Omar Garcia on Transforming an Inward Church to an Outward Church
Thank you all so much for joining us for another episode of the unSeminary podcast. I’m so excited to have Omar Garcia with us today. Omar is the missions pastor at Kingsland Baptist Church in Katy, Texas.
Omar arrived at Kingsland 12 years ago as the first missions pastor. The church had a great reputation in the community, with a great prayer ministry and great family ministry. However, everything at Kingsland was very inwardly focused. The church needed help in reaching beyond the church and into the community.
- Take ownership of ministry initiatives. // Omar wanted to help the Kingsland membership to stretch themselves and step into situations they never had before, locally and internationally, while demonstrating God’s love in practical ways. One of the first steps in reaching beyond the church’s doors was to challenge the community groups to take ownership of a local initiative. The church stepped outside of Katy’s upper middle class neighborhoods and into the inner city of Houston, forming an urban alliance with a church there. Omar took 45 moms and kids to deliver fans during the summer to elderly within these neighborhoods in Houston.
- Care for your community in various ways. // Once the local initiatives took off, Kingsland faced the issue of remodeling their worship center and having to be out of the church for a Sunday. The staff discussed the plan of finding another place to worship that day and what building they could rent. But instead the initiative of Caring for Katy was born, which filled the problem of needing a place to come together to worship. On that Sunday, everyone stepped outside of the church, found needs within the community and determined how they would address them. Caring for Katy is now in its tenth year and reaches out to people throughout the Houston area to bring the love of God to them in practical ways.
- Find passion among the staff. // An important part of finding success in initiatives like the ones Kingsland has done is to be passionate about seeing people grow in their relationship with Christ. Kingsland’s senior pastor is a passionate supporter of everything the community missions has done in reaching beyond the church. He recognizes that as his congregation grows in sharing their faith, they are investing in and contributing to the Kingdom of God. Often these kinds of outreach initiatives don’t work because there is no passion or full support from the senior leaders in the church. A senior pastor who is just as passionate about these projects as the groups doing them will encourage success and help provide resources needed for local missions.
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Helpful Tech Tools // Things app
Ministries Following // Free the Captives
Influential Book // The Insanity of Obedience by Nik Ripken
Inspiring Leader // Missionary Don Richardson
What does he do for fun // ultra marathon canoe racing, camping, hiking