MBC inks partnership with Colorado Convention
By Allen Palmeri
November 9, 2004
RAYTOWN – The partnership agreement linking Missouri Baptists to Colorado Baptists for three years for the purpose of planting new churches was signed Oct. 26 at the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC).
As an overwhelming number of MBC messengers held up yellow ballots in a show of support, John C. Robbins, president of the Colorado Baptist General Convention (CBGC), signed the document along with MBC President David Tolliver and MBC Executive Director David Clippard.
The partnership will begin Jan. 1.
“It’s not our intention to be a taking state,” Robbins said. “The word partnership is very appropriate. We want to partner with you and share our strengths.”
Although Colorado has only 345 churches and missions compared to the 2,050 in the MBC, Colorado Baptists are ready to minister in Missouri, Robbins said.
“Many of our pastors are extremely able,” he said. “They’re seminary graduates who God has called to the West. They have a heart for missions. Our churches will look on Missouri as an opportunity to come and do whatever you ask us to do. We will furnish workers, youth groups, Vacation Bible School leadership, maybe door-to-door canvassing, witnessing projects. We want to be available.”
Missouri Baptists are already working to make the partnership come alive. The Partnership Missions booth at the annual meeting was busy in that 21 churches and 5 associations expressed an interest in going to Colorado.
“Colorado is an exciting state to be able to partner with,” said MBC Associate Executive Director Roy Spannagel.
Robbins said there are only five Southern Baptist churches in the whole state that are at — around or over — 1,000 in membership. Conversely, around 90-95 percent of the population in most Colorado counties does not know the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior.
“Recreation is their major pursuit, after making money,” Robbins said. “Many of them don’t care about making money — just recreation. That’s where the ‘ski bum’ class comes in. They work in order to recreate.”
Robbins retired two years ago after serving 16 years as pastor of Bookcliff Baptist Church, Grand Junction, a congregation of around 250-300. He now serves as an interim pastor in the CBGC.
“Most of our churches are small,” he said. “In fact, I have done one interim with a total membership of seven. We have some very small churches, and many of them are struggling. Leadership is very difficult to find, because many of our churches are in small towns where work is not readily available for bi-vocational pastors. One of our great needs is for bi-vocational pastors to come in and plant churches, and hopefully the church will grow large enough to support them.”
MBC Partnership Missions Specialist Norm Howell said that securing the partnership with Colorado means that Missouri has taken another step toward becoming a true Acts 1:8 convention filled with Acts 1:8 churches.