As I've already stated, the above video was made on my cell phone. It was posted via free services, and embedded on this website. It was created by a production team of one. (I held the camera, shot the video, wrote the content as I was shooting, and edited the footage.) Most churches in Utah don't have amazing resources to make videos like churches in other parts of the country. And if we are to be really honest, there are some church video production teams that have much bigger budgets than the total annual budgets of most churches in Salt Lake. However, that shouldn't stop us in Utah from trying to reach our communities, to include those who first seek us out on-line.
I bring this up because I keep hearing about one or two week mission trips to exotic, far-off lands. There is nothing wrong with these missions if the intentions are rooted in the right place. I wonder, however, how many of those people would be excited to come on a mission trip to Utah? I'm curious how many churches would be thrilled to support a church plant in Salt Lake, Provo, or Logan. How many churches are willing to fund a college campus missionary or church planting pastor? How many big churches would be willing to give just 1 or 2% of their budgets to support the harvesters in the much dryer parts of the vineyard? Even if it is Utah. . . .
Not too long ago, I was blessed with the opportunity to take lunches to a bunch of kids from California, New Mexico, and elsewhere who came for World Changers. They came to put roofs on houses and care for the less fortunate in my town. They came to be missionaries to Utah. They came to help us out here. And while it wasn't sexy or exotic, it was ministry. They prayed with families and we joined them. They were the hands and feet of Jesus here, for all the right reasons.
Utah is a mission field. While Utah has a very high rate of people who regularly attend a religious service, only 3.3% of them attend one that is Christian, according to ARDA. (By Christian, I mean those who hold to a trinitarian view of the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit; believe that salvation is by grace alone, and confirm that the 66 books of the Bible are the Word of God and the only source of scriptural divine authority.) Compare that to Texas at 32.2% or Alabama at 50.4%. The national average is 23.5%. Utah County, which includes the city of Provo records only 0.82% Christians and there are three counties in Utah that are so low they are statistically reported at 0%. If Utah were its own nation, the number of Christians per capita would rank below China (8.2%), and the United Arab Emirates (12.6%).
Therefore, it is my hope that churches will recognize Utah as a mission field. Nobody has to eat bugs, there is a great airport, and there's hardly any language barrier. The cost to come to Utah is significantly less expensive than flying overseas and there's no passport required. Send your missionaries and church planters. Send resources and support. And please, be praying for Utah.
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