The Mission of the Church & Family Domain
For the glory of God alone, Kansas City area church leaders will unite for spiritual and societal transformation so that the Gospel continues to spread, deeds of mercy and justice flourish, disciples of Jesus are developed, family life is valued, the Church experiences a renewed reverence for God, and true followers of Jesus are known for their concern for Gospel authenticity and are relied upon for the well-being of the city and its culture.
If you would like to join us in our mission, please read the Covenant of Racial Reconciliation below and get started by choosing to do One Good Thing from our list of suggested actions. For more resources and information on upcoming Church & Family Domain meetings, email us at email@example.com. Together, let’s unite Kansas City!
Covenant of Racial Reconciliation for the Church & Family DomainWhereas, as members of the Church, the Body of Jesus Christ our Lord, as citizens of the United States of America and as residents of greater Kansas City—we mourn the current state of race relations in our city and nation. We lament we have not led, prized, or stewarded the Church in its responsibility to represent Jesus well in matters of race and justice.
Whereas, we each come to the conversation with our individual and shared racial histories. The fruits of our present grew from the roots of our past and these realities cannot be ignored nor dismissed. Yet neither should they stop us from moving to higher ground. This spiritual war requires staying honestly and objectively engaged, with great tenacity and perseverance, as the journey forward will be as long as our country is old and fraught with peril; some have paid the price of their lives. Our goal is not to just hold events, the prize for us and our neighbors is eternal.
Whereas some of the church in the past actively blocked justice efforts, many today rest comfortably within the status quo, neither mourning nor lamenting our world, pleased with the normality of their lives. Unconscious of their neighbors’ normal, they see no need to ask, “are you ok?” and this incuriosity creates uninformed apathy. This comfort with our “way of life” may give rise to cultural idolatry and both the present and past should be subject to the same good biblical scrutiny. Whether its past silence was intended, the church must find its voice, speak for God in its prophetic role, and equip the Body of Christ to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with God.
Whereas Churches have been independent, content in living, laboring, and ministering independently of each other and failing our need for each other and how we are better together. Transactional, financial relationships can foster dependency and in order to release the power of Christian brotherhood, churches must include many other connection points.
Whereas the circumstances of our times create questions as to how Christian discipleship & spiritual formation can best include the “whole counsel of God”; in our heart, head, and hands. Our times require a duality in discipleship; both teach and touch, both proclaim and demonstrate the gospel, both eternal preparation and representing our Lord’s will on this earth. Now.
Now, therefore, by my dependence on God, in Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit, and by my signature, I covenant to:
- Follow the example of Jesus, the servant of all (Philippians 2:2-8), and grow personally in understanding God’s grace, mercy, and forgiveness. I will be honest, authentic, vulnerable, and will risk sharing my story and my feelings with others while giving others the benefit of the doubt.
Live out great commandment and great commission living as we pursue our mission together and renew my commitment to live a lifestyle that:
1. Loves God, which means being committed to cultivating an ongoing deepening love relationship with Jesus Christ. (Matthew 22:37).
2. Loves One Another – being committed to walking together in Christ’s humility, seeking to be emptied of selfish ambition and envy.
3. Seeks to cultivate a culture of honor in the city by avoiding self-promotion, criticism, and gossip and will always seek to reconcile offenses in a biblical loving manner. (Matthew 22:39, Ephesians 4:29; Matthew 18:19)
- Center on the Gospel as my rally point and the Cross of Jesus as my center of gravity and effective means for reconciling with God, living purposefully out of that relationship. The Gospel touches all of life and bears on all we do. We must always remember the strength of the Gospel’s bonds.
- Model a spirit of oneness in a racially divided society to glorify our Lord Jesus Christ. With humble dependence on the grace of the LORD and the power of the Holy Spirit, we will use our time, talents, and resources for the greater good of racial healing in Kansas City. We will bridge the racial gap by sharing Jesus Christ’s love without discrimination, serving with a spirit of authentic unity and agape love, so the world may witness the power of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring His Church together as one body.
- Extraordinary prayer is critical due to the moment of urgency and priority we are in. (Matthew 6:6, Acts 1:14; Colossians 4:2, 2 Chronicles 7:14). Pray for unity and humility (John 17:20-23, Acts 15:14-17, Philippians 2:1-8, Romans 12:10) and cultural responsiveness.
- The unity of the Church operating as a unified community of believers, with each person using their spiritual gifts to glorify God. (Romans 12, I Corinthians 12). Relationships are key, and while it starts with the pastor, the work must funnel to the pew. This work is organic, not forced, and is long-term requiring enduring commitment. As members of the Body of Christ, we come to the table as equals, with singularly unique skills to contribute and distinct spiritual needs to be met.
