by Jarrett Meek, Mission Adelante
and Jeff Stokes, Mill Creek Community Church
We are excited to announce that Gary Pauley will be joining Mission Adelante's staff as our new Director of Latino Ministries. As I write, I am struck by the absolutely surprising ways that God often chooses to answer our prayers. Indeed, it never would have occurred to me to approach Gary Pauley, the teaching pastor at Mill Creek Community Church, to fill a role at Mission Adelante. But, in the strangest way, God orchestrated seemingly chance meetings at critical moments, which provided space for casual and unexpected conversations, that led to Gary filling the role of Latino Ministries Director at Mission Adelante. And now, we are eager to welcome Gary and Jan into our neighborhood and ministry and to see how God will continue to deepen our partnership with Mill Creek through this transition.
The Pauleys are a gifted couple with years of pastoral ministry experience and a proven heart for cross-cultural ministry and for our neighborhood. In addition to having planted and then pastored Mill Creek Community Church for 19 years, Gary and Jan have been involved in the Mission Adelante community in formal and informal ways for the last five years. Jan has volunteered with our Latino ESL program and then helped launch our Bhutanese teens club, while Gary has found himself serving, sharing life, and sharing Jesus with Bhutanese youth in our neighborhood. Their love for people from all places and their missions heart has been evident in the ways they have engaged with our ministry over several years, and in the ways they have led their own church by example. Gary is bilingual, having learned Spanish in informal cross-cultural settings, and has spent time teaching in missions contexts in Argentina, Mexico, Russia, China, and the Philippines. And Mill Creek, along with the Pauleys, has developed a deep commitment and passion to be a "sending" church.
Mill Creek has been an important partner for Mission Adelante over the years, and now even more so in this transition. We are extremely grateful for the collaborative spirit they have demonstrated and their desire to use this transition as an opportunity to deepen the relationship and partnership between their church and Mission Adelante. Even as this transition means some significant changes and a sacrifice for Mill Creek, their elders, staff and congregation are embracing the change as a way to live out yet again the value of "sending and going" as shown in the New Testament. What an inspiration! We are looking forward to the opportunity to walk closely with Mill Creek in the coming season and beyond. Jeff Stokes, Mill Creek's Executive Pastor has shared his thoughts below to further elaborate on this transition and what it means to their congregation.
A Note from Jeff Stokes, Executive Pastor, Mill Creek Community Church
At Mill Creek Community Church, we talk often about “every member on mission where they work, live and play”. We celebrate and rejoice when members naturally engage by showing and sharing Christ’s love to those around them. As His disciples, this should be the norm for all of us, including our own pastors. Gary and Jan Pauley are acting on this biblical truth they have taught and modeled for us - walking in faith and obedience to His call,wherever the call may lead. We will miss them greatly, but we fully support the Pauleys in responding to His call to join the team at Mission Adelante and to serve in the Kansas City, KS community.
I can share firsthand that Gary and Jan will bring biblical wisdom, love, and truth to every relationship and endeavor they are involved with. Your staff and your community will be blessed by their presence and testimony.
We so appreciate our partnership with Mission Adelante. We love your passion and vision for the people in your fellowship and community. We look forward to deepening our relationship and serving together for the Kingdom work here in the metro area. We covet your prayers as we search for a new teaching pastor who will fill “big” shoes left by Gary knowing God has just the right person. In turn, we will pray for Mission Adelante as you complete this transition with Gary and Jan. Just promise to send Gary and Jan back to us occasionally for updates and opportunities to support and respond to your work at Mission Adelante. May we all be people willing to be “sent” as He calls us to model and share the good news of Christ to all.