Why The City?
Typically, one writes a story of transformation in retrospect. They look back at what God has done and celebrate how far they have come. This story, however, is different. It is not written as we look back, instead we are looking forward. We want to highlight the story of Denver’s transformation. We have hope for this city and we anticipate that, by God’s sovereign grace, we are going to win her for His name’s sake.
Why the emphasis on the city?
It was a common practice of the Apostle Paul to have an emphasis on major cities as he established the Gospel. His missional ventures in Corinth, Ephesus, Antioch, and Athens were not accidental. His objective was to win the major cities because their influence over the smaller suburban towns is inevitable. Culture is typically established in a metropolis and it flows downstream to the surrounding towns. This practice was executed from the inception of the Church. Acts Chapter 2 is a grand example. God waited until Pentecost (a major festival) before he poured his Spirit out on the people of God. His timing was intentional. God was fully aware that the festival would maximize the capacity of Jerusalem, a metropolitan center of Jewish worship and commerce. As a result, thousands of Jews were present when the cultural shift toward Christ was initiated and they took their experiences back to the smaller towns where they lived. The act of God in the major city resulted in countless churches planted and souls won throughout the region. It was driven by a rather simple understanding. If you win the metropolis, the influence will spread.
How do first century missionary practices apply to this story of transformation?
Denver is the largest city within a 600 mile radius making her the most populated city in the state. She is central to both commerce and cultural development. She is also the Capital of the state of Colorado which makes her the center of legislation. Denver is culturally, racially, and socio-economically diverse. A place where ideas are exchanged and evaluated; she is the Areopagus of the region (Acts 17:16-21). To state it explicitly, when it comes to determining the worldview of the entire state of Colorado, Denver is upstream in a place of influence. This is where the missionary practice comes into play. Establishing a kingdom culture in the city of Denver will have far reaching cultural influence. It all starts with winning the metropolis.
How will the story of transformation unfold?
We anticipate there will be intentional networking and cooperation between the Churches in the Denver metro area. Such cooperation will undermine the cultures of paganism and rote religious behavior; replacing them with authentic worship of God and joyful communing among believers (Acts 2:42-27). We anticipate that the Church will live missionally – intentionally meeting the needs of those who abide in this city. And the Gospel will be proclaimed in a shameless, contextualized manner. The God who is alive and sovereign will reap his harvest through us. We are not looking to our own prowess as we anticipate this change. We are appealing to the irresistible power and call of our Savior and King. We look forward to what he is about to do in Denver and we celebrate the idea of being used for his glory. Visit us at www.theembassy.org to learn more about this story of transformation.