The presence of evangelical Christian churches in Utah is rather small. For example our town, Saratoga Springs, of 30,000 people has only 2 Evangelical churches. In our valley of over half a million there is only two churches who have Pastors that are not on missionary support. One major Christian denomination that is planting churches in Utah has a staggering 90% failure rate. You may ask why are churches unable to succeed? It’s not because it’s impossible for churches to grow here, it’s because the unique culture of Utah requires a well understood missiology. You wouldn’t plant a church in the middle of India without taking tremendous time to study the religious groups, the people, and the culture. Missions organizations spend a great deal of time and energy seeking to understand. But that’s precisely the problem in Utah. The vast majority of Evangelicals don’t see this as a cross-cultural mission field, because it’s nestled in the Rocky Mountains in the Western United States. However this is a massive mistake because this culture is as unique and hard to understand as anything worldwide!
My heart is to see the existing church-plants and pastors encouraged. My hope is to help them process how their church can become more culturally effective and hone in our their unique part in fulfilling the Great Commission. Having a clear missiology means we are able to speak their language and contextualize the gospel so they hear it with greater clarity. It takes time and patience to develop and equip our churches.
Most church planters come to Utah with a tremendous sense of calling and zeal, but it’s easy to become discouraged when ministry gets hard. Utah Pastor’s face tremendous discouragement! While the mission and vision here is clear and compelling, the leadership resources and the financial resources are paper thin. For these reasons the majority of church-plants in Utah fail within the first 3 years. We want to see that change! The need for encouragement for pastors, churches, and believers in Utah is greater than you can imagine. The church in Utah has many needs, but we believe a ministry that can come alongside pastors to encourage them, support them, and work with them to fulfill the Great Commission in culturally effective ways, is of the highest importance right now!
The Elevation project exists to help Utah churches fulfill the Great Commission in culturally effective ways.
Encourage Pastors who are often doing the work of ministry without much help. Coaching to fulfill the Great Commission with an effective missiology. Equipping for believers to understand the culture and live in it well. Assimilating seekers into churches and by gaining a solid Christian Worldview. Create opportunities for churches outside of Utah to join the mission in Utah.