Our church of christ heritage

Our faith community is now called Christ Connect Church, but we are proud of our heritage as the Overland Park Church of Christ. From 1951 until 2023, Church of Christ was at the end of our name. The most important two aspects of the name Church of Christ remain in our new name: Christ and Church.

Although we no longer brand ourselves as a traditional Church of Christ, we know that our Church of Christ heritage continues to enrich our worship and community:  

  • We practice communion every week at our gathering. 

  • We sing some acapella songs nearly every week, which is a strong pillar of Church of Christ tradition. 

  • We have elders and deacons as part of our church leadership structure. 

  • We prioritize and encourage familiarity with and understanding of scripture for the purpose of deepening each person’s appreciation of the life, teachings, and example of Jesus Christ. 

  • We have an emphasis on missions, locally and abroad. Supporting mission work is a part of heritage we proudly retain. 

  • Like Churches of Christ, Christ Connect Church is autonomous. Although we maintain informal connections with other churches and Church of Christ universities, there is not a governing body that we receive direction from as a church. Rather, our elders (leaders appointed from among our congregation) set the direction for our church. 

We made the decision to formally remove Church of Christ from the end of our name because we have several practices in our worship and leadership structure that people would not expect to find in a traditional Church of Christ: 

  • We believe that men and women are equally gifted by the Spirit for public roles in worship gatherings: leading prayers, leading worship, preaching, etc. 

  • Although we still sing acapella songs in worship, we also worship with instruments. When we first began using instruments in worship, we had an acapella service and an instrumental service. Now, we have one combined service with both instruments and acapella selections. 

  • We believe that the Spirit equips men and women equally for leadership within the church. We have female ministers and will soon appoint female deaconesses, just as, at minimum, one church we read about in the New Testament did.

OUr History

The faith community that is now Christ Connect Church first met in Mission, KS as the Mission Church of Christ in 1951. A few years later, the church moved to Overland Park and changed its name to the Overland Park Church of Christ, a name it retained until 2024.

Christ Centered

The people of the Overland Park Church of Christ strived to understand the character of Jesus Christ and wanted to emulate his compassion and care—both as individuals and as a collective church body. Representing Jesus well was (and remains) at the center of our decision making and strategy. 

The church’s caring ministry is a great example of its commitment to emulate the love of Jesus Christ. At both of our past two long-term physical locations (103rd and Antioch and 119th and Pflumm) we have had spaces devoted to benevolence ministry. If someone has come to the church and expressed a need, one of the ways we’ve been able to help is by providing groceries for people who are food insecure. The caring ministry also led the initiative every holiday season to provide Thanksgiving and Christmas meals for hundreds of families who otherwise may not have had a complete meal. Each year, individuals in the church bought Christmas gifts for children who may not have otherwise received them. 

There have been various other initiatives through which the church has strived to display the compassion of Jesus. This has included Buddy Break (a respite program for families with children who have special needs), our partnership with Johnson County Interfaith Hospitality Network (an organization partnering with churches to provide living spaces for families who are temporarily homeless), Missional Meals (a program organized by missional partners within our church to combat food insecurity among local children), and school partnerships through which we’ve provided coats, backpacks, and assigned Lunch Buddy mentors.

People Focused

To be Christ Centered and Bible Based is, in many ways, to be people focused. Our faith community is proud that it has always offered a warm community to welcome people looking for a church family. Over the years, we’ve placed an emphasis on helping people discover their grace gifts so that they may experience joy by using their gifts and talents to serve others, individually or through church ministries. 

In recent decades, the church has tried to maintain and increase the outward focus that has been part of our church’s DNA since its beginning. The church has supported missionary presence in Costa Rica, Thailand, Tanzania, Liberia, China, and Kansas City, KS. Another constant thread in our effort to be people focused has been our emphasis on ministry to young people: children, teens, and young adults. For decades, we have offered opportunities for young people to learn about Jesus Christ and have caring people model Christ-like kindness in their lives. 

Cornerstones of our kids and teen ministry include camps and retreats. Our children’s camp, Summer in the Son, takes place at Tallgrass Christian Camp in Harveyville, KS. The camp is a meaningful time of spiritual formation for 3rd-6th grades, but offers an opportunity for spiritual growth for teens as well. Each year, teens attend Summer in the Son and serve as Counselors in Training. They prepare and share devotional thoughts, lead small group discussions, and set a Christ-like example for the kids all week. The teens also have many moments of spiritual growth at Teen Week, spring and fall retreats, as well as at mission trips. We’re proud that our teens have helped build church buildings in Mexico, have aided in relief efforts following Hurricane Katrina, and have served many local nonprofits through Serve City.

Bible Based

All we know about Christ, who inspires us to love others in a genuine way, comes from biblical accounts. We believe the Bible teaches us practical lessons about Jesus that informs the way each of us should live. 

We view all parts of the Bible, Old Testament and New, through the lens of our knowledge of Jesus Christ. Although we place God and Christ above scripture, we love the beauty of scripture and the way it provides guidance for our walk with Jesus Christ.