Update 2 from the vision tour.If I asked you if you knew a place where 9 out of 10 people were unchurched in a major city, and a place where MOST church plants fail, what would you pick? China? India? Somewhere in Europe?
How about DENVER, COLORADO! (and even worse in the small towns that I have a passion for surrounding her!)
I am overcome with how NO ONE makes a plea about this territory out here. Denver is a HUGE, growing city with so much opportunity and so few churches. And the church plants that are here have some of the highest failure rates anywhere.
Denver is the 4th fastest growing city in the COUNTRY. That's insane! And one of the least churched and growing by the hour.
Maybe this will help: After talking to most church planters in this area, many of them said: THIS IS NOT THE PLACE TO PLANT A CHURCH! That's coming from church planters! Many of them are struggling and many have planted several times and many have given up and quit. This area is an independent minded place where spirituality is found in the individual and in the outdoor playground that is the Rocky Mountains.
I am overwhelmed driving this area and seeing HUGE, HUGE development with MILLIONS more people expected and the sad fact is that from 1990-2000 in the entire state of Colorado (with the hub of people between Colorado Springs and North Denver), there needed to be 792 MORE churches started in that decade to keep up with the growth, and that was through the year 2000! In the past 8 years growth has skyrocketed and churches have not at all.
As Tiffany and I took in a Denver Nuggets-Detroit Pistons game last night, we were surrounded by young people everywhere, and our hearts broke for them. Each generation is truly removed from spiritual things. (Pistons won in the last second...what a date night with my bride!) The one nicer thing about the east coast and the south regions of our country is that a major proportion of people would probably identify with some sort of church experience, at least as a child. Here...not so at all. Absolutely no church background at all.
Demonic and satanic activity are large here. Stories of witchcraft and satanic worship and influence are heavy as where there is no Christian presence, the evil one has free reign.
Huge thanks to Paul and Jan Mitton from Converge Rocky Mountain for taking us through the area and being amazing hosts and connecting us with several pastors and leaders. Their heart for this region is amazing, and their game plan is even sharper. Paul is a man who will get the job done out here...but the missing piece: Church planters.
Paul's vision is to not plant 1 church with Tiffany and I, but to allow us to recruit 5 church planters and start a ground assault whether here in Denver or in SLC. And his passion and drive will help make it happen. He is a very sharp leader and ready to partner with many out here on the Front Range.
Please continue to pray as we seek the Lord. Tomorrow afternoon we will be heading to the mountains to a room where we can pray and seek the Lord. I also look forward to some time alone with God in a place where I can think...the ski slopes, which is a place where I connnect with God and slow down big time.
I mean...my God, My God...what is happening out here and in the US? We were called to lead the way and within 1 generation we might be a thing of the past as in Europe. The majority of the world is already there...and we must step up and do something about this on the home front and send out others in the world to reach their native peoples. But with the facts that I gave you about SLC and Denver...where would you go? It's unbelievable in each region. Wow. Pray for us.
We will return on Wednesday, but while in the mountains and the days to follow...please pray as we seek to hear HIM SCREAM into our souls. Pray for visions, dreams, increase, whatever you feel led to pray as we wait on HIM to reveal HIMSELF without a doubt to us.
Blessings as you seek HIM in your MISSION right where YOU are!
pics: Denver and I also included some pics from the I-70 drive we had to and from SLC which was one of the most amazing sights I have ever witnessed.
Labels: church planting journey