- Labor for substantive change that blesses our city with healing, peace, true community, justice, and righteousness for all who call Kansas City home (Shalom for the City). I will love and serve our city in pursuit of John 17 unity across denominations, race, gender, age, and socio-economic barriers by forming Kingdom friendships & Great Commission partnerships. (Matthew 28:18-20; John 17:21-23).
- Support expanded education initiatives to enlighten, correct, and inspire with curated media (videos, books, articles, webinars), experiential learning as well as from the pulpit through preaching series, pastor exchanges, and cultural commentary grounded in appropriate Biblical text.
- Engage in “multi-lane bridge-building” between mono-racial and multi-racial churches facilitating partnerships between White, Black, Latino, and Asian churches pursuing life together on Sunday mornings and throughout the week by social engagements, studying the Word and breaking bread together on a regular basis. We will emphasize community over individualism by regularly discussing and then acting together on projects to meet the needs of our communities surrounding our churches.
As a church leader, I join my peers in committing to engage these challenges and solutions in the church/organization I serve, with the goal of pursuing racial justice and reconciliation in my organization and in Kansas City.
Pick One Good Thing & Get Started!
- Hold inter-church prayer meetings and prayer chains (well-organized and well-led)
- Convene a solemn assembly between churches where these matters are brought before the Lord together
- Schedule periods, seasons/occasions of prayer and fasting
Respectful Cross-Cultural Friendships
- Create intentional cross-cultural association/denominational gatherings. Examine existing associations and consider occasional joint meetings.
- Develop a Cross-Cultural Cohort. This arrangement can bring pastors/ministers together in small settings for education, sharing best practices and fellowship.
- Sponsor a safe space for interracial dialogue, building on the truth of scripture
- Recruit minority volunteers and staff, especially into leadership positions.
- Be courageous in conversations, publicly, privately, in church, community and from the pulpit.
Partnerships Between Churches
- Create an inter-church partnering and exchange (eg. Macedonia Baptist and Westside Family Church)
- Start a group within the church for studying and pursuing racial reconciliation. (eg. Colonial Presbyterian’s Bootstraps Team for Racial Healing)
- Create diverse, small group studies using a nationally recognized Christian curriculum, Be the Bridge. Go to bethebridge.com for information and download discussion and leader guides.
- Partner to jointly support schools to provide supplies, resources and volunteers.
- Collaborate in one project next year in the city or elsewhere nationally
- Select one joint mission ventures globally in the next 12 months
- PBS “The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross”
- Race: The Power of an Illusion”
- The Butler”
- PBS “Driving While Black: Race, Space, and Mobility in America” released on line 10/11/2020
- “Hidden Figures”
- “Race and the Christian” Tim Keller, Anthony Bradley, and John Piper
- “Letter from Birmingham Jail” 1963 by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
- White Awake” by Daniel Hill
- Divided By Faith” by Michael Emerson and Christian Smith
- One Blood: A Parting Word to the Church on Race and Love” by John M. Perkins
- “The Beautiful Community: Unity, Diversity and the Church at Its Best” by Irwyn Ince
- “When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty without Hurting the Poor and Yourself” by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert
- Create a bibliography of helpful materials for your church to make available to members
- Host a facilitated event to view a video like the one created by Henry Louis Gates (Many Rivers to Cross…) and hold group discussion afterward.
- Promote the “The Underground”, inviting a cross-town church membership to attend with your members.
- Create pastor career paths specifically for non-white pastors
- Sponsor non-white student for their divinity degree at local colleges (eg. Midwestern Baptist Seminary)
Gospel-Centered Missional Engagement
- Encourage participation in foster care
- Become a Local School Partner through Caring for Kids KC
- Help denomination members tutor and engage in ESL education
- Work with the Global Orphan Project and the Care Portal to help churches meet needs and work together
Meet the Voices behind this Domain
Church and Family Domain Voices
Greg Ealey – Domain Leader
Pastor, Colonial Presbyterian Church;
Director, Pray-KC/City-wide Prayer Movement
Alex Gilpin – Domain Leader
Lead Pastor, Revive Church
Midwest Asst Regional Director, PastorServe
Deacon and Consultant, Office of Civil Justice for the Archdiocese
Founder, Freedom Fire, Freedom Covenant Church
John Brooks – Board Member
Lead Pastor, Macedonia Baptist Church
Melvin Cole – Board Member
Pastor, Freedom Covenant Church, Freedom Fire
Lead Pastor, Westside Family Church
Pastor, World Harvest Church