More than a mission trip

Lakeview Church offers mutual partnership through summer trips

A team from Community Bible Church in Olathe, Kansas, meets for a debrief at Lakeview Church pastoral couple Phil and Melissa Wiebe’s house in Tooele, Utah. For six years, CBC has sent a team to Utah to partner with Lakeview Church. Photo: Russ Friesen.

Lakeview Church, with campuses in Stansbury Park and Grantsville, Utah, is a place in which to invest and be invested in. For three MB churches—Community Bible Church in Olathe, Kan., Mountain View Church in Fresno, California, and Reedley (California) MB Church—partnerships with Lakeview are more than week-long mission trips, and the mutual investment continues to grow throughout the year.

In 2018, Phil Wiebe, lead pastor at Lakeview Church, started looking for partner churches for the church he was planting in Stansbury Park, Utah, an area with a large LDS population. At the 2018 National Convention in Salt Lake City, he connected with Community Bible (CBC) leaders, and they shared ideas of how the churches could work together to reach the most people.

“Our Stansbury Park campus opened in Easter 2019, and that summer Community Bible Church came for their first trip to help us work on the building and outreach to our area as well as within our church that is composed of mainly new or young believers,” Wiebe says. “It showed us the power of mature believers speaking into the lives of younger ones and the encouragement another church can really make.”

From there, Wiebe continued to reach out to MB churches across the country, including Reedley MB Church and Mountain View Church. Soon, the two churches also began sending groups to Lakeview Church in the summer, which has helped build relationships and outreach opportunities, Wiebe says. All three churches intend to send teams to Utah in 2024.

Generous givers

“It seems like every year we start something different when it comes to outreach,” Wiebe says. “Every year, we have work on our buildings, which are like the battleships that take a lot during the year, but we also send teams into the community to host kids’ camp, which is like VBS, host block parties, help with a church-wide campout where we get to hear and share testimonies and serving at a nonprofit. The teams that come are always generous givers when it comes to service, and they encourage us at Lakeview to have fresh ambition to press on for another year.”

While serving at Lakeview Church, groups are welcomed and hosted in the homes of Lakeview members. Wiebe says that the diverse ages and backgrounds of those serving opens a gateway for conversations with a variety of people in the area and creates a way for mature believers to speak into the lives of younger ones.

This is one of the purposes Wiebe says makes the churches’ connections unique and different than a mission trip.

A team from Community Bible Church in Olathe, Kan., helps with the Lakeview Church campout attended by about 70 people near Kamas, Utah. Photo: Russ Friesen.

“From the very beginning, we started asking ourselves what it looked like to have a partnership versus a missionary-type mission trip and relationship because we wanted to partner with other MB churches and have that distinct difference,” Wiebe says.

“For a mission trip, people often come, serve and see people come to Jesus by sharing the gospel, but we didn’t see that as being very effective in our high LDS population,” he says. “Instead, our long-term goal in the partnership is to create a place not just to send people, but a place where people can invest and be invested in.”

Wiebe says that to this day long-term friendships and discipleship goes on throughout the year among the churches because of connections made during trips to Lakeview. In addition, internships, residency programs and mentorships have developed. This has helped to strengthen Lakeview and the visiting churches.

“Starting out as a church plant, we had a lot of needs,” Wiebe says. “As we’ve grown and become stronger, we want to give back and invest in them in some of the ways we can with strengths that we now have whether that be hosting an internship that can help prepare a student for ministry, discipling people within other churches or giving advice and offering to go to other churches when it comes to church planting.”

Partners in church planting

CBC has sent interns to Lakeview, participated in the residency program and is now looking to Lakeview for assistance as CBC considers starting its own church plant. In the next few years, Lakeview is hoping to send its own team to CBC to return the acts of service that they have received.

“Our church is still in the beginning stages when it comes to church planting, but already has consulted Lakeview Church and will be partnering with them as we move forward to see how we can most effectively reach our community,” says Russ Friesen, pastor at Community Bible Church.

For CBC and each church involved, such an endeavor isn’t just a project but an investment.

“The partnership that each of the four churches has developed is beautiful to see as a testament of the body of Christ coming together,” Friesen says. “It’s four churches coming together to give what they have to make the most impact for the Lord’s Kingdom.”


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