Southwest Missouri is a culture in transition. With a high quality of life and a low cost of living, the last three decades have proven explosive for growth in this part of the state, with Christian County being the fastest growing county in the state for all but a couple of the last 15 years. Land has been quickly turned from cow pastures to “people pastures” in the form of everything from shopping centers to neighborhoods. Event its lack of ethnic diversity is changing as people from all ethnic backgrounds are flocking to this region seek jobs in the rural and urban contexts. Two of the state’s six largest cities (suburbs notwithstanding) are located in Southwest Missouri: Springfield at number three, and Joplin at number six. Southwest Missouri is also home to one of the Midwest’s largest tourist locations: Branson.
There are many things that attract people to this area, but none more than an economy that is stabilized by thirteen institutions of higher education, two hospital systems that are included in the top one hundred in the nation, top tourist attractions, beautiful scenery, abundant opportunity, and a simpler way of life. The surrounding outlying communities have experienced great growth as well and have developed their own economic centers in the midst of revitalization. Southwest Missouri also boasts a high concentration of churches from a plethora of religion. As people continue to relocate to Southwest Missouri, there is an increasing need for gospel-centered, missional churches that reach every demographic from urban core to suburban centers, small towns, and rural communities.
PlantOzarks is committed to raising up men called of God to plant gospel-centered, missional churches and to see gospel-driven multiplication. We want to see the gospel impact our cities and communities through its redemptive power in people’s lives. We are a young and growing network of passionate planters, leaders, and learners that gather regularly for encouragement, teaching, training, coaching, and strategizing. We are united together through our passion for the great commandment to love God and others and for the Great Commission directive to make disciples of all peoples. We are unashamed and passionate about our Baptistic heritage, but nondenominational in terms of the flavor of our gatherings.
PlantOzarks was founded under the leadership of Pastor Lane Harrison through LifePoint Church, but it is joined, supported, and sustained by other like-minded leaders in the region. Our focus is three-fold: First, invest in the Kingdom by building a relational network in order to grow Kingdom work; second, invest in the Church as the “center of mission” on earth in order to equip God’s people holistically for mission and ministry; and third, invest in men in order to sustain a network that hinges on pastors being committed to the health, growth, maturity, and strength of one another in the gospel.