On Christmas Eve, Wyandotte United Methodist Church, 7901 Oakland, will begin offering video sermons from the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection, Leawood, as part of a partnership.
The Rev. Larry Keller, pastor of Wyandotte UMC, said that while Wyandotte will retain its complete independence, it will have access to resources and training through the Church of the Resurrection. This includes sharing video sermons at weekend services.
Sermons will be shown on video screens from the Rev. Adam Hamilton, Resurrection pastor. Hamilton is a nationally known speaker, having provided the message at the national prayer service in the National Cathedral following the January presidential inauguration.
The first video sermon at Wyandotte UMC will be at 7 p.m. Christmas Eve, Dec. 24.
“Our church has loyally served Wyandotte County for over 40 years,” Keller said. “Our church members are working hard to become a church that is passionate about reaching out to nominally religious and non-religious new friends with the life-changing love of Jesus Christ. We are thrilled to be the church in Wyandotte County that on a weekly basis will offer the biblically based and transforming messages of Pastor Hamilton in a worshiping community.”
The Church of the Resurrection has a partner church ministry that works together with churches throughout the country in an effort to renew the United Methodist church to more effectively change lives and transform communities through Jesus Christ, according to Keller. The partnership model hearkens back to the former circuit rider system that led to the original growth of the Methodist church.
The partnership is part of a plan to grow membership at Wyandotte, according to Keller. He said the Wyandotte church contacted Resurrection church to ask for help. Members of the Wyandotte congregation are taking training in such areas as greeting people.
Resurrection will provide resources such as a consultation for assessment and planning, ongoing training and weekly resources including video sermons, support materials, promotional materials and graphics.
“This is one model that has great potential,” Keller said. “It’s a model that may help smaller churches that are starting to gradually decline to start to pick up and be able to do what God wants them to do. We’re pretty excited here.”
Sunday worship services are at 9:30 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. at Wyandotte UMC, and in January, Pastor Hamilton’s sermon topic will be “In Search of the Real Jesus,” a series looking at the questions about Jesus often raised by sincere skeptics.
Keller, who will still lead the congregation in prayer, will occasionally give sermons, but most of the church’s sermons are planned to be from Hamilton. According to Keller, the partnership with Resurrection has the support of about 90 percent of the Wyandotte congregation. Keller said he will be more involved in the future in reaching out to new people, including those who are beyond the walls of the church, helping them find a church.
Keller believes that this is an important step in the future for his church.
“Resurrection has a history of helping smaller churches reach out beyond its four walls to people who need God in their lives,” Keller said “We look forward to seeing how God will work through this partnership in the years ahead.”