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Praying Across Colorado
Praying: 100 Hours to Launch
His prayer vigil ended hours before the inaugural service for The Edge church. This journey started months earlier as God asked Ryan to bathe this new ministry in prayer. In the fall of 2008, shortly after Ryan and Gena Heller moved to Southeast Aurora, elaborate plans were being made to meet new neighbors, enlist ministry partners, and establish a new church for this fast growing suburban area. This church planter made a personal commitment to pray for 100 hours prior to the launch of their first service.
Heller says that God blessed his prayer experience with three profound results. First, God gave him creative and strategic thinking. “The places and types of ministries we did were discovered in the times of prayer”, Heller says. This spring they hosted diverse outreach efforts including art, sports, dance, and cheerleading camps. In the weeks leading up to the launch service, over 1,500 people attended their six block parties utilizing all of the major neighborhood parks. Secondly, Heller received strength and stamina for this season of ministry. They handed out 10,000 flyers, knocked on 2000 doors, and built a database of over 500 families.
“Perhaps the greatest result was God’s blessing, you know, knock and the door will be open to you,” Heller says. After he contacted over 200 churches to help partner with this new work, 30 churches responded by helping with mission teams, prayer, and finances. Their core group grew from 4 adults to 25 adults during this time and six people accepted Christ.
On June 28, The Edge held their first preview service at Coyote Hills Elementary School. It was clear that this young church was prepared for this first Sunday of ministry. Greeters were welcoming cars in the parking lot. Refreshments were being served on the sidewalks as people walked in. Parents and children were helped at registration tables. The praise band and technology team helped transform a school gymnasium into a sanctuary for worship and ministry. Following the service, a lunch was provided by Hacienda Colorado for all of the new worshippers to meet and greet.
Heller spent 100 hours in prayer for this first service. He spent less than 100 seconds in his first sermon at The Edge in sharing the hope that believers in Christ have. The sermon was entitled “Vintage Jesus.” “While Carrie Underwood is asking Jesus to take the wheel, and Dog the bounty hunter prays before he goes out to capture a fugitive - these celebrities are on to something. Yet, we need to look to scripture to learn about the real Jesus.” They did just that.
The Edge church had one of the largest inaugural services in recent memory with 216 in attendance. Five new families expressed interest in joining this new work and three people accepted Christ!
Six Denver area Baptist churches have partnered to launch the Edge Church. Ryan and Gena Heller were both appointed by the North American Mission Board in 2008. This ministry is supported by gifts from the Missions Offering of Colorado Baptists and the Cooperative Program.
Across Colorado we are celebrating the life-changing power of the Gospel.
By presenting a series of four feature stories in this issue, we invite you to learn how Colorado Baptists are Praying, Engaging, Sowing and Harvesting through local church and outreach ministries supported by our State Missions Offering.
Please prayerfully consider a special financial gift to the 2009 State Missions offering so that we can continue the important work God has called us to do Across Colorado.
You may designate your gift “State Missions Offering” through your local church or mail it to: Colorado Baptists, State Missions Offering, 7393 South Alton Way, Centennial, CO 80112-2302.
Questions? Please call the Colorado Baptists office at 303.771.2480 or 1.888.771.2480 or visit ColoradoBaptists.org.