by Jarrett Meek, Founder, Pastor/Executive Director
Few moments in Mission Adelante’s history have been more significant than the Leadership Community launch retreat we held last weekend. It was, in many ways, the culmination of ten years of disciple-making and leadership development efforts, coming into bloom on a precious plant that has been often tossed and beaten by the wind and hail of the challenges that we face in our community on a daily basis.
Forty-eight emerging leaders from our Latino, Bhutanese, and English-speaking communities came together to begin a year-long, multicultural training experience focused on learning to make disciples as Jesus did. Using stories from the gospels to demonstrate that Jesus’ work on earth focused on equipping disciples who make disciples, we observed and expounded eight principles of his disciple-making ministry (also expounded in the classic book, “Master Plan of Evangelism” by Robert Coleman). Each principle was introduced by a member of our team (Yanelis, David and Jarrett) with a short teaching segment, and participants were able to listen simultaneously with headphones to a translated, pre-recorded version of the segment in their own language (Nepali, English, or Spanish). The concise teaching segments were followed by longer small group discussion times that moved from observing Jesus’ disciple-making ministry to putting it into practice in our own neighborhood and context. What made this time especially effective was the years of disciple-making culture and values that are embedded deep within our ministry’s DNA. Many expressed that we were putting words to concepts we had been living out, giving a clearer vision of what we’re all working toward.
While we covered a lot of content, the retreat was also full of fun and games. The first night’s games of dominoes and Dutch Blitz were followed up by an afternoon of soccer, foosball, and ping-pong, and then dramatically eclipsed by a spontaneous two hours of karaoke in Spanish and English on the final night. All I have to say is Mission Adelante’s got talent!!
Many of us shared in open mic format, on the final morning, that the greatest highlight of the weekend was worshiping Jesus in three languages at different times during the retreat. This aspect of our retreat was indeed a unique and profound experience. Nepali songs led by AB, Ram and the Nepali band expressed praise for our Lord with voices and dancing. Our Latino musicians passionately led us as we lifted up the name of Jesus. And, our English speaking group guided us to that intimate place where Jesus is the center of everything. It was a taste of heaven indeed.
As messy as multicultural endeavors can be, we are excited to continue experimenting, overcoming challenges, and experiencing the Lord together in the process. And, as we press into making disciples like Jesus did, we are anxiously expecting and praying that the Lord will ignite a multiplying, multicultural movement in our neighborhood.
“We envision a growing multicultural community of disciples making disciples, where immigrants and others are thriving and using our gifts together to transform our neighborhood and the world for the glory of Jesus Christ.”
I believe now that we are closer than ever to seeing what we’ve been envisioning for so long. I invite you to pray that this vision will become reality at Mission Adelante.
In other news:
The Bhutanese Teens Club launch could not have gone better! Last week, 14 high school and college-age students joined us to eat, play games, do homework and learn about Jesus in small group bible studies. We've switched from Tuesday nights to Monday nights this trimester.
The Latino Leaders in Training are learning about the life of Jesus and the kind of leader He was as recorded by Matthew! It is encouraging to see the kids growing in their pursuit of the Lord.
- Last Thursday was "Superhero Night" at Kid’s Adelante. It was a blast to see the well-known and made upcharacters the kids chose for their costumes!
- Please pray that the Lord would draw closer to His heart the young mothers in our neighborhood that may feel isolated and that need love, support, and hope. Pray that they'll find encouragement through community.
Observation Nights: Each trimester we invite potential volunteers to come observe our ministry programs to get a better idea of what serving in our context looks like. Come on up to 22 S. 18th Street, Kansas City, KS 66102 at 6:30 on any of the following evenings:
- Tuesdays, March 1 and 8: Bhutanese ministry observations nights (Adult ESL, Kids Club, Middle School Club)
- Thursdays, March 3 and 10: Latino ministry observation nights (Adult ESL, Kids Club)