[Note from Editor Bill Moberly: Christ the King Lutheran Church (CTK) in Dodge City, KS, has been associated with Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (LCMC) since 2001. Pastor Corky Spitler is the pastor. Current average worship attendance is 50, a continuing testimony to the fact that churches need not be large to impact the nations. In 2018, for example, CTK raised funds to add a much-needed railing to LCMC Cambodia’s island mission school. This spring they hosted Pastor Sam Chim live via zoom from Cambodia at the start of one of the weekly Lenten Services! I recently interviewed Phil Burney, mission team leader at CTK.]
Christ the King Lutheran Church
At Christ the King Lutheran Church, you will find:
- A caring congregation that will gladly welcome you,
- Preaching/teaching that is centered on the Word of God, and
- Ministries to meet the spiritual needs of every age.
Editor: How does Global Mission connect to your mission statement: At Christ the King, the mission… ?
Phil Burney: As we “Grow in Faith” together at Christ the King Lutheran Church, we desire to:
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” — Mark 12:30
By growing in faith, we seek to acquire a greater desire to:
“Love your neighbor as yourself.” — Mark 12:31
Through that love, we “Impact the World!”
Editor: How is the importance of the global Great Commission demonstrated in your congregation?
Phil Burney: The Great Commission was the driving piece of Scripture in Christ the King altering the congregation’s way of practicing mission. Over twenty years ago, Christ the King reduced the amount of given to the denomination and began actively seeking a closer relation to the outreach portion of the budget.
Editor: How do you fund your mission support? Do you set aside a portion of the offerings, for example 10%, to fund local and global outreach? What percentage is local and what is global? Do you also include designated giving toward global mission?
Phil Burney: Changing the way Christ the King chose to apportion the mission giving started with approximately ten percent to all mission. In the beginning the Mission Team distributed the funds about equally with local, regional, and global mission, based on Acts 1:8. The desire to keep our mission in all of these areas has remained, the interest of the congregation helps to lead the team to where the emphasis should be at different “seasons” of Christ the King’s mission life. Each year Christ the King has special designated giving to mission. Many of those special events of giving are to organizations the congregation is committed to through the budget; it could also be a special need of which Christ the King feels led to be a part.
Editor: How do you choose the missionaries and agencies you support? Do you look for long term relationships with the missionaries and agencies you support?
Phil Burney: We often look for a personal connection. Twenty-plus years ago, Christ the King was blessed to find two missionaries in Africa with family ties to Kansas, allowing the congregation to have periodic visits with the missionaries and their family when they were in the USA. Now Christ the King has a long-term relation with a former pastor’s close friend, who is witnessing through outreach to unreached hill tribes in the north of Thailand.
Christ the King is currently excited to support former members of the congregation, who have finished their training and soon will travel with their children to Chad and begin a ministry among the Muslims in Chad.
Editor: Where are you currently working / supporting? What is generating the most interest and involvement?
Phil Burney: Closer to home, we are supporting a Christian School on the Pine Ridge Reservation and Oaks Indian Mission in Oklahoma. The Oaks mission has been a part of our congregation’s individual member support, well, longer than the oldest members can remember.
Oyate Concern Christian School grew out of interest in the congregation generated by a project a member was involved in by providing transportation for donated goods to the reservation. A group went to the reservation, and with the help of a member from the area was able to investigate a variety of options. Oyate Concern Christian School felt like a perfect fit for out congregation.
Christ the King also took up the ALWM challenge for the LCMC Cambodia / ALWM Mission School in Preh Vihear, Cambodia. This fund-raising project generated not only quite a bit of support but renewed interest in Cambodia within the congregation. This seems to be the way God works in our congregation to point us to where Christ the King can participate in what Jesus is doing in HIS mission around the world.
Editor: Is short term missions an important part of your global mission program? Do you encourage members to go and serve on mission trips?
Phil Burney: Christ the King has had several trips, by members, to the Oyate Concern Christian School, two trips to Thailand, two trips to Haiti, and one trip to Eastern Europe. Each of these trips have encouraged the participants and helped our congregation stay connected to global mission.
Editor: So, what would you say is an important question now for Pastors and mission team leaders at this time?
Phil Burney: The mission of Christ the King has been and is changing in North America; large denominations and centralized mission are changing or coming to an end. It has always been important for the local congregation to be an active part of worldwide mission, but because of what Jesus is doing with HIS church it is very important for the local congregation and for global mission that individual congregations stay or become directly connected to mission. Don’t hesitate to look for help from agencies like ALWM to become better connected to global mission!