Thank you for taking a few moments to connect with our story of Kairos, new churches and the Lambert’s role. As of January 1, 2008, Kim and I are officially working partners in Kairos! My wonderful wife will add her incredible talents to Kairos on an official, part-time basis. While Kairos has been a family effort from the beginning, I am very pleased that Kim will join me and so many others in helping create a new generation of churches in America.
Our journey in this ministry is a team journey. We need many friends, supporters and donors for Kairos to be successful. We are thankful that you are looking at our website and exploring a partnership with the Lamberts. Allow us a moment to share some personal history to let you see how God has worked for this kairos (moment).
Heroes and History
My roots in the Kingdom of God go back to the 1870’s, when a farmer moved from Indiana to homestead the newly opened land of Iowa. Jessie and Matilda Hahn were part of the Restoration Movement and believed it to be their calling to start a neighborhood church in their new land. Thus, the Redline Church of Christ was started on their farm, down in the grove next to the Nishnabotna River. Hahn invited his neighbors to pick berries and read the bible. My two great-grandmothers were their neighbors. They were baptized and became part of that new church. Four generations later, and by the grace of God, I am honored to continue that legacy of seeing new possibilities for the Kingdom.
It is my belief that the same story can be duplicated today around our nation and the world. Maybe not the part about farms, groves and berries in 21st century America! However, I still believe in the part of the story were God continues to call leaders to the vision of new churches in new places for new people. I admire my ancestors, especially as they were following Christ-centered visionaries like Paul, Peter, John and others. God is doing the same thing today.
Since the mid-90’s I have considered the need for a new season of church planting in America. In the role of Campus Minister at Pepperdine, I was blessed to have spent over 20 years ministering to Pepperdine students and the University Church of Christ. I had a unique view of God’s Kingdom and our fellowship, becoming convinced I needed to be more actively engaged in the development of new churches and church leaders.
God Brings Two Visions Together
Concurrent to our time of discernment at Pepperdine, God was also working on the hearts and plans of another couple. Stan and Gena Granberg of Portland, Oregon, were considering the same need for new churches. Stan was professor of Bible and Missions at Cascade College in Portland. Previously, the Granbergs were missionaries in Kenya for ten years, creating a vision that encouraged local believers to start churches in their own communities. Over 40 churches were launched in Kenya during their years there. Stan returned home to teach missions and work on his Ph.D. at Oxford. Yet, God was planting a seed about America in the Granberg’s hearts. After several years of searching for a way to start new churches at home, they decided to launch out on faith with an idea.
Meeting yearly at the World Mission Workshop, Stan and I knew and admired each other’s work in the Kingdom. Yet, it was shocking to receive an October, 2003, email from Stan and Gena. In short, they invited Kim and me to move to Portland to help conceptualize and start a regional church planting network in the Northwest. I personally was dumbfounded because what they wrote in that email described the desires and dreams that Kim and I had been nurturing. We wrote back and said “no” and “yes”. No, we didn’t want to move to Portland (too rainy!). However, yes to the same vision for California. This was another confirmation that God had truly been growing this vision jointly in our hearts. Together, we dreamed of a church planting movement to call leaders for new churches throughout America.
Stan and Gena Granberg
Two years of discussions, dreams, plans and prayers followed. In June, 2004, God gave the Granbergs a visionary overseeing church in the Southwest Church of Christ in Jonesboro, AR. Kim and I had to make a decision about leaving our beloved Pepperdine, the University Church of Christ and the students we had given our lives to in Campus Ministry. However, we felt the call of God to join with others in creating a network of congregations and leaders interested in new churches. In August, 2005, we stepped down from our roles in Malibu.
Hilltop Community Church of Christ as Catalyst for a Regional Movement
During the spring of 2005, we had conversations with the leaders of the Hilltop Community Church of Christ in El Segundo, California, about their potential role in being one of the first churches to plant a new congregation in Southern California. During our discussions, the leaders talked to us about coming to Hilltop and encouraging the church to take on the role of “catalyst” church for this new ministry. The catalyst role involves helping regional leaders join together to collaboratively reach new people with new churches. Kim and I accepted the offer to join the Hilltop staff and develop the Kairos Church Planting Support network.
We are excited about our new church family. On January 1, 2006, I became the Associate Minister at Hilltop with two areas of responsibility. Half of my time is dedicated to Small Groups, assimilating new people into the Hilltop body and reaching out to the community. The other half of my time is dedicated to developing the Kairos network throughout the United States, with a special attention to California and the Southwest.
The Hilltop leadership, Granbergs and Lamberts view this partnership as God-blessed. First, we see the time allotment as perfect for Hilltop as it has grown from 15 people in 1995 to over 275 today. Second, the Kairos network is in its infancy and the funding needs are lessened by this strategic partnership with Hilltop. Kim and I will think country- and region-wide while remaining grounded in the local church. God has already blessed this partnership.
Gratitude for Partners in the Vision
We are especially grateful to the many who nurtured our role in leading Kairos. The University Church of Christ leaders blessed our new mission. The Hilltop Church is a great new home for the Lamberts and Kairos. The Granbergs are outstanding partners and visionary leaders. David and Sally Davenport of Pepperdine partnered with us in the early days and encouraged us to dream. Others saw the early vision and stepped up to contribute monetarily to our new ministry. Many have been in prayer for the Lamberts and been generous in their encouragement. Thanks to all of you for believing in us.
Finally, the end product must be a new generation of churches. Through the end of 2007, Kairos has helped start eleven churches in six states (see the Kairos map). More new churches are in the pipeline for 2008 as we assess, equip, resource and coach new leaders. The Lamberts are having a great time leading and encouraging these new church pioneers. God has called us to Kairos at the right moment to help build the infrastructure for a new network of churches for His Kingdom.
Our Kairos directives capture the intent of our mission:
New Churches in New Places for New People
No One Plants Alone
Thanks for reading about our story and the new chapter in our lives. We hope that these few paragraphs are only the beginning of new chapters for new churches. Take some time to explore the various links to capture the Kairos story. You will find our new churches, mission and vision, funding needs and a host of information and links to give you a more complete picture of our work.
Would you consider partnering with Kim and me in this journey? Our prayer is that you will begin to own the mission, vision and passion for Kairos and join us.
Scott, Kim, Luke, Isaac and Micah Lambert