Colorado is magnificent. Those who have visited observe God’s glory reflected in creation, stretching from mountain range to mountain range. Sadly, Colorado is both beautiful and broken. This brokenness stems from many of its residents missing their created purpose to live in fellowship with the Creator. Only God can redeem the people of Colorado through His Gospel, represented by the Church. With this in mind, a team from Bellevue’s College Ministry partnered with Journey Point Church to share the Gospel in Denver.
Emily, one of the trip leaders, shared about the brokenness she witnessed there. “Denver is so beautiful, but it is so obvious that there is a heaviness.” Chris Phillips, Journey Point's Pastor and a former Bellevue member, shared that 92% of the population in Denver is spiritually disconnected. With so few followers of Jesus, many Denver residents have never encountered the message of the Gospel. Kids that attended Journey Point’s camp did not even know what a cross was. Delaney, a Ministerial Assistant at Bellevue and another leader from the trip, shared, “I remember one kid thought a cross was the button on his PlayStation remote.”
For many college students, it was difficult to share the Gospel with a culture that has never heard of Jesus. Consequently, Journey Point Church instructed the college team to share the Gospel by building relationships. After seeing the fruit of this approach, Delaney is convinced that remaining relational is crucial. She pointed out, “Obviously, the Gospel is urgent, but we also have to make relationships.” Delaney shared several stories about how she built relationships with the children who attended summer camp, which created the opportunity to share the Gospel and have fruitful conversations.
Delaney connected with a girl named Zoe, who was surprised to hear that Delaney understood her battle with anxiety. Through this shared understanding, Delaney told Zoe about the Father she turns to when she is anxious or afraid. Another simple way Delaney was able to share the Gospel was through a basketball game of H.O.R.S.E. After losing to a group of three campers all week, she connected with them on a deeper level. One day, one of the girls from this basketball trio, Ellie, hurt her leg and had to sit out. During this quiet moment, Delaney shared the Gospel with Ellie and her friends.
Throughout her trip, Emily was also impressed with the importance of relationships in ministry. She learned that, to share the Gospel, you need to become an intentional neighbor. She wants to get to know her neighbors back home, beginning with spending time in her front yard! Emily is also hopeful that the relationships her team built at camp will last from year-to-year and pique the kids’ interest in the Gospel. “Even for the kids to have questions leaves the doors open for the church to reach them once we are gone.”
Similarly, our church family in Memphis does not have to participate in a missions trip to another location to practice relational ministry. Delaney shared a concept she learned on the trip about “third spaces.” Third spaces are where a person spends the most time outside their home and school/job. Delaney shared an example of a third space as a coffee shop where you could “meet people you can naturally get to know and share the Gospel with.”
To the Bellevue family, take inventory of any third spaces in your life. Where has God uniquely placed you to build relationships and share His Gospel? On the heels of Mission Memphis, a church-wide effort to invest in the redemption of our city, you have been empowered to engage in the missionary task and part of that task is building Gospel-centered relationships. Take this opportunity to pour into the connections you made during Mission Memphis and dig into your third-space relationships. As a church family, let’s choose to remain relational in our ministry.
To learn more about engaging in the missionary task, visit bellevue.org/missions.