Colorado sees prayer as vital to work with MBC
By Allen Palmeri
January 25, 2005
JEFFERSON CITY – As Missouri Baptist churches begin to partner with Colorado Baptist churches in 2005 to plant new churches in both states, a very important aspect of the Christian life must be emphasized, said Ron Clement, director of prayer and evangelism for the Colorado Baptist General Convention (CBGM) who is overseeing the partnership in his state.
Clement visited the Baptist Building Jan. 13-14 to help build momentum for the three-year partnership, which was signed last October at the Missouri Baptist Convention’s (MBC) annual meeting by the MBC and the CBGM.
“Prayer is a huge part of our strategy in Colorado,” Clement said. “In fact, we like to say that it’s our No. 1 strategy. As we pray for God to pour out His Spirit, He will renew and revive the church. Members who are renewed and revived in Christ will be more effective in reaching people.”
Clement said that his companion on staff, Colorado Church Planting Director Kenny Moore, is determined to pray daily for God to raise up laborers for the harvest field (Luke 10:2).
“We believe that evangelism is really a byproduct of prayer,” Clement said. “As we get in tune with the Father, as we are overwhelmed by the wonder of His love for us, then we are going to be more apt to share with others.”
Unlike the MBC, which has a large staff, CBGM workers cannot afford to devote large amounts of time to specialized needs. For example, Clement is responsible to service prayer, evangelism, partnership missions, pastor search, disaster relief, literacy missions and hunger ministries out of his office.
“We’re spread more thin, so we believe that by God multiplying our efforts through others, and even partners like Missouri, that we will have a much greater impact,” Clement said. “We’re asking our churches to have a partnership mentality where whatever God is doing in their midst they would begin to share that with others, so that they are, in a sense, beginning to multiply themselves based on what Jesus did with His disciples.”
On the surface, it would appear that Missouri, with its approximately 2,000 churches, would have more to offer the partnership than Colorado, which has about 345 churches and missions, Clement said. However, the spiritual depth of Colorado Baptists should not be underestimated, he said.
“People in Colorado tend to be independent, and because we don’t have as many resources, I think in some ways people have learned to do more on a spiritual level with less resources,” Clement said. “We’ve learned to be dependent on God in many respects, and we’re seeing that actually impact the kingdom of God in a pretty dramatic way.
“I see guys who are not afraid to think outside the box. I see pastors who have experienced the moving of God in miraculous ways because they sought Him. I see seminary-trained people. We even have a Rocky Mountain campus of Golden Gate Seminary, which is fully accredited.”
Clement said his vision for Colorado is that the earth would literally open and bring forth salvation (Isaiah 45:8). This is consistent with the stated mission of Colorado Baptists to saturate Colorado with the Gospel, penetrating all pockets of those who are lost. There are about 22 million visitors passing through Colorado in any given year, and Colorado Baptists seek to present the Gospel to them as all people worship God.
Clement said many Colorado Baptists serve as ski area chaplains. Clement himself was a former resort missionary to Telluride. There are many ministries connected to the tourist trade that Missouri Baptists could get involved with, he said, with creative church plants coming about as a result.
So far, a total of 21 Missouri Baptist churches and 5 associations have expressed an interest in going to Colorado, according to MBC Partnership Missions Specialist Norm Howell.
Establishing at least 75 church-to-church partnerships is one of the stated goals of the agreement. Out of that would come the planting of at least 150 new churches.