Dave & Rivers Journey
LOVING GOD AND OUR NEIGHBORS TOGETHER
Dave and Rivers' Journey to Plant Neighborhood Church
Our desire is to worship and enjoy God with our lives and offer to others the satisfaction of Jesus by living with gospel intentionality. We are on a journey of grace where God has used His Word, many loving leaders, friends and family, the local church, para-church ministries, and international missions to direct our lives toward church planting. Below I want to share a summary of how God has brought us to plant a church in Overland Park, Kansas.
We grew up in West Tennessee, and it was there that Rivers and I both put our faith in Jesus while in middle school. We were married in 1998 and began our journey of ministry together. We began doing worship and youth ministry at Beaver Baptist Church soon after we were married. This is where I felt my call to full-time ministry and was licensed to preach. We then moved to Kansas City to work with Young Life, a para-church ministry to unreached high schoolers. This ministry taught us like never before to go and meet people where they are and bring Jesus to them. In 2002 I accepted the High School Student Director position at Covenant Chapel in Kansas City. These 7 years were an impactful season of growth in our lives as followers and ministers of the Gospel. It was a time of learning to shepherd others and learning how to create a vision and develop a ministry plan as we came alongside students and families.
During these years God continued to burden our hearts for unreached people of the world. We began to pray and ask God when He would have us go and serve the less reached. In 2009 we were sent to serve in Budapest, Hungary with Cru to do evangelism and discipleship among college students. These 4 years deepened our understanding and love for healthy team ministry and personal ministry. We also saw evangelism and discipleship modeled and explained in relational environments like never before. During our time in Hungary, our conviction was solidified that local churches are the means to reaching the world. We desire to see the Church share Jesus where we all individually live, work, and play.
In 2013, these convictions along with the current realities of the American church, lead us to the desire to help plant more Gospel-centered missional churches in North America. I accepted a position as the Director of Community and Mercy with an Acts 29 church plant in Harrisburg, PA called Liberti. We helped start a more formal discipleship and leadership development program. We designed and developed student and children’s ministries. We were shepherding small group leaders and groups to live more missionally together. Also, I was designing ministry for men, and Rivers became the Women's Ministry Coordinator.
This ministry journey has lead us to feel God’s strong call to plant a new gospel-centered, missional church that, Lord willing, will plant more churches. In May 2015, I graduated from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City. While we were there, our prayer times and conversations with leaders continued to affirm this calling.
The current reality is every day in America 10 churches close their doors and only 3 churches are started. We began to seek the Lord on where He would have us plant a church. The need in Kansas City, paired with our 8 years of living there, along with our desires to plant deep roots in a community has lead to Overland Park, KS. In the fall of 2015, we partnered with the North American Mission Board, Westside Family Church, and the New Thing Church Planting Network to start praying for and planting Neighborhood Church.
We are praying that through this journey and future church plant, the Kingdom will be expanded and God will be glorified.
Planting Neighborhood Church started in the Summer of 2015 when Pastor and Church Planter Dave Partin moved with his wife to Overland Park, KS. Their desire was to build a spiritual inclusive community where they live, work, and play.