Over the past year, we at Total Life Church of the Nazarene (TLC) have seen with our eyes true victory in Jesus. The Spirit is forming among us a community that dares to say that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. TLC is a new church in the “urban core” of Kansas City, and currently meets in space provided by Nazarene Theological Seminary (NTS). We are a church hungry and thirsty to demonstrate Christ in our various surrounding communities.
People who have often been overlooked are being reached with the hope of Jesus Christ. One such young man was saved on Easter Sunday. He was baptized and became a member of TLC on August 5, and this young man is allowing God to control his life. He is on the journey of trusting the Father.
Another of these overlooked people is a woman from our community who recently stood up boldly in the middle of our service to ask for prayer for deliverance from drugs. With tears in her eyes, she confessed that she wants to live into the victory of Jesus.
As we reach out to people, two of our pastors, Jenee and Stevie, have moved from Albuquerque, New Mexico, with their children in order to serve and minister at TLC. Jenee and Stevie have been radically transformed by the gospel, and now they seek to bring that same experience to others in Kansas City.
We celebrate many others who have come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior, and together, we are learning what it means to be marked as His children. We also rejoice to see young adults, including university students and young professionals, getting involved in this ministry, willing to step outside their safe “bubble” to be the hands and feet of Jesus. With God’s help, and under the leadership of our lead pastor, Mark Bane, we are seeking to push back all that is darkness. We believe that God is leading us to pray for 204 church plants like TLC—one in every major city in America. We are a church that is reaching the lost, connecting them to the church, growing in Christ and in holiness, and being sent out as agents of perfect love.
The history of the Church of the Nazarene is undeniably “urban” and “inner-city.” Historically, our church has boldly launched into these kinds of areas. Our church follows the Christ who pitched his tent into the ugly yet beautiful areas of our world. Its actions mimic the outlandish, incredible, and passionate love of Christ. We know that the God of our beginning is the God of our way forward. God will help us to pick up the paint brush and paint His intended future.
As the church moves into the spaces of the vacant, the harassed, and the helpless, we participate with God in writing a different narrative. We throw creative parties, welcoming the single mother, the widower, the former felon, the parentless teen, the homeless family, and the innocent child into God’s kingdom. We throw first-time baby showers for unwed mothers, give groceries to families, and provide cars for those without, all for the sake of proclaiming the gospel. We believe God delights in the transformation of His cities as part of His vision for the freedom of His entire creation.
We pray that TLC would be an encouraging force, led by the Spirit of God, impacting the urban core. We want to be more than a “new trend.” In fact, we want to be part of recapturing the original mission of the Church of the Nazarene to be part of the transformation of urban centers. We still believe that God has a heart for the city!