The senior pastors of Nazarene churches in Kansas submit annual reports to the Kansas District Assembly, District Superintendent Jim Bond and the presiding General Superintendent. Our Associate Pastor Brad Riley submitted the following written report on behalf of our church and gave an in-person report at the annual Wichita-area zone meeting at Woodland Lakes Community Church on Sunday, June 10.
Annual Report to the District Assembly: 2017-18
Wichita First Church of the Nazarene
This past year we’ve experienced God’s faithfulness in many ways here at Wichita First Church of the Nazarene as He has stretched us in new directions to share the gospel on the mission fields both at home and abroad. I am also pleased to report that through the faithful giving of the people of Wichita First Nazarene, all budgets have been paid in full.
We began this year with an emphasis on missions. We wanted to provide a wide array of opportunities for everyone who wanted to go on a mission trip to be able to so. We believed this would help people catch the fire for our core value of service through hands on missions.
Our Faith Promise introduced the year of missions emphasis with an amazing, walk-through Missions Experience. In the experience people were invited to walk through life-like exhibits of many of mission world areas, including a few of our upcoming trips. Each participant was connected with a sensory-led experience of sight, sound, touch and information. The Experience was held over a Friday night and Saturday allowing to meet the varied schedules of our people. We heard many comments about how realistic the Experience was and how much the people learned about Nazarene World Missions and looked forward to going on one of the trips.
Our Missions Council planned seven trips to various places including Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Texas, Kentucky and Kansas. These missions opportunities strategically also included local work projects such as a 5k race to raise money for clean water wells in Malawi, Africa. The 5k race connected with many in the Wichita area running community, attracted several local business sponsors from outside the church and was so successful that we raised enough money to build two wells!
There was also a project for Help Build Hope in which we gathered on the church grounds to build framed walls that would eventually be sent to build a home in Arkansas for recently released prisoners integrating back into society.
Another area we were stretched in was to connect more people with each other and the gospel by beginning a small group ministry centered around the Sermon messages. Each week, at a variety of days, times and places around the city, over 100 people met in groups to discuss the scripture-based sermon Pastor Brent Van Hook would deliver the coming Sunday.
Additionally, for the first time, we held a Discipleship Ministries Training Conference for all teachers and leaders. The weekend event was extremely successful in engaging leaders with tools and information to better equip them to serve in groups and classes.
The beginning of this new church year we find God still stretching us with the resignation of Pastor Van Hook. His almost nine years with us have seen great growth for the people of Wichita First Nazarene. He will be greatly missed but we know our God has great plans for the future of His church, and we are excited to see what God has in store for His church right in the heart of Wichita.
Faithfully submitted for Dr. Brent Van Hook by Brad Riley, Associate Pastor