53 || Growing Boulder in God
My husband and I have been involved in ministry, primarily youth ministry, since we’ve married. In 2010, with a great stirring in our hearts, we felt God calling us to begin a church plant. We were very involved in our home church at this time with most of our energy going towards youth ministry. We felt we were where God would have us; therefore, the thought of change was a shock. We did not know how this transition would transpire, we only knew that if God was calling us to it, he would take care of the details. And so our journey began. Little did we know where it would take us, but we did know that He would be faithful to provide.
God’s provision and direction in our calling began with a family who had a strong desire to church plant in Boulder, Colorado. Through our common call of church planting, we became instantaneous friends. It was effortless and easy. As our friendship grew, the future began to make sense. We started meeting with this couple once a week to pray with each other and encourage one another. One night after they left our house, something inexplicable came over me – an overwhelming sense of clarity. At that moment, I knew that Boulder was our future mission field.
A Giant Step
In anticipation to move forward, my husband and I started meeting with the elders of our church where we were employed for prayer over this giant step in our lives. We started to put things in order for our big move across the country. With a 1200 mile separation from everything we held dear – our friends, our family, our church, our comfort, and our home – we had a lot of planning in front of us. With this new chapter, unpaved road, and nothing but obedience to guide our family, we felt giddy with overwhelming excitement. Following God into the unknown has inexplicable ways of spicing life up and deepening the entire meaning of your existence.
As in all things that God calls us to and in most paths that we take in His name, things rarely happen how or when we think they should. It also is usually never easy; however, God has and will always be faithful to equip, sustain, and ultimately use what we offer Him for His glory.
Through our missional community group from church, we were able to share our hearts about church planting in Boulder and were blessed by their love and support. Several gave financially and one couple even told us they wanted to go with us. It was incredible to see God align the hearts of others with ours and we felt extremely blessed to have good friends and fellow believers with us on our quest into the unknown.
Upon landing in Boulder, we dove right in to our community – meeting neighbors, school friends, and others from sporting events. We began having anyone and everyone over to our house for block parties, cookouts, and game nights in an effort to begin creating relationships that could ultimately lead to gospel conversations. In the summer of 2012, we were able to participate in the annual downtown street fair. It was an every-Friday-night commitment for 10 weeks straight. We met hundreds of people and exposed many to the gospel simply by our presence. We set up a photo booth where families and friends could come and get their pictures taken for free. We put out silly props and hats for them to use – it was a blast, and it offered us an opportunity to just talk with the locals. We were able to have casual yet genuine conversations with them and introduce them to our Lord through our kind gestures of free activities.
Care to Share
We have also been able to share Jesus with a lot of hurting people. Shortly after we arrived we met a family, that are good friends of ours now, who had just lost a baby due to birth complications. Their son lived for three months and passed away one month before we arrived in Colorado. We are so grateful that we have been here to pour God’s love on this family.
I was able to share Jesus with a self-proclaimed psychic who practically forced herself into our lives when she came flying past our house and accidentally ran over our family dog. Our dog recovered and is doing great but what the enemy intended for harm resulted in a planted seed in this woman’s life. God prevails in darkness!
Six months ago a friend and classmate of my daughter died unexpectedly in her sleep. Sweet Nicole was only nine years old. Her father is the music teacher at my children’s school and my daughter’s soccer coach. As he suffered through his loss, our missional community got together and decided we needed to share Jesus with him in a practical way. I had my father, who is a gifted artist, paint a portrait of Nicole and her father on a canvas. Once it arrived, we had it framed. We had Nicole’s dad over to give it to him. He was moved beyond words.
These things are just small examples of what God has enabled us to do through His provision and guidance. God knows what our mission in being here is and He knows who needs healing, restoration, and ultimately salvation. We have been so blessed in our obedience to move here and continue to remain excited about the opportunities that God has for us on this gospel-sharing adventure.
You can join in on exciting adventures for God as well! Everyone is called somewhere. It may be overseas, across the country, or even in your current neighborhood. I would challenge you to ask God where you are called to be. Some relocate and some help fund the mission, but both are missionaries. What are you called to do?
Over the last several months we have joined efforts with another local church plant. By merging our churches we now have more people to do the things that God has called us both to do. It’s still hard, but we are resting in knowing that God is always faithful. It takes approximately five to seven years in the Boulder area for a new church to become self-sufficient.
This is a tough environment to share the love of Christ – the ground needs cultivating. People desperately need Jesus. Most people in Boulder County fall into two extremes – hardened to all faiths or open to every religion. As they see it, “all religions lead to God.” We are called to change this. We cannot do this alone. We need people willing to serve and willing to get their hands dirty for the kingdom of God. We need finances and resources. We need people willing to stretch their faith and their wallets for growing ministry. We especially need prayer. When you step out in faith and obey the calling of God, the enemy is ready to attack; we can use all the prayer that we can get!
We are on a long term mission to reach this city for God’s glory – no short term trip here. Planting this church is our life, our mission, and our ultimate goal. We welcome others joining with us.