Hutchinson Community College is soon have a new evangelical Christian outreach organization, called SPARK, to join the campus.
SPARK’s mission is to disciple and aid college students, and others in the neighboring community, to become followers of Christ, for the purpose of expanding God’s kingdom, discipleship and planting churches.
Kelcie Exline, youth and worship pastor at Bethany Church of the Nazarene, Hutchinson, had a recent revelation in her life.
“I was praying for God’s direction for our youth ministry. God kept placing the story of the two fish and five loaves on my heart.”
The story of the two fish and five loaves can be found in the Bible in the book of Luke in chapter 9.
Jesus performs a miracle by feeding 5,000 people with only five small barely loaves and two fish.
According to Exline, God used the story in Luke 9 to speak to her.
“The story kept coming to me,” Exline said.
Exline began praying feverishly about what God wanted her to do.
She soon felt like God was pointing her to bring a ministry to Hutchinson Community College that would teach the good news of Christ’s gift of salvation and would help establish churches on the campus and surrounding community.
“The idea is to plant churches, who meet and gather together to discuss God,” she said. “Our focus is to make disciples.”
A disciple is someone who is a follower of a teacher or a leader.
Exline explained that a church is not necessarily a physical building.
“A church is when people, five or more gather and worship and minister together,” she said.
Exline calculated that if 10 churches are planted each with at least 10 members, who also plant churches, that 500 churches could be established within the next year.
Over the following 10 years, 5,000 churches could be established, she said, as she mixed basic math with glowing optimism.
Katie Ellegood, president of SPARK, said she was excited to get the club underway.
“I was approached by Kelcie, and I just really liked the idea,” Ellegood said.
“It seemed like a great opportunity to spread the word of God, fellowship, and meet new people.”
SPARK will meet weekly for praise and worship, scripture reading, fellowship, and planning for the planting of churches in the community.
Freshman Kirsten Showalter, a member of SPARK, said her hope is that the new organization brings people closer to Christ.
“My biggest hope is that the club will be successful in its mission,” she said. “That it will grow, and that God’s will would be done through it.”
SPARK is an acronym which stands for “Students Planting a Revival for the Kingdom.”