About Abilene and the Community
Abilene, KS, (pop. 6,800) is a small, dynamic city located in central Kansas along Interstate 70. The city’s historical identity was established as a cow-town and railhead of the Old West. Historic and architecturally significant homes abound. Abilene is also the boyhood home of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, and his extensive museum and library are located here.
Abilene was named a “Top 20 Smithsonian Best Small Town” in both 2017 and 2018 and has 17 churches, 2 city parks, 5 public schools, and a Catholic school. Entertainment and outdoor venues include: Eisenhower Presidential Library & Museum, Old Abilene Town, Smoky Valley Railroad, Great Plains Theatre, Seelye Historic Mansion, Brown’s Park, Greyhound Hall of Fame, and the Museum of Telephony. Abilene was the birthplace of General Telephone & Telegraph, which later become Sprint Telecom. It also boasts a large Russell Stover Chocolate Factory (which also has a great outlet store)! Abilene is a “sweet” place to live.
Abilene enjoys the benefit of several larger neighboring communities. Salina (pop. 49,000) is 30 minutes to the west, and Junction City (pop. 22,000) and Manhattan (pop. 54,000) are 40 minutes to the east. Manhattan is the home of Kansas State University. Jet service is offered from both Salina and Manhattan, but Abilene is also a quick 2-hour drive from Kansas City or a 1.5 hour drive from Wichita. Abilene demographics are 94% white, 4.7% Hispanic, 1% black, and .2% Asian. The median income is $48,115.
Who is LifeHouse Church
Pastor Kerry Coup planted LifeHouse in 2008 with the target demographic being those who are unchurched and dechurched. For example, let’s call him “LifeHouse Larry.” LifeHouse Larry is a great guy, a nice guy. He lives in Abilene or one of the surrounding rural communities. While most of us are in church Sunday morning, Larry is at home working on his car; or out at the lake with friends; or watching “NFL Countdown” with a can of Bud Light. Larry generally believes in God, but he’s skeptical about the church and what he calls “organized religion.” Interestingly though, Larry doesn’t have a bad word to say about Jesus. It’s the Church he’s skeptical about.
So how is Larry going to connect with God? Probably by hearing about Jesus from somebody close to him, like a friend or relative. Somebody says, “Hey, Larry! You ought to come with me to this church! I think you’d really like it! And it even starts late in the morning, so you can sleep in! And guess what? It’s really casual and informal. The pastor doesn’t wear a suit or robes, and he even tells jokes now and then. And the music isn’t hymns. There’s a live band that plays songs you can actually relate to! Come on, Larry! Check this place out!”
Contemporary Christian music is important at LifeHouse! We want music that people understand, that their ears can relate to. We want music that people will listen to on their car CD player or iPod. We want to concentrate on reaching people who are not a part of the “church culture,” and music is a hot-button issue.
What about other atmosphere-type things? While some churches are very emotional and expressive, and others are very formal and subdued, LifeHouse is kind of a “middle-of-the-road” church in how we “feel.” We’re not so organized that you can’t sneeze if it’s not listed in the bulletin, but we’re also not in total chaos, running down the aisles.
We’ve had people ask if we’re traditional or if we’re charismatic. Our answer is “no” and “no.” We prefer casual in atmosphere, informal in structure, and modern in music. We care deeply that God’s Word is preached with precision, practicality, and passion. The Holy Spirit can take care of the rest. When you understand who we’re trying to reach, it makes sense. We’re trying to reach “LifeHouse Larry” and “LifeHouse Linda” who wouldn’t attend traditional types of churches. That’s our goal! Our church moto is “Love God, Love Others, Be the Church.”
We promote by advertising on social media and local radio, and we also live stream our services on Sunday mornings. We now have over 100 “LifeHouse Larry’s and LifeHouse Linda’s” praising God and learning his Word every Sunday! Amen!
Ministries and Events
LIFE GROUPS – Life groups are the life blood of LifeHouse Church! We want everyone to get connected and join a community of support, encouragement, and accountability. These groups take the place of traditional Sunday School. We spend time digging deeper into the Sunday sermon and sharing life together.
MEN’S POST – We encourage our men to attend Men’s Encounter. This group then continues the fellowship and holds each other accountable. It’s a time for men to be men.
BLOCK PARTY – This is our annual fall event. We gain permission from the city to block off the entire street and then we invite the whole city. We have carnival games, bouncy houses, worship music, and a short message. We end it with lunch for all! It’s our way of getting unbelievers to try us out.
SOUL ON FIRE 5K RUN & FUN WALK – Another way that we reach out into the community to invite them to church is through this festive annual activity. This helps raise funds for our youth group and is another way we try to reach the youth of our community, through the youth of our church.
CELEBRATE RECOVERY – Celebrate Recovery is currently hosting 12-Step Studies to build leaders for the launch of a Celebrate Recovery Christian 12-Step ministry at LifeHouse.
The LifeHouse Pastoral Candidate
The LifeHouse Church pastoral search team is seeking a pastor who:
- Can relate to a diverse congregation of mixed social and economic backgrounds; the unchurched, homeless, afflicted, and the hard to love
- Has as an empathic, friendly personality, good listening skills, and can relate to both the unchurched and theologically mature
- Is able to coach those with potential ministry leadership skills
- Enjoys preaching, teaching, and ministering to seekers and new believers, accepting and loving on them regardless of “how they are” when they come into the church
- Possesses a passionate, vibrant, and dynamic preaching and teaching style that is straightforward and easy to understand
- Teaches Biblical, theological truth using common words and thoughts that can be easily understood
- Is an actively engaged peace-maker in times of relational strife
- Is willing to personally visit all the various ministries of the church from time-to-time
- Embraces pastoral care, such as hospital and home visits, and phone follow-ups
- Will enjoy small-town living in Abilene (or just outside town)
- Supports the church’s informal worship style and contemporary Christian music format
- Works with the church board as an equal partner to decide and forward the programs of the church, then leads the church in the agreed upon direction
- Actively represents LifeHouse Church in the community through outreach, ministries, agencies, and pastoral associations, and collaborates with other area BIC pastors as needed
- Experience in the following areas a plus, but not required:
- Audio/visual tech savvy
- Ability to use various social media platforms
- Musical/worship band capability
- Children’s ministry experience
Send resume and cover letter to pastor Ron Kramer, 785-452-9797, firstname.lastname@example.org.