From December 7-10, I had the distinct privilege of hanging out with 17 other men and women of God in the Colorado Rocky Mountains as we dug deep into God’s word, spent hours together in prayer, and simply worshiped the Lord with all of our hearts, souls, minds, and strength.
It was rich.
The retreat was specifically for Dare 2 Share “Certified Trainers”, which is a program that I was invited to be a part of last summer. There is a total of 16 “Certified Trainers” spread across the United States (including one from Puerto Rico). As “Certified Trainers”, we are focused on training Youth Leaders and Pastors across the nation to become gospel centered and to transform their ministry into a Gospel Advancing Ministry.
As a group, we are believing that God is going to raise up 30,000 Gospel Advancing Ministries throughout the United States, and we believe that He is going to use us to help bring that about.
Where does that number come from?
30,000 is simply one tenth (or a tithe) of the total amount of Protestant churches in America. There are around 300,000 Protestant congregational churches in the United States. Imagine what this country would look like if even 10% of those congregations were 100% committed to the mission of Jesus (specifically referring to the the marching orders given by Jesus in Matthew 28:18-20, Mark 16:15, and Acts 1:8). Imagine what this nation would look like if there were 30,000 ministries actively and intentionally advancing the Gospel!
Practically, what would that look like?
We would be seeing New Conversion Growth instead of sheep swapping. We would be seeing significant Discipleship instead of sporadic attendance. We would be sharing our faith on a regular basis instead of once in a while on a mission trip. We would be passionately and persistently pouring our hearts out in prayer for the lost instead of having a prayer list that largely revolves around our own wants and temporal desires. We would be filled with Holy Spirit power and authority instead of gritting our teeth and trying to get things done in our own power -and ultimately fizzling out.
Is it possible?
As I am writing this article, I am sitting in Starbucks (drinking a lovely salted caramel hot chocolate). Starbucks has roughly 12,500 locations in the United States. I would venture to say that they have been incredibly successful when it comes to making disciples. Why? Because so many patrons who have tasted and seen that Starbucks is good are happy to evangelize their friends, families, and co-workers! They are happy to share the good news by inviting the “lost” (those who do not know about the goodness of Starbucks) out for a cup of joy -or even bringing it to them! According to fortune.com, nearly 46 million Americans received Starbucks gift cards this holiday season! That means that people are not just talking about Starbucks, but they are actually willing to put their money where their mouth is! Taste and see that the coffee is good!
With over 300,000 Protestant churches in America, we should be making a bigger impact than Starbucks with their measly 12,500 locations. But sadly, we are not.
So we spent 4 days in the Colorado Rocky Mountains believing that God is about to change the circumstances.
Will you join us in believing that the change is coming? Will you join us in being a part of bringing the change about?
“The church that does not evangelize will fossilize.”
-Oswald J. Smith
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
-Jesus (Matthew 28:18-20, ESV)