All posts in “Joplin, MO”

Thank You Joplin

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

Back to School

The 2in5 Initiative continues to pick up momentum here in Joplin! If you need a refresher on what the 2in5 Initiative is and the work being done here in Joplin, please click here

We had an outstanding summer working on six different homes within the two-mile radius of Journey Church. We repaired roofs, installed siding, and built awesome relationships with homeowners all over the neighborhood. Continue Reading…

Flip Your Perspective

Five years ago, I went on a short-term mission trip to Joplin that changed my life. In that week, our group worked on a roof that had been damaged by a tornado. I talked a little bit with the homeowner we were working with but I didn’t have deep conversations with her. I didn’t ever learn much about her story. Continue Reading…

Being Church-Based

One of the best things about being a Partnership Coordinator, is having a group of other Partnership Coordinators who live in other communities to do life with, brainstorm ideas with, and study the Word with. Continue Reading…

Spiritual Rest

It’s unbelievable but, here we are, just a few days before Summer 2017 begins! The staff will soon be in Joplin, along with hundreds of students and leaders. Continue Reading…

Radically Following God

Two years ago, I helped with a spring break trip here in Joplin. It was there God confirmed I needed to move to Joplin. That began a crazy and joy-filled journey and I look back on that trip with such gratitude for the ways God moved. Continue Reading…

Projects, Prayers, Possibilities

It’s hard to believe, but we are only 3 months away from the summer season to be in full swing again.

The process of planning projects has been vastly different this year compared to years’ past. While we used to work primarily with major organizations that would provide us a list of work lasting a whole summer, we are now working with a number of homeowners in the 2in5 neighborhood. Continue Reading…

Be Thou My Vision

Vision Joplin 2022 is a new initiative here in Joplin. It’s a community-led initiative to come up with ideas and plans for our city that will make it better by the year 2022. It’s broken down into 6 committees: Job Growth, Positive Branding and Marketing, Quality of Life, Governance, Health and Wellness, and Education. Each group is meeting to prepare ideas and plans to present to the city council on how we want to see Joplin look in the year 2022. Continue Reading…

A Year in the Books

Two thousand and sixteen. 365 days of community development. In each of those days, it didn’t feel like much was happening. It was just another day. But that collection of days created change. Lives were transformed in Joplin this year and as I look back on this year, I see so many amazing things that happened. I wanted to take a few moments to share big things from each month of this past year. Continue Reading…

Jesus, Our Restorer

Every Monday night, I have the opportunity to go out with a group of people from Journey Church to meet people in our community. We meet at Watered Gardens, a local homeless shelter, and get a list of people who have recently been to Watered Gardens to receive services. It’s an amazing opportunity to meet people and reach them right where they are at. Continue Reading…

Putting our Feet on the Ground

Every year, a church in Joplin hosts and organizes an event called Great Day of Service. It occurs on a Sunday morning and instead of attending church services that morning, the entire congregation goes out into different neighborhoods in Joplin and invests in various projects. These can range from mowing an elderly woman’s lawn, to painting a house. What started as just one church has now expanded to six churches in Joplin and is continuing to catch momentum. Continue Reading…

God is Planning for the One

When this summer started, I had big plans in mind. In the 9 months of preparations before the summer began, I worked to create plans to help students and staff reach the most people possible in Joplin. I worked hard but God was working too. Continue Reading…

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