Today as I worked on emails and our newsletter, this subject of our history came up. I just started writing and it has turned into a new page on our website! Some may find our brief history interesting, especially when they learn that the historical foundation for Lake Hills Community Church runs a little deeper than first meets the eye.
Many do not know that this is actually our third attempt to start a new church at the Lake. Our vision is specifically aimed at reaching more people for Christ and helping more people truly follow him as His disciples. In fact a condensed version of our vision statement is, “Helping more people know and follow Jesus Christ”. That is our heart, our goal, our mission. Every decision we make is measured against this purpose. Surprising as it may sound, this is not the true goal of most established churches. Typically a new church will reach more people in the first 10 years of its existence, than throughout all the remaining years of its life added together. We intend to capitalize on this surge of new people turning to Christ in our early years, and to lay a foundation and create a DNA that always seeks to bring more people back to God.
I had been dreaming, planning and preparing for starting Lake Hills for three years (since 2003) before we were first sent here. Cathy and I were initially appointed to come in May 2006. We sold our house in Kansas, bought a house here and were taking steps to start the church when some problems arose in the church planting department of our Great Plains Conference. This was followed by a very serious illness for Cathy. We were delayed, and in the meantime we were reappointed to pastor Hope Community Church in Emporia, KS.
Two years later in May 2009 we were once again given the green light to come. We moved here and finally started Lake Hills on September 12, 2009 in the Osage Beach Elementary School. This 2nd attempt was proving very difficult as we had so few people attending, and the costs of surviving in that area proved to be more than we could afford. With great heaviness we closed the church on December 31 and met monthly with 5 other people in our home through the winter. When we started anew in Greenview in March 2010, we had 9 people in our first service. The next week we had 7. That first month our weekly average was 9 people, including Cathy and me.
Just look how far the Lord has brought us! We have been growing and have had standing room only a couple of weeks ago in our current facility. We are exploring our next step to accommodate more people. Our continual prayer is for Christ to build His church here at the Lake of the Ozarks and to use us to lead more people to Him. We appreciate all our faithful attendees, supporters and all the visitors (whom we prefer to call our guests) who come willing to try something new. Thank you one and all!
~ Mike Knapp, pastor | October 22, 2010