Today was a great day at Indian Creek not because anything tremendously new or different happened but because of the many things that are already happening and the power that comes in the ripple effect of multiplied life change. I would say it was a pretty normal Sunday but what is happening through the various ministries and many persons is anything but normal. It is actually divine as Jesus works through His church today.
I got the chance just to be a part of many things today instead of leading any one thing and it gave me another, fresh, witness of the various ways God is at work in us. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Sometimes people ask me if I miss preaching as much as I used to. I look at them a bit dumbfounded and say I’m preaching as much as ever just in a lot of different places. But if they are asking if I need to be at the center of everything that happens the answer is no. I get just as much of a thrill, or more, at seeing others use their gifts and succeed in being used of God. I think I have a great and very privileged seat these days to see the great vitality of the Holy Spirit at work in so many different places all at once. That was hard to do when I was at the center of one particular thing.
I sat down and wrote these words after church. I’ve been thinking about the future vision of Indian Creek and here is what I wrote. It is not the final word and I haven’t run this by the leadership to get their take on it but I felt rather inspired and I wanted to share it with you. Remember, a vision is a picture of a preferred future. It sees things not just as they are but as they will be. With that in mind here is the vision I wrote for the next few years at Indian Creek.
A Vision for Indian Creek
Indian Creek is a church on a mission to lead people to experience real life in Jesus. We are vitally alive and fresh. We move with energy and spirit, led by a community of Christ followers who live out a love for God and a love for people in tangible ways. We impact our neighborhoods in life changing efforts leaving no doubt that God is up to something so big that it feels as if heaven is touching earth and earth is becoming more like heaven in Olathe, Gardner and the greater KC area.
The story that started 27 years ago when one small group believed God wanted to use them to impact Olathe with a church that would make a difference for God and for good in the community continues to expand in reach. Indian Creek Community Church is now reaching hundreds of groups, thousands of persons and enabling life change is multiple communities around the greater Kansas City area and beyond. Churches and ministry leaders point to Indian Creek as a model city-leader in bringing unity and mission in the body of Christ.
While the macro is growing and ever-increasing numbers of communites are experiencing fresh evidence of justice and mercy the micro is where it all begins. Individuals and families are growing in love for each other, for God and for the cities where they live, serve, work and play. Marriages are stronger and last longer. Fathers and mothers are involved in the lives of their sons and daughters. The student ministry is leading the way and producing a fresh generation of young leaders. The family is alive and well when it intersects with Indian Creek. Singles and single parents are welcomed not as second class citizens but with the open arms of grace. The church feels and acts like a family. Women are honored; widows, orphans, the poor and the foreigners know Indian Creek is a place to call home. We are a multi-generational, multi-cultural family. We demonstrate that spiritual growth happens best in relationships. Indian Creek is a refuge, a place of grace, to those in need. Over time those who’ve received grace give grace to the next wave of those who discover there is level ground at the food of the cross.
Indian Creek Community Church demonstrates that the love of Jesus goes beyond the buildings, beyond the programs, beyond the leaders and beyond the past to actually be the church wherever they gather. We are the church in workplaces around the city, in public schools, in hospitals, in community service, in city governance, in the cultural arts, and in neighborhoods—we are a church without walls. Every gift matters and everyone is needed to play their vital role to turn our city back to God. We are better together and when we work in teams the result of our effort is greater than the sum of our individual parts. Each person in Indian Creek Community understands they are to discover their personal mission field and live it out in missional communities—this is the ripple effect of love in action.
Prayer is the life blood to Indian Creek. Not only does it connect Creekers to God and His will but it reconnects us to the needs of the world and becomes conduit for God’s power to transform others. Creekers demonstrate that you don’t have to be perfect because He is and it is never too late to become the person you were created to be. Indian Creek is like a city set on a hill to reveal that the power of life change is God’s but it is available to all.
We see ourselves as world changers because of our identity in Jesus. We will lead friends and neighbors to discover real life in Jesus and new groups will be planted in those neighborhoods. In some of them there will be new campuses. We will live SENT lives. We will participate in fulfilling the Great Commission by reaching new people groups in foreign countries. Through the inspiration of the Spirit new songs will be recorded, new books will be written, new ministries will be started, new missionaries will be commissioned, new churches will be planted in the U.S. and around the world until the world knows that there is a God in Kansas City and He is alive and well at Indian Creek Community Church.