Will you help the light of Jesus shine in Denver?
December 13, 2005
DENVER – At roughly one mile above sea level a city sets on a hill. The light from this rapidly expanding metropolis has unlimited potential, but the light is hidden under a bushel and more than 90 percent of the citizens are living in darkness of soul. They are very spiritual, but unchurched. They are looking for God, but in the wrong places. Young, adventure-loving, upwardly mobile outdoor junkies are moving to this city by the thousands each year. They are coming to the mountains, but what they really need does not come from the hills. It comes from the Lord. Someone needs to tell them!
I am so thankful to Roy Spannagel, associate executive director, Missouri Baptist Convention, and the North American Mission Board for inviting me and several other Missouri pastors to join them on a vision tour of Denver. I was blissfully ignorant of the spiritual need in Denver. I knew that in parts of Mexico only two to three percent of the population are evangelical Christians, and I was aware of the desperate need in parts of Africa, Russia and South America – but not Denver! I presumed the work of Christ was in full advance, but it is not. Last year Denver added 160,000 new homes and only a few churches. There are 85,000 people for each church in Denver and the ratio between houses being built and churches started means we are loosing the race big time.
The pastors and Baptist leaders in Colorado are the brightest and the best. They are innovative, informed, doggedly persistent, hard working and full of Jesus, but they are overwhelmed and out numbered. They desperately need our help. You can go to Mexico on mission and win people for Jesus. You can go to Africa, Russia or South America and rescue the perishing in exotic and exciting places, but if you want your mission dollars to be used efficiently consider investing them here in America where we speak the language. Jesus gave us a very workable mission strategy. He said, go to Jerusalem first, then Judea-Samaria and finally the uttermost. We must be involved in all levels of mission if we hope to reach the world for Jesus.
How can the bushel be removed and the light shine in Denver? We can go and take the light of Jesus to them. I plan to meet with our Great Commission Team here at Evergreen Church and pray with them over how to best invest our mission dollars. I don’t know for sure where God will lead, but when I think of the light that could shine from the Mile High City when the light of Jesus penetrates there, I have no choice. We have to make this special place part of our mission strategy . (Scotty L. Killingsworth is pastor of Evergreen Church, an MBC-affiliated congregation in Springfield.)