Since 2009, Dean Scott has been a community pastor at New Kingdom of Faith and Restoration Church in Kansas City, Missouri. New Kingdom of Faith and Restoration Church prides itself on filling a charitable role in its community, often providing food and other assistance to at-risk families.
Originally from Baltimore, Maryland, Dean Scott was born in 1968. After graduating from high school as the valedictorian of his class, he joined the US Army, eventually becoming an officer in the military police. After 20 years of service, including deployment in overseas combat zones, Dean returned to the United States to further pursue his education. He earned a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Murray State, and has worked in the field of traffic safety since 2008, practicing his ministry simultaneously.
Why did you decide to go into ministry?
When I retired from the Army, my wife and I got heavily involved in the church. One day, we attended a service in Kansas City, and the Lord called on us to go into ministry together. Candace found a building and asked me to come look at it, then she said that was going to be our new home. Six months later, we rented that building out and that’s when we started our church on North Oak Traffic Way. We started with a small ministry, just my wife and I and our kids on Sundays, then we started growing. We had to move to a new location after we outgrew the original building—and that was over ten years ago!
What trends in your industry excite you?
A trend I’m seeing right now is reaching more people through social media. That’s exciting because you can have a church service with 300 people watching you, which wasn’t possible even in 2007. You can have a Bible study with 300 people through different social media applications, from Facebook to YouTube and all the other platforms. Another thing I’m seeing these days is small groups of worshippers. You don’t have to have mass gatherings of folks to spread the gospel and get information out about food donations or meetings. You can just make a flier and send it out on social media.
What would you tell others looking to get into your industry?
First, I would tell them to get some education. Go to school and learn Biblical principles. Second, I would tell them if you’re not a person who is willing to be patient, listen to folks and understand them, that’s okay because there’s more than one way to run a church. You do have to be open to new ideas and innovation, be flexible and open to communication, and just allow God to move in your life. The key learning point for me—and the advice I would give to new pastors and ministers—is to ask yourself if you’re able to avail yourself to people as well as preach to them. Can you meet people where they are and sympathize with them? These are necessary skills if you want to evangelize people into becoming a vital part of your church.
What is one thing you would change in your industry today if you could?
Oftentimes in ministry there’s some angst because we conduct services for two hours on Sunday, then we have Bible study and leadership training and all these other things throughout the rest of the week. I wish there was a way to simplify the process and maybe find a way to do everything in one place.
Who has been a role model to you and why?
For me, it’s Bishop Lester Jones. He’s our leader from the Maranatha Church, and he has such a heart and spirit for men. I didn’t have a father growing up, so he took me aside and told me he was going to help me grow and teach me a new way of thinking and living. It’s not typical to meet a man who will do that for someone who’s not his son. But he welcomed me as his son and showed me what to do while still holding me accountable. I think that everybody should be accountable to somebody, whether it’s a mentor, a role model, or just a friend who can tell you when you’re wrong or when you should be looking at something from a different point of view. When he took me under his wing, I was pretty much by myself. But he watched over me as I began my ministry. It’s very important to have oversight like that when starting a ministry because it keeps you honest and helps you grow.
How do you maintain a work life balance?
Candace and I are a team, so we like to take breaks together. Sometimes, we’ll go to Florida for a week. During that time, we leave the running of the church to other leaders. That way, we’re able to get away from the job. Also, on Wednesday nights after Bible study, I try to keep some open time where we can relax and watch TV. We don’t take calls from parishioners on Sundays after church, and my wife doesn’t take calls on Mondays. Setting boundaries is important. Candace and I want to make sure we have time for our kids and grandkids.
Explain the proudest day of your professional life.
In North Kansas City, we were able to feed over 400 people during one of our food pantry giveaways in 2021. We gave out every pound of food that we had. We met a critical need in the community, and at the end, there were people who wanted to pray with us and get information about the church. This was during the transitional period of the pandemic, when many people were very much in need of food. Providing that was an awesome experience.