Living and Loving Like Jesus in the Heartland
By Tom Smith
Living and loving like Jesus is happening in the Heartland. Here are two ways that the Synod of the Heartland is living out Transformed & Transforming.
Through Church Multiplication:
Dale Assink is classis leader and multiplication catalyst for Central Plains Classis. Central Plains is participating in both multicultural support and multiplication of churches in two exciting ways. Here’s how Dale describes it:
A very real need within our Native American ministries is indigenous leadership. Central Plains has joined with the Red Mesa Classis of the Christian Reformed Church in North America to develop a Native American leadership development program. Three members of the Apache Reformed Church in Oklahoma are participating in this program with the goal of becoming commissioned pastors. Houston, Texas, has become an opportunity for church multiplication with a Spanish-speaking ministry led by Christian Sebastia, as well as an African American church plant in the Third Ward with Prince Couisnard. There is also the potential for a Taiwanese/Chinese church plant. Planning for a church multiplication movement in Central Plains will call for prayers, leaders, and resources.
Through Missional Mosaic:
Even before his call to Meredith Drive Reformed Church in Des Moines, Iowa, Gary Hansen knew that God was leading him to a place where Sankofa would play a significant role. Sankofa is an experiential learning trip that helps participants gain more understanding about race. Gary relates his journey like this:
I was drawn to the vision of being a part of a church that is taking steps to become more culturally agile—and all the beautiful complexities that come along with that vision. Over the past ten months I’ve been repeatedly humbled by recognizing and naming my own implicit biases and owning the numerous blind spots that take up residency in my current worldview. This Sankofa journey is designed to cultivate soil out of which a God-sized church can grow, if only because it forces us to realize the practical truth behind the power of Christ being made real in our weaknesses.
These are just two snapshots of the many ministries that take seriously the call of Transformed & Transforming. Let’s come together to radically follow Christ in mission!
Tom Smith is Synod of the Heartland ministry coordinator.
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