MBC keeps pouring into Colorado
Partnership takes off as 2nd year begins
By Allen Palmeri
October 18, 2005
JEFFERSON CITY– The Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) partnership with the Colorado Baptist General Convention (CBGC) is growing at such a rapid rate that MBC Partnership Missions Specialist Norm Howell needs to take a few deep breaths and flip through his file before he can get a good read on it.
“The numbers just keep growing,” Howell said. “I can’t keep up.”
In the first full week of October, as best Howell could tell, the MBC had 45-50 churches and 8-10 associations committed to the partnership. These are churches who either have gone to Colorado or who will go in the near future, he said. It is hard to calculate how many churches within the partnering associations either have gone or will go to Colorado.
The 2005 annual meeting of the MBC represents the start of the second year of the partnership. At last year’s annual meeting, messengers approved the official agreement that was subsequently implemented Jan. 1, 2005. Howell said the months between the 2005 annual meeting and the 2006 annual meeting ought to be a time when the partnership doubles.
“If we had 100 individual churches and 20 associations, we would be able to saturate every area in Colorado,” he said.
Denver is expected to be a catalyst in this expansion. MBC State Evangelism Director Bob Caldwell is bringing the Global Encounter outreach movement to the Mile High City for the first time, with short-term student missionaries going in to share the Gospel in the inner city. MBC Executive Director David Clippard can envision new church plants springing up around a well-defined perimeter.
“Around Denver there is a loop that is being constructed on the interstate highway system,” Clippard said. “They literally need a church at every one of those interchanges, and they have eight sites there.”
Howell is working with Mauricio Vargas, MBC multi-cultural church planting strategist, to set up a series of meetings in November and December that may result in two Hispanic churches from Missouri attempting to plant churches on two of those strategic points on the Denver beltway. The time to act is now, Clippard said.
“While it’s being constructed, that’s the time to get there because once it’s finished, land prices are just going to continue to go like crazy,” he said.
Establishing at least 75 church-to-church partnerships is one of the stated goals of the partnership. Out of that would come the planting of at least 150 new churches. The partnership runs through Dec. 31, 2008, with two one-year options to renew.