Growing the capacity of people to be good stewards
"You can't go another way, if you don't know another way." Those were the words of a teenage gang member, and they haunted Thurman Mitchell, former KCTV5 newscaster. How do you show people another way? It was his passion for people and ministry that compelled him to eventually step away from the TV cameras and pastor an urban church as well as start an urban youth ministry called Urban Youth Leadership.
But even as his ministry drove him forward, Thurman wondered whether there was a way to bring the whole community together. He wondered, "What is it that we can do together that we cannot do alone?" It was that desire to reach the entire community that caused Thurman to be part of the founding team of the Christian Community Foundation in Kansas City.
Although Thurman passed away in April 2000 after suffering a stroke while in the pulpit, his dream of reaching the entire community continues. Urban Youth Leadership, the ministry he started, is now being carried on by Pastor Bernard Franklin of City Church in Westport.
The work of the Christian Community Foundation in Kansas City is flourishing and Emmitt, Thurman's brother is carrying out the mission as a board member. The work of the Christian Com-munity Foundation in Kansas City is a unique community foundation. "Our mission is to grow the capacity of people to be good stewards in order to advance God's Kingdom," says founding Board Member Pat Lloyd Land. "I think we can make Kansas City a better place to raise a family."
The Christian Community Foundation actively works with donors who want to set up donor advised funds, which is like having your own private foundation without all the paperwork. The Christian Community Foundation has all the available tools (including receiving charitable trusts, real estate gifts, closely held stock, sub S stock, etc.) to help making charitable giving easy, flexible, and effective.
"What makes us so unique is that while we help people with some very practical planning issues, we understand and support the Christian community." In just two short years, the Christian Community Foundation helped people give over 4 million dollars back into our community. Those gifts have reached over 239 organizations in the Kansas City area and beyond.
Those gifts are producing real and tangible results. For instance, a Thurman Mitchell Scholarship Fund has been established which will give scholarships to needy students desiring a Christian education. A youth minister with an ailing vehicle received funds to purchase a vehicle. A support group to pastor's wives received a contribution to carry out its conference. But the gifts are not restricted to local needs: one company has been able to send medical missions teams to a country in need. Additionally, ministries and churches are using CCFKC to set up ministry and church foundations.
Board chairman Frank Brown (also the Chairman of Via Bancourier) says that one of his greatest desires is to help people become more generous givers. The Christian Community Foundation has done much to help educate people how to become more tax wise and thus better stewards. "Through the Foundation, I've been able to donate stock in my family business and solve an estate problem, get my family involved in giving and save money on my taxes at the same time. But most importantly, I'm having more fun and giving more to support the work of Jesus Christ."
"We're bringing together the do-ers and the donors." In the same way that the Christian Community Foundation actively works with givers, it also actively works with ministries throughout the area. The Foundation has an online database (The Treasurehouse) of ministries serving in the community, which can be found at www.ccfkc.org.
"By serving those people who could become more generous givers and working with those who desire to impact our community, we really can show people another way," says Brown. That, indeed, is in the spirit of Thurman Mitchell.
The Christian Community Foundation in Kansas City may be reached at 816.474.8800 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Their President and General Counsel is William High.