Central Community Church in Wichita, KS, has a simple mission to “lead people in a growing relationship with Jesus Christ by passionately pursuing all people for eternal life through biblical teaching, vibrant worship, and authentic community”*. With that in mind, it is no surprise that community outreach is a significant focus in their ministry. Administrative Pastor Aaron Varner oversees all ministries that connect people. He wears many hats throughout the day while he manages communication, graphic design, print, shop, cafe, kitchen ministry, office management, and ITT tech.
Central Community Church has a traditional and contemporary service every Sunday with nearly 2,000 people in attendance with many more viewing the services virtually. A variety of options and styles is rooted in bringing members of the community to the church in the way they feel most comfortable.
Several ministries are happening daily, such as homeschool co-op, preschool, Bible studies, life groups, and a Sunday morning program where volunteers make meals for homebound or ill individuals. When Covid caused the church to shut down for eight weeks, Central Community Church was already streaming its services but wanted to expand ways for people to worship. They also started a Call In ministry that is still in use today where members who have trouble seeing a TV screen or using technology can call a phone number and listen to the service.
Another integral component of outreach ministry at Central Community Church is the Chapel. The family of Tori Hornecker reached out to the church in January 2022 because Tori and her two children had been in a terrible car accident. Unfortunately, Tori’s daughter had passed away. The Chapel was used for her daughter’s service and the church was able to minister to Tori in a big way through the service as well as counseling. Tori was not a believer at the time of the accident, but as her relationship with the church grew she moved into volunteering and ultimately came to believe and gave her heart to the Lord. Since that time Tori has joined the Central Community staff.
“I saw what the church did for me and my family and how they introduced me to a new relationship with Jesus. And I want every guest and every new person that walks in these doors to experience the same thing.” – Tori Hornecker, Guest Coordinator
Tori is now the primary user of MinistryPlatform. She currently fills two roles for Central Community. She is the Accounting Clerk and the Guests Coordinator (or Assimilation Coordinator). For her accounting duties, Tori uses ACS Financial Suite to input all the payables, print checks, post payments, payables, and anything else needed. As the Guest Coordinator, she works with first-time guests welcoming them to the church, getting them connected and plugged in, and following up to suggest the next steps using Milestones in MinistryPlatform.
Milestones are important steps in a person’s journey and are configured by each church to reflect their unique path of engaging people in ministries and building or furthering a relationship with the Lord. Tori uses Milestones to track when someone first visits the church, when they express an interest in serving, and when they join a life group. When they get to the third step of being assigned to a Life Group, they are assigned to a group leader. Milestones help everyone involved to follow the journey of these new members and keep an eye on where they are in the process.
“It is essential for churches to be able to go to one place and see everything that they need to know about a guest, someone they are bringing into the church. It makes it so that you can spend more time connecting with that person, and less time doing all the research and the gathering and getting to know them better. You can go to just one place, figure out everything that you need to know about that person, and it’s just very simple to use.” – Tori Hornecker, Guest Coordinator
MinistryPlatform is also integral to Central Community Church’s pastoral care. With a large congregation, an online community, and multiple outreach ministries, it’s difficult to know who is in need and how to care for them. However, achieving this is integral to the church’s mission of leading people in a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. Leveraging MinistryPlatform, Central Community can take prayer requests and assign them, so no one falls through the cracks in their time of need.
“When we get prayer requests on Sunday mornings we’ve got one person who sends them out as tasks in MinistryPlatform to all the pastors and then we respond to them so we can care for people.” – Aaron Varner, Administrative Pastor
Something is always happening at Central Community Church which means a constant flow. Both visitors and members need to be engaged, discipled, and cared for. The church relies on MinistryPlatform to keep all of its information and ministries in order.
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