Community building. That is what Friday is all about. It isn't what you might think where "we live for the weekend," and mow our lawns in suburbia. Along the Front Range many people have had to rethink the Kentucky Bluegrass and the water restrictions. Stewardship is one thing, but a dry climate needs adaptation and a different kind of beauty. Next week mission teams will be in Denver for evangelism; special needs; media and culture; prayer-walks and community building from Capitol Hill to Globeville and points in between. The city is only as beautiful as it's people and Denver. Every year teens and young adults are amazed by the beauty and the reception they get when they walk Denver streets. Sure there is the good but there is also the bad and the dark sides of Denver. Ugly? The violent side of the city is not seen all the time, but the aftermath of crime tape, broken glass and blood stains are evident. "All we can do is pray," and so 30 to 80 youths pray for the city- but moreover for the people.
Houses of worship
The house church movement at Ancient Paths Church Network is blooming and being planted not only in Denver neighborhoods, it is winding down the highway to Colorado Springs. Community building is opening up our doors but allowing for margin and borders; safety and experience. When we love our neighbors and we ask "Who is our neighbor?" It is a time to examine who we reach out to. That's why community building starts with "loving God-with all we've got!" This exchange is the story of the Good Samaritan. Does that tell you a little about who our neighbors are? "the one who showed mercy on the man who was beaten." Jesus says something that if we really loved our neighbors we would show mercy- "Go and do likewise."
Driving on I-70 heading west to Colorado, the driver squinted to make the outline of the Rocky Mountains and the Front Range. He was praying for God to give him vision and insight into the next thing he was to do with his life. At the time he was writing a business plan for a media agency that he felt should be merged and fused with ministry; leadership and communications. The idea was to show mercy; and to "go and do likewise," through ministry and business; through leadership and through creative ways that would communicate the message, that would be on-mission; and would be the song that would keep people "loving God with all their heart, soul and mind and our neighbor as we would like to be loved." The message that made an impression was "likewise, go and do likewise" Rich Mullins sang "Let mercy lead." At the Ministry of Leadership and Communications, ministry is guided through church planting and working with what the culture considers to be "the least of these." Through leadership the group is devoted to five points of influence and impact including evangelism; special needs ministries, creating and producing great media that feeds a hungry culture; prayer; and community building. Then the communications area surrounds journalism and public relations; web and digital media; audio and visual, publishing, advertising and cinema.
The missionaries and students who are in Denver will get this kind of experience in ministry, leadership and communications. They will begin to see that the city is more than adapting to what kind of lawns we have.