A "Whole" Church MovementRich Stigall
At GO Project we celebrate when individuals move from “curiosity” and step into the transformative relationships in the Orphan Window.
We also love to celebrate when whole churches (leadership, small groups and individuals) dive through the Orphan Window together.
Wellspring Community Church is on that “Family” journey in the Edison neighborhood in St. Joseph, MO.
The Leadership’s story:
After months of prayer and learning, the leadership team at Wellspring Community Church, led by Bob Miller came to KC to do a vision trip with GO Project. You can read more about that vision trip here.
Shortly after their return from this trip they signed a lease for a home in their community to help those in their church begin to engage more intentionally with the fatherless and widow in their own neighborhood.
They are calling it the “Guest House.”
The Small Group’s story:
Under the leadership of one of the staff members, Wellspring has formed an intentional community around this home. With a vision to show and tell Jesus Christ to modern day widows and orphans in the Edison Community they have placed “hospitality” as the central value for accomplishing that vision and have committed to supporting those who will lead the home. They have already raised the support for the first months rent just between the few individuals in this small group. This is even before they had a chance to ask others in the congregation for their support.
Samantha’s story (in her own words)
“I have always had a heart for children, and especially children who are not in the best of situations. When I accepted Christ as my Savior two years ago He turned my heart for children into my mission. I have worked with the “orphan” child in a facility setting for two years and have learned so much, but have wanted something more. I am not allowed to share the gospel to the children unless they ask me about it and I feel so confined by this. This it makes me start to imagine if I had my own house what I would do differently to spread Jesus’ love to all these lost children.
When I started going to Wellspring Community Church two years ago I immediately felt loved and in a safe environment. After only a few services I knew that the youth and the neighborhood were a big focus of the church and this made Wellspring even more awesome! I loved that there was this heart to help the neighborhood children and wanted to be a part of that.
Last fall I started helping with the elementary school, Edison, in our neighborhood. We really focused on building up the faculty and tried to help encourage them so they know how important their work is and that we are here to support them in any way that we can. Being involved with the school and teachers has made my heart for this neighborhood grow. I knew I wanted to do something to create a bigger impact on these kids and to build relationships that really matter, rather than showing up on a party day with cookies and drinks and not seeing them again until the next party.
This is when God started placing me in conversations with other members of the church who have this same heart. I remember a conversation with Rob Howat and how he talked about wanting to buy a house for his basketball boys to have a safe place to come at any time during the day or night, but he couldn’t live there. I immediately said “I’ll live there” and this is how it all started.
This is our dream to have a house as a safe haven for the children in our neighborhood to come to and have someone who would be there to feed them, listen to them, play a game with them, work on homework, or even clean up a skinned knee. We don’t want to put limits on what this house will be or who will come to visit or live with us. We want to step into this space that so many people in our church family believe that God has placed on our hearts and see what God is up to. How blessed we are go get to be in this amazing plan!”
Seeing the leadership, the small group and the individual step into this journey together is a beautiful thing.
Praying for more “whole” church movements around the world.
To learn more about the work that Wellspring is doing in St. Joeseph, MO or to find out how you can support them, please contact [email protected].