Denver, Colorado, is a cool city. What’s even cooler than the Broncos, Rockies, and a chill city-culture is the Kingdom work that is taking place in and around the city. We had the opportunity to connect with some church planters and pastors several weeks ago over lunch where we discussed some of the ins-and-outs of SBC life. It was an honest discussion. Several were encouraged about the direction of the SBC, in particular some of the recently filled positions of leadership and the commitment to engaging unengaged people groups and planting churches. Others felt disconnected and isolated from denominational life and to be honest, some were okay with this, while others wanted to be more involved.
One brother who recently planted a church and who also serves our military as a reservist wanted to know what steps and decisions are being made to be more mindful and sensitive to racial equality. We shared about some of the steps and decisions certain entities are intentionally taking to work towards being more ethnically diverse. He walked away encouraged. Communication was another subject that came up. One brother said, “We’d love to celebrate the wins in SBC life, but a lot of times we simply don’t know what’s going on.” Communication—yep, we can always do better in this department.
Overall, the tone of our time together was fruitful. Several brothers expressed gratitude to be able to engage with men such as Jon Akin (Director of Young Leader Engagement with the North American Mission Board) and Ashley Clayton (VP of Cooperative Program & Stewardship of the Executive Committee) – men who are committed to letting pastors and planters know that they’re not alone and we truly can do better together as we link arms. In fact, Nathan Lorick was in attendance too. Dr. Lorick serves as the new Executive Director for Colorado Baptists. He shared briefly at the end of our time together. His passion of working tirelessly for Colorado Baptists and making much of Jesus was not only apparent but contagious, too – it made us want to move to Colorado to be a part of the vision he’s casting!
All in all, we left encouraged for many reasons. One, we were able to meet and interact with almost 40 pastors and planters serving Jesus all across Colorado. Second, we had an honest, healthy discussion about ways in which we can improve. By God’s grace, may we (pastors, associations, state convention, and the national convention) never get to a place where we believe we’ve “arrived.” Let’s seek to engage one another to put Jesus for the sake of others.