I made it home to Hawaii last Friday afternoon, bringing along a little cough. I was in the Kansas City area for my Doctor of Ministry program.
It was great to be able to visit the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and the American Jazz Museum.
Those of you who know me also know that I am always interested in the local cuisine. Kansas City is known for two things: barbecue and the famous Kansas City Strip Loin steak. Over the two weeks I was there, I tried three barbecue places: K. C. Masterpiece, Gates, and Arthur Bryant's. Arthur Bryant's was by far the best, but to be honest, either of the other two places would be considered the best barbecue in Hawaii.
I was also able to find a delicious, but reasonably priced steak for lunch at Plaza III, where the price goes up double for dinner. Great steak, full of flavor.
Of course, I didn't go to Kansas City just to eat. For this session, we were blessed to spend time at the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in nearby Leawood. It is one of the largest churches in America, with over 14,000 people. What it is unique to me about the place is that it is proud to call itself United Methodist.
The pastor of the church, Adam Hamilton, spent the entire second week with us. It was a great experience to be with someone who built up the church from just his family to that size.
What's his secret? I don't think there is really a secret. He has a strong vision, he is well thought out, and plans out ahead of time in great detail.
Oh yes...and it seems that everything his church does is dedicated to letting people know about the good news of Jesus Christ in some way. It isn't a hard sell like the stereotypical televangelist. Hamilton's way is invitational, low pressure, and friendly.
I learned a lot about how to do ministry there. It may very well be the most influential visit of my ministry. I've been to Willow Creek Church and Saddleback Church, and they are very impressive, but it seemed that what they did was just so out of reach, it was almost surreal. There is nothing about the Church of the Resurrection that any church couldn't do; maybe not as fancy - such as super high tech video - but they even taught us how to take consumer level equipment and produce good stuff.
I'll be unpacking a lot of stuff as we head into a great future at our church.
P. S. their website is cor.org.