Leading Beyond the Walls

Before we launched Resurrection Overland Park more than 3 years ago, we spent several months planning and preparing. The primary purpose of the pre-launch phase was to build the culture of the church and send us beyond the walls of the building to serve others and invite people to be part of an exciting movement of God.

In the beginning, we wrestled with three questions from our Senior Pastor Adam Hamilton’s book, Leading Beyond the Walls:

1) Why do people need Christ?

2) Why do people need the church?

3) Why do they need this particular church?

Identifying the answers to these questions is critical to unleashing the power of the community of faith we call the church.

I returned to these three questions recently for renewed inspiration. There is nothing more dangerous for a church or organization than falling into practices that merely maintain the status quo. Even as a three-year-old church that’s spent most of its existence navigating a pandemic, our own rhythms, patterns, and behaviors can quickly become “norms.” In other words, our start-up mentality easily shifts to maintenance mode. Of course, key ministries must continue, and Sunday comes every week, but we can’t let our established rhythms keep us from an entrepreneurial spirit that keeps us hungry to share the message of Christ in our neighborhood. Ministering in our local community was one of our original answers to those three vital questions.

The other day, my team invited a few congregants to join them at the local Farmers’ Market to hand out canvas bags with our recent “Be Just, Kind, and Humble” campaign message.[1] When we prepared to launch Resurrection Overland Park, our team was a regular presence at the Farmers’ Market, establishing relationships and sharing about the exciting new church joining the community. On this particular day, someone shared an amazing story with us.

While handing out the bags, one person approached and asked, “Hey, you’re that one church, right?!” To which we gave the only appropriate response, “Of course!” Then, this person proceeded to share, “During the pandemic our friend Dave (who own’s a local Food Truck business), nearly went out of business but you and your church saved his business! We love you for that!” She was referring to Resurrection’s outreach to local hospitals during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. We invited our congregation to purchase meals for hospital workers, and they responded! To supply the meals, we worked with local vendors to provide and deliver the meals. One of those vendors was Dave! He was able to keep his business open by serving local hospital workers.

When the church leads beyond the walls and into the community, we act as a conduit of grace. How do you answer the three questions in your context—why do people need Christ; why do people need the church; why do they need this particular church? These questions are critical today and for the future of every church.

Rev. Dr. Joshua Clough serves as Location Pastor for Resurrection Overland Park. Joshua also partners with our ShareChurch team as Director of the ShareChurch Academy to provide practical leadership resources to pastors and other leaders. Joshua completed his doctorate in Practical Theology and Leadership at Fuller Theological Seminary. He runs marathons, ultra-marathons, and because he grew up in Seattle, drinks a lot of coffee.

[1] To see what Resurrection is up to with the Be Campaign, check out