Meet on the Lawn Event Draws 1,200 Members of the Seminary Community and Ministry Partners

KANSAS CITY, Mo—More than 1,200 students, staff, and community members gathered on Midwestern Seminary’s campus last week for Meet on the Lawn, an annual event featuring family fun, fellowship, food and dessert, and a concert by the Seattle-based band Citizens.

“I could not think of a better way to kick off the new academic year than by this year’s Meet on the Lawn event,” said President Jason Allen. “Getting to see our students, faculty, staff, and friends interact and enjoy a good Kansas City BBQ dinner, dessert, and a great band was especially rewarding. I want to express a special word of thanks to Tim Adams and the entire student life and events team. Thank you for a wonderful night.”

Meet on the Lawn is designed to celebrate the beginning of the fall semester at Midwestern Seminary and Spurgeon College. After moving on campus last week, students gathered in front of the Mathena Student Center for this record-breaking gathering.

Midwestern Seminary’s Student Life team, led by Director of Student Life and Events Tim Adams, organized the event. They intentionally invited local church pastors and their families to join to give new students the opportunity to connect with churches before their first Sunday in Kansas City. Throughout the year, the seminary also hosts the For the Church National Conferencethe Student Pastor Summit, Fall Festival, and more.

Adams said of the event, “Meet on the Lawn provides a space for our community to gather and sets the tone for warmth that the leadership of this institution has for the community here. It was an absolute joy to observe Meet on the Lawn in action. There was so much joy, laughter, and connection taking place that it filled my heart with gratitude.”

He also expressed his gratitude to student leaders helping organize the event. “A lot goes in to preparing to host 1,200 people. Our Student Leadership Team works extremely hard to make our event run smoothly, from hospitality and wayfinding to removing trash. Our students do it all with joy in their hearts for this community.”

Adams shared a few ways this year’s Meet on the Lawn event differed from year’s past. In addition to free Kansas City barbecue, Andy’s Custard, and local favorite Lilo’s Shaved Ice, this year the event was headlined by the Seattle-based band Citizens.

Friday’s Citizens performance marked the first time the band had played in the state of Missouri. Kansas City was the band’s third stop on their 2023 tour, with additional tour stops in Denver, Indianapolis, Grand Rapids, and more. Listen to music by Citizens here.

The seminary also reorganized the layout of activities this year, creating a natural amphitheater with their stage location.

Adams said, “One of the behind-the-scenes stories was this year’s stage location. We loved the idea of creating a natural amphitheater with the hill in front of the Mathena Student Center, but what many probably didn’t see was the work that went into leveling the stage. The team put in some hard work to position the stage for what ultimately was a perfect spot for a concert.”

Reflecting on the event, he said, “My favorite part of the evening was watching the sun set as Citizens was performing.  It was a moment for me to just stand in awe of God’s favor and to watch the crowd engage with the music, engage with each other, and it reminded me of just how faithful God is. What an amazing night!”