I enjoy being a part of Colorado Baptists representing the Longs Peak Baptist Association (LPBA). I have only been a Regional Director for Colorado Baptists since April, but I was the Associational Director of Missions/Church Planting Strategist for nine years prior to becoming a full-time Church Planting Catalyst for seven years. That’s a total of sixteen years in Northern Colorado, aka ‘Noco’.
We have a mantra in the LPBA as Colorado Baptists that “we have nothing to talk about unless we are talking about what God is doing in and through His churches.” Here’s my premise: If churches plant churches better than associations or denominations (and I believe they do), then churches help churches partner together better than associations and denominations! So, as the Regional Director for the Longs Peak region, I am more of a networker and matchmaker.
For example, I have witnessed a great camaraderie or brotherhood among the church planters and replanters working together – calling on each other for counsel, sharing worship leaders, preaching, or best practices and resources to help each other out. I see that same spirit during pastoral transitions. Currently, two churches, led by “better together” hearted pastors are coming alongside a struggling church who is going through a pastoral transition. They have provided worship leaders and preaching for this small church.
I have been able to see that through the resources of the Colorado Mission Offering and the churches contributing to the LPBA, our outreach trailers help our churches engage their communities with the Gospel. We have three outreach trailers. Two are block party trailers with inflatables, popcorn and snow cone machines. The third trailer has been a sports/activity trailer, but it will soon be a trailer with inflatables and concession machines so that when in high demand times, we can help more of our churches reach out to their communities.
Besides our LPBA church pastors, planters, and leaders, we have teams and leaders that we call “resourcers” who coach, mentor, and consult. God has blessed us with wise and experienced men who can help assist churches to navigate effective biblical ministry in an ever-changing culture. Bill Tinsley resources our church planters. Duane Arledge resources pastors. He and I are trained to help a church take their next steps utilizing Ministry Insights’ “Leading from Your Strengths” team building and leadership assessment as well as Auxano’s “Vision Framing” and “Vision Planning.”
Philippians 1:3-5 states, “I give thanks to my God for every remembrance of you, always praying with joy for all of you in my every prayer, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.” Partnership at its best is relational. It happens best in the local association where unity and trust are developed. Just as the gospel flows best through people networks, partnerships flow best through relationships. Thank you, Colorado Baptists, for your “partnership in the gospel.”