Michaels meet needs in KC - Word&Way

Michaels meet needs in KC

KANSAS CITY — Bob Michael began praying "for the Lord of the harvest to send forth workers" and became an ordained, volunteer minister.

Bob Michael

Already active as a Sunday School teacher and member of Women on Mission, wife Janice joins him in every aspect of Michael's work as associate pastor to senior adults at Grace Point Baptist Church in Kansas City.

A member of the church for more than 50 years, Michael became burdened for workers about six years ago. "I saw the needs and started praying," he said.

He had been a deacon since 1965, "but I felt the Lord calling me to do more." The parable of the vineyard owner who paid all his workers equally regardless of the time they were hired convinced him to respond.

"I felt called as an 11th-hour minister as one who could minister to people in the 11th hour of their lives," he said. Grace Point recognized God's hand and ordained Michael to the ministry.

Janice Michael, second from left, helps members at Grace Point Baptist Church fill bags to distribute at a local school. (Grace Point Baptist Church photo)

Janice had already been teaching an adult ladies' class, a post she has held for about 10 years, when her husband surrendered to God's call. In the past, she had taught preschool and young adults. She filled in as a substitute in the ladies' class from time to time, stepping up when the previous teacher needed to resign.

Active in Women on Mission for most of the past 45 years, she participated in the evening group while working as an administrative assistant. After retirement, she switched to the day group, where she has served as program chair and president.

Married 54 years, the Michaels work together to minister to senior adults. They contact those who have needs, spend time at hospitals and in nursing homes and counsel with the bereaved. "Janice has been such a blessing to me in my ministry," Michael said. "She's been my inspiration and spiritual partner."

While the pair doesn't minister for recognition, church leaders are aware of how much the Michaels' work means. "They visit together and bring tremendous comfort to others," Senior Pastor Kirtes Calvery said. "They have and are affecting many lives positively."

Bob and Janice point to God for the privilege of serving. "I get a lot of joy just ministering to people, being with people and meeting people's needs," Janice said.

"It is so rewarding. I can't believe the strength I see [in senior adults]. They are an encouragement and inspiration to me," said Michael, who also serves as a trustee for The Baptist Home. "I've been blessed more than I have been a blessing…from the strength I see in those who know the Lord."