Using the powerful imagery from Ezekiel 37, the valley of the dry bones, Kevass Harding tells how God used a faithful few to breathe new life into a dying church and transform a congregation and a community, growing from 25 members to more than 600 members in just six years.
Kevass Harding refuses to accept “But we’re just a small church” as an excuse for not doing effective ministry. Within four months of his 1998 arrival at Dellrose United Methodist Church in Wichita, Kansas, all but 25 of the original 131 members had left in protest over the new pastor’s call for the congregation to better reach its community.
Not only has the church growing numerically, but it has also grown spiritually and financially. Harding attributes the growth of the church to dynamic teaching, fellowship, praise and worship, and to the fact that Dellrose is a place where everyone will feel the love of God, find the joy of Christ, and experience the power of the Holy Spirit. From a door to door canvass of the neighborhood, asking what the changing community needed from a church, Dellrose has been able to develop relevant and meaningful ministries: a youth center that includes a tutoring and mentoring program; a counseling center; and sermons and studies that address the needs of a multi-ethnic, blue-collar working community. As a result of this intentional witness, members have been added almost every Sunday since January 1999.