This past weekend marked the 3rd Love Denver event in our small community on the west side of Lake Norman. I try not to use words like “success” when evaluating one day events because genuine results are proven in the days, weeks, and months that follow, but I will say that the day was truly amazing. People came from West Lincoln to Sherrills Ford to Huntersville, all to tiny little Denver. As I’m reflecting on all my weekend experiences, I thought I’d share why I love Love Denver.
1. Jesus was the only jersey that Christians were wearing. To pull off Love Denver, it takes a lot of people. There’s no way that one local church can do all of it and do it so well. This year there was a coordinated effort by more than 8 local churches that owned this event. Unfortunately, many pastors and leaders of local churches don’t have a vision beyond their parking lot. Every church though that got involved laid down their identity for the sake of Jesus. Yes, there are secondary issues that may keep us from gathering together on Sunday morning, but, in the end, they are secondary. The gospel is greater. It’s the gospel that united us on that field Saturday and is greater than the secondary doctrinal issues that temporarily divide us this side of eternity. The only church that was out there on Saturday was the Church of Jesus Christ. The only jersey that was worn was Jesus. I love that.
2. The Holy Spirit was leading and guiding the event. This is hard to put into words, but if you were there, you know what I mean. There was a tangible presence of God’s Spirit moving. More than just a feeling though was the stories that we kept hearing of how God was orchestrating conversations and building relationships of people who were need, but for more than just free school supplies and a dental exam. I believe that God was leading Love Denver for a number of reasons. We were living out Jesus’ prayer for his church to be unified (John 17:20-23), we were taking His Word seriously and applying it (see 1 John 3:16-18 and Matthew 25:31=46), and we were telling every person there about the gospel. When Christians live in simple faith as a result of what they read in God’s Word, God is glorified and His Spirit moves. I love that.
3. It was a great example of planning and prayer. Love Denver is a huge event that literally takes thousands of hours to pull off. Planning meetings begin in January. We would be foolish though to think that the Spirit of God would move if we just planned everything out. Prayer is essential. Prayer before, during and after the event. Prayer shows God that we can do nothing apart from Him and that we wanted all this to be for His glory. We honored God by planning and we honored God by praying. I love that.
4. Love Denver is becoming more than a one day event. This year our guides are following up with each family that came. We want relationships to develop so that the spiritual, emotional, and physical needs of those who came will continue to be met throughout the year. This is what it means to be living missionally. Every Christian views themselves as a missionary in their community. I pray that this is just the beginning of a missional movement in Denver. I love that.
I could continue to go on, but I wanted to share one more thought. I guess it’s more of a desire. As I hopped in my car on Saturday afternoon, a little tired, a little sunburned, but overflowing with joy, I had this thought: why don’t we see more of this? Why don’t we see more partnership among churches for the glory of God and the advancement of the gospel? I hope and pray that an event like Love Denver is just the beginning. The beginning of another gospel awakening that our land needs right now.
I would love that.
To find out more about Love Denver, you can go http://www.lovedenver.net.