Are There Any Churches in Las Vegas?

It is Saturday morning. It is 2:40 a.m. and I am wide awake. At 6:00 I need to be at the office to gather month-end financial information to mail to our clients. I am asking the Lord what my blog should be about for Monday. I am somewhat disappointed. Last Monday’s blog – “Haiti crises – If you break a law will God punish you?” I spent more time researching than most any blog. It was the only time I asked my small group to critique it and give me some ideas. It was posted on 1/25 and had the fewest hits of any of the 85 blogs I have posted. So I was lying in bed quietly asking God to give me Monday’s blog before I got up.

I thought about the number of times over the past 35 years when we spent vacation time with family and friends we have known over the years. The typical question they use to ask was: “Are there any churches in Las Vegas”? In 1981 I remember reading what John Wesley wrote: “Give me 100 men who will surrender to Christ and we will change the world”. I thought: “How many would it take to change Las Vegas”?

We have written previously that in 1981 we came to Central Christian Church and found it to be an extremely traditional church. This was the twelfth church we had belonged to and it was different from all of the others. Every Sunday was the same from the beginning to the end. If you changed any part of the service you could have had a revolt. After about three months I was ready to look for another church. After reading an article about the last great spiritual revival in America and much prayer, an inner voice, the Holy Spirit, indicated that God was going to cause a spiritual revival and it was going to start in Las Vegas. I felt led to stay at Central. Over the years I have shared this story with many Christians and they seemed quite skeptical. They said Las Vegas would be the last place God would start a spiritual revival.

Today, Las Vegas is one of the fastest growing Christian communities in America. But it is not without its problems. I recently read the economic report from UNLV comparing the Las Vegas economy with the national economy. The national economy is improving and Las Vegas is not getting much better. There are a lot of financially hurting people.

I have spent a number of years receiving a weekly prayer list. This past year I have never seen this many people asking for prayer. In the Old Testament it seemed when things were at their worst and the Israelites dropped to their knees and humbly asked God to meet their need, God intervened. From what I can see many are going to be forced to drop to their knees because some are becoming desperate. This past Christmas our attendance was 28,614 that is an increase of 7,008 over last year. An indication that many are becoming aware that they need to become part of a church.

In my lifetime I have never seen a recession as bad as what we have been going through. I have never seen our nation in such debt. It seems the farther we get away from Christian principles the worse things have become. How bad will things have to get before Christians realize that prayer is needed to change things.

I have been blessed to have been on the church board since 1983. We have seen so many supernatural events that we just finally started saying: “It’s a God thing!” For example, it took our church approximately 30 some years to have a church attendance of 4,000 on a weekend. Last year we had over 5,400 conversions. Over 2,300 Christians were baptized. A person would have to be blind not to realize that Christ has used Central Christian to spread the Gospel. I sit in “awe” at board meetings when we are told of all the opportunities that are becoming available to spread the Gospel throughout the world.

Early on we were serious about Matthew 28:18 – 20 – “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

We have an opportunity through the internet to spread the gospel to Mexico and South America. We will have on staff a fairly well-known Hispanic individual heading a Spanish speaking ministry. In addition, our vision is to have as many as 300 satellite campuses, worldwide, in the next few years. You probably have heard of our success in our prison ministry. We now have approximately 100 volunteers helping this outreach. Christmas approximately 150 prisoners accepted Christ as their Savior. We also have an opportunity to reach our military services.

We used to struggle when we saw so many long-time Christians leaving and going to other churches in town because the music was too loud or we were accused of being too liberal and not traditional enough. There were times when we had considered that maybe we were becoming too contemporary, too evangelistic. We would spend hours trying to determine how we could keep our vision to reach the unconnected and still keep many from going out the back door. It seemed God kept inspiring us to stick with the vision because we were reaching so many unchurched people. We realized that God was strengthening other churches in Las Vegas with those who were leaving. Many became leaders in their churches. Churches that used to criticize Central are now starting to be more supportive and realize we may have been given a different vision from what others have been given. We are starting to see many becoming more co-operative as we all should be working together to witness for Christ.

Our family has been in Las Vegas since 1974. We know a number of Christians from other churches. We and others are seeing more evidence that Las Vegas could start a national revival. If so, it will be in God’s timing and dependent on His providing resources. But when you are praying just ask God to help us reach those people who are unchurched, depressed and devastated. Prayers are how revivals are started. It may take less than 100 surrendered and totally committed Christians, as John Wesley stated, to make it happen. God is gracious and merciful!

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2 Comments

  1. Mary

     /  February 2, 2010

    Don, I am sitting here trying to articulate my thoughts after reading your words….I want to be one of the 100. I want to be a part of bringing revival. Asking God, what would you have me do? I’m here. And each day can choose to put on His eyes for this city. 10 leaders last week and I did a prayer walk for the city. To lift the oppression. To lift through the discouragement and darkness and be a part of His revival. May it begin with me… thank you for your words!

    Reply
  2. donaldboyd

     /  February 2, 2010

    Mary,

    If you’re interested in becoming a prayer warrior….sign in to your facebook account and join the group “100 prayer warriors”.

    Reply

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