are hosting a lunch this week to inform leaders about the latest on immigration reform Friday at Indian Creek, 12:30 p.m. in the Activity Center. The lunch is free and we are providing Oklahoma Joes for 115 plus several knowledgeable voices local and national to talk us through where we are presently in the fight for comprehensive reform.
Bubba Gaeddert asked if there was a way we could offer cultural immersion classes at Indian Creek and/or ESL classes.
Gary Kendall, who convened group, spent some time teaching about what it means to live a SENT life using the 3Ls, love God, love people and live out the love of Jesus. We must live SENT to accomplish the mission of God and it will look like investing in our spiritual life, relationships and service. We don't have to have all the plans and ideas in our mind from the beginning if we have one heart God will provide them in the right time along with the resources.
We closed by praying together in a circle. Gary reminded the group that it was only 27 persons, including children, who caught the vision to plant Indian Creek. Interested persons are invited to pray together on Saturday nights at 7 p.m. in the Olathe Campus prayer room. The group will meet again after church at 12:30 on Sunday, October 13.
We aren’t sure what to call ourselves yet so we decided the simplest way to think about who we are is that we are a missional community on the hunt to find out what God wants us to do next. No doubt God has something for us and we want to find it.
Please pray with us and spread the word. God is on the move.