Nebraska KEZ Bears Fruit
by Marcus Roskamp
Since 2011, the RCA and CRCNA have been collaborating in Kingdom Enterprise Zones. The two denominations have begun to see how we can be better together, and KEZs have sprung up all across the U.S. and Canada. It’s so encouraging and energizing for me as a young leader to be a part of the Southeast Nebraska KEZ and see this level of collaboration.
The Southeast Nebraska KEZ began as a time for RCA and CRC pastors to get to know one another, to see what God is doing through our various ministries, and to begin to dream about how we could support each other. Our focus has been not just on planting churches, but on finding ways to do ministry better together. Much fruit has come from this partnership so far:
Block Party Trailer - We filled a pull-behind trailer with all the things you need to throw a block party—a grill, lawn games, tables, a bouncy house, and a sound system. The trailer is available for anyone from our churches to rent for $25, and it has been used a number of times during the summer and fall.
LIFEHouse Partnership - Westwood Church (RCA) and Prairie Lane Church (CRC) are located near one another in Omaha, and both had seen the need for a food pantry in their neighborhood. LIFEHouse was born. Both churches, along with the KEZ, have worked at renovating an unutilized building on Prairie Lane’s property, and LIFEHouse officially opened in September. LIFEHouse has built partnerships with the Omaha Food Bank and is working to provide food and other resources.
F Street Neighborhood Church - Northern Lighthouse and other CRC ministries purchased a church building in downtown Lincoln (which is no small feat), but weren’t sure how they were going to pay to staff a church plant. The Classis of Central Plains (RCA) stepped forward and agreed to pay the first-year salary of two pastoral interns to be the main staff at F Street. An RCA classis paying the salary of two CRC church planters—if that’s not collaboration, I don’t know what is!
Immerse - We are creating a two-week ministry immersion experience for high school students right here in Southeast Nebraska. Students can experience inner-city, suburban, and rural ministry, and begin to learn about all the different challenges and opportunities each of them has to offer. Our dream behind is to get more of our CRC and RCA youth interested in and trained for doing ministry. A design team of leaders from the RCA and CRC are working together to build Immerse.
RIP - Read about the remarkable partnership that has expanded the Nebraska Reintegration Program (RIP).
Marcus Roskamp is pastor of Pella Reformed Church in Adams, Nebraska.