Thank You Joplin

By Next Step Ministries

The summer of 2018 is Next Step’s final season serving in Joplin. While Next Step Ministries and Journey Church will no longer be partnering together in ministry in the years ahead, we will forever praise God for the kingdom work that has been accomplished as we served together over the years! Journey Church has expressed they are in a healthy position to continue the work of their 2 in 5 Initiative as a church without the support and on-going partnership with Next Step Ministries.

With every community we serve in, Next Step’s vision is that through our short term mission teams we get the opportunity to participate in and impact long-term community development. We consider it a success when a community like Joplin and Journey Church feel empowered to continue the work they have established without our continued involvement. To see a community move from disaster relief to confidently carrying out their mission to develop disciples and build a stronger community is something we are excited to celebrate! It has been a blessing to Next Step for us to learn and serve alongside them in their community development over the years.

Seven years ago Next Step Ministries had the unique privilege of coming alongside Journey Church to partner together in recovery work after a tornado destroyed the town. Through the years, hundreds of mission trip students and summer staff have had the special opportunity to serve with Journey Church and other amazing organizations to help rebuild the community. We cannot count the number of people that have been personally impacted and transformed by Joplin. Their faith and resilience in the aftermath of the tornado was inspiring. Immediately after the disaster, the people of Joplin were strong and had such a deep desire to be united as a community to rebuild. We have learned so much from this community on how to step forward in faith and persevere through difficult times.

Not only were we energized by their faith-filled response to the storm, but we have learned so much from the Journey Church even after the rebuilding was completed. They have established an incredible ministry called the 2-in-5 initiative in which they have a vision of reaching every house within a two mile radius of the church in a five year time frame. They seek to reach families in the community to meet physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. It has been a great joy and honor for Next Step to serve under Journey Church’s leadership in this gospel-driven ministry.

To Journey Church, we are so thankful for how you have welcomed us into your community and allowed us to be a part of your story over the years. The love and care you have showed our staff has been nothing short of exceptional. For years you have opened your doors to Next Step and offered your church as a safe sanctuary and home to our staff, making many feel like true family. For years you have welcomed visitors from all over the country to see the amazing work of God in your community and many students have been forever impacted by their time in Joplin.

To Pastor Chip, we are so thankful for your leadership, love, and commitment to see gospel transformation in people’s lives. Thank you for welcoming Next Step into the story and for showing us what it really means to live in light of the Gospel.

Thank you to God’s Resort, Life House, Watered Gardens, and the many other organizations we’ve have the privilege of partnering with through the years.

To the many students, youth groups, and summer staff that have served, prayed, and worked together with Joplin over the years, thank you. Your time, devotion, and hard work has made a lasting impact.

We will miss our friends and hold many special memories close to our hearts. We look forward to what God will continue to do in this wonderful community. We are cheering you all on and know that truly, the best is yet to come in Joplin!

For more information on this transition please contact us at
missions@nextstepministries.com.