Christ Fellowship is active in ministry beyond our congregations. Read below some of the ways the Lord has allowed us to participate in the building of his church.
We want others to experience the joy that we have in knowing Christ and being part of his family. It compels us to do what we can to help others understand the good news of Christ’s death and resurrection, and the forgiveness and future that comes from that. In our relationships we encourage believers to speak naturally and lovingly about this good news countering the negative reality of sin and judgment.
Besides the normal relational evangelism, several other means are used by our people to reach out to others. At all times, there are a variety of ministries to reach others going on. Our strategy is to encourage any believer who wishes to carry out his or her own ongoing ministry to spread the truth to others on a regular basis. Others may be interested to work together in a special way to reach out. We only ask that members do not expect everyone else to join their particular plan, or ask for money to do what God wants them to do.
In this way numerous outreaches are going on throughout the church, including such things as workplace Bible studies, short term Bible studies for friends in the home, regular hospitality to neighbors and friends, street evangelism, abortion counseling, club attendance in order to make friends, or finding a gospel zone in a coffee shop or restaurant or walking path, plus numerous additional ways to meet people where discussions about the deeper matters of life can take place.
We do not ask members to use the home meetings on Sunday as our primary evangelism venue since we have serious business for believers that is our focus there. But if a friend is a true seeker and is ready to see what life in the body of Christ is like, we ask members to bring them into the meetings. Our larger combined meetings every six weeks also provide a place where seekers may attend.
Multiplying Home Congregations
We will continue to multiply congregations so that a contingent of people from our church can permeate definable areas of town. Where gospel people live, a difference is seen and lives are changed. After starting with two congregations, we now have groups in five areas of the KC Northland.
Christ Fellowship has also helped numerous churches start up with our model around the US and overseas. Our elders take an active role in sharing what we have learned and consulting all along with churches who can benefit from our experience.
Our Christ Fellowship congregations are serious about supporting ministries and missions around the world. Much of our income goes for this purpose. We have a special interest in supporting the work of our own members who have gone out from us to carry out important ministries that can use our help. The Trevor Holloway family in Cusco, Peru and Michelle Okpewho in Beirut, Lebanon are among those coming from our Body. Christ Fellowship also actively supports the mission of the Southern Baptist Convention and The Fellowship of Independent Reformed Evangelicals as a whole church. Each congregation chooses the other ministries and missions it wishes to support.
The Holloways in Peru
Trevor and Betsy Holloway and their five children work in Cusco, Peru as missionaries sent out from our church. Trevor was first an intern, then an elder and later a missionary with most of his support from our church. God has done exciting things through the ministry of the Holloways, especially in training large numbers of pastor in various ways.
Michelle in Lebanon
Michelle Okpewho works with Syrian refugees close to Beruit. Michelle is a support worker for a faithful missionary. She has learned Arabic and is accomplished in some areas of medicine to help in the clinic as well. Michelle was sent out from Christ Fellowship.
The Andrew Fund
The Andrew Fund is a ministry from our church to support and encourage adoption. Our church people share their gifts with this ministry in order to help deserving church members of Christ Fellowship with the high costs of adopting children. We believe this to be “true religion” as James states. One of the main reasons for this ministry is to show compassion and to help these children come to know Christ who will transform their lives and often end cycles of family problems over generations.
Christian Communicators Worldwide
CCW is the ministry started by Jim Elliff. Steve Burchett, another of our pastors, also works alongside Jim. This ministry began 34 years ago to preach the gospel, teach the Bible and train leaders. More about this ministry can be found at ccwtoday.org. The ministry has produced several books and vital websites. The team has traveled throughout almost every state in the US and overseas in over 45 countries. Though Christian Communicators Worldwide is not directly connected to the church, some aspects of its training can be enjoyed by church members locally, such as The Muller Center and local Bible Intensives.
The Fellowship of Independent Reformed Evangelicals is a fellowship of churches and leaders providing encouragement and other services to like minded churches and ministries. It is strongly missions oriented. Our pastors attend the annual FIRE meetings when possible. FIRE is not a denomination, but has played a vital role in the ministry of churches across the US and overseas. Jim Elliff, one of our pastors, has serve on the board and has often spoken for FIRE meetings in the past.
We have had a long relationship with HeartCry related to some of the ministries we have supported as a church through the years or have been involved in the ministry travels of some of our pastors, such as The African Christian University (A ministry first started through one of our members), the ministry of Andrea Artioli in Montova, Italy, the ministry of Conrad Mbewe in Lusaka, Zambia, and others. Many people know HeartCry as the ministry begun by Paul Washer. It supports the work of indigenous leaders overseas.
SBC Cooperative Program
Christ Fellowship is an SBC church. We know that we don’t look like that since we have taken an approach to church life that isn’t common. We find our connection with the SBC to be one by which we receive many benefits, especially through Midwestern Seminary close by. For instance, some of our pastors write for Midwestern’s For the Church blog and attend various conferences offered by the school. Students going to the seminary are also helped in seminary costs by being a members of an SBC church. We also sometimes write articles for SBC papers and we certainly enjoy fellowship with many SBC leaders. The opportunity to influence for the common good and to be involved in the largest mission enterprise in the world is a good one, even if we sometimes differ in strategy.