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Why Plant?

Why plant?

*Nearly 40 million people visit Las Vegas every year.
*Tourism in Las Vegas takes in 41 billion annually.
*The sex industry in Las Vegas rakes in over $6 billion a year.
*10,000 prostitutes work in Las Vegas.

All of downtown Las Vegas centers on one area called “the strip.” There are churches in the suburbs surrounding downtown, but nothing right on the strip.

Don’t blame the dark for being dark—blame the light for not shining on the dark.
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Josh asked me several questions when it came to our outreach in Las Vegas. In the blogs that I write over the next months, I am trying to answer those questions.

Why plant?

*Nearly 40 million people visit Las Vegas every year.
*Tourism in Las Vegas takes in 41 billion annually.
*The sex industry in Las Vegas rakes in over $6 billion a year.
*10,000 prostitutes work in Las Vegas.
*Las Vegas is the fastest growing city in the United States.
*There are 42 legal brothels in the state of Nevada.
*Nevada is one of only two U.S. states where prostitution is legal.
*140 pages of the Las Vegas Yellow Pages is devoted to escort services and “private entertainment.”
*Las Vegas is the epicenter of North American sex trafficking and prostitution.
*Las Vegas is called “sin city.”
*$170 billion is gambled in Nevada yearly.

All of downtown Las Vegas centers on one area called “the strip.”  There are churches in the suburbs surrounding downtown, but nothing right on the strip.

Don’t blame the dark for being dark—blame the light for not shining on the dark.

The reality:

The number of people going to church today is about 8 million less than it was 20 years ago.

The percentage of people attending church in the United States has dropped from the 40s to about 16 percent—experts tell us we’re following the same path as many European countries where the percentage of people in church is now 2-5 percent.

The 2001 American Religious Identification Survey said that more than 29.4 million Americans have “no religion” which is double the number just 11 years earlier.

If the present trends continue, the percentage of the population that attends church in 2050 will be almost half of what it is today.

See Also

The increase in the number of churches (between 1990 and 2000) was about one-eighth of what is needed to keep up with population growth.

Most  churches aren’t reaching lost people. There are lots of things our churches do well, but if we’re honest, leading lost people to Jesus is not one of them.

H.B. London wrote, “In the past 15 years, the church in America has spent $500 billion on domestic ministry and for it has shown no appreciable growth.” (H.B. London, Pastor’s Briefing, February 22, 1999)

Reaching people who are already saved is not worth the energy, not worth the money and, more importantly, I think it’s far from the dream of God or the heart of Jesus. Repeatedly Jesus explained the reason His Father sent Him, His reason for coming: “I have come to seek and save the lost.” “I have not come for the righteous, but the sick.” He wept at the sight of people who were “like sheep without a shepherd.” Jesus’ command to His church: “Preach the good news to all creation.” “Make disciples of all nations.” “Be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, to the ends of the earth.” The dream of God, the heart of Jesus is for the lost—it’s of a church that helps lost people find their way back into the arms of their Heavenly Father.

That’s why.

Thoughts?

[Some of this was taken from a project my friend Vince and I worked on at a church planting bootcamp/hell/waste of time in my opinion (more on that in another post) we were asked to participate in. Vince just moved to Vegas as well to start a church called Verve.]

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