MBC, Colorado partnership gains momentum with ‘Decapolis’ campaign
By Brian Koonce
August 9, 2005
JEFFERSON CITY – Baptist leaders from Missouri and Colorado hope that 10 Missouri Baptist churches will help plant 10 churches in some of the fastest growing – and unchurched – areas of the Rocky Mountain State.
As part of the partnership between the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) and the Colorado Baptist General Convention (CBGC), the “Decapolis” campaign should be in full swing by spring 2006.
Norm Howell, the MBC’s partnership missions specialist, said the MBC is looking for 10 churches, or even associations to help in the effort.
“If you take a healthy church here in Missouri that has a vision to help get a new church started, then we’ll assist that church to be able to go to Colorado and get started,” he said.
Howell added that six of the communities in the Decapolis church-planting effort will focus largely on the Denver area.
“The areas around Denver and Colorado Springs are some of the fastest growing communities in the United States,” he said. “And all 10 of these cities have fast population growth but no churches. Each location will be different: from the mountainous metro area of Denver to rolling hills of the southeast corner of the state to the farming communities and ranches of the western part of the state.”
Churches who adopt a Colorado community will work with CBGC and MBC church planting staff to help the church plants succeed.
“Initially, they might go into an area and do some prayer walking and maybe some surveying – gathering information and letting people know there’s a new church coming,” Howell said.
They might also do some VBS-type work, backyard Bible clubs, block parties and witnessing. In Hispanic areas, Howell said they hope some of Missouri’s Hispanic pastors and congregations will participate.
MBC and pastors of interested churches will go to Colorado on vision trips this fall to visit the areas planned for new churches.
“We would like to see some of the first teams start in going in the spring or summer,” Howell said. “We really don’t want to wait.”
The Decapolis campaign derives its name from a loose confederation of 10 Greek cities located south and east of the Sea of Galliee. In Matt. 24:5 the Decapolis is referred to as one of the areas from which people followed Jesus. Mark 7:31 informs us that Jesus toured the area of Decapolis on a trip from Phoenician Tyre and Sidon to Galilee.
Howell asked that churches interested in the Decapolis partnership contact him at (573) 636-0440 ext. 620.