Among all of California’s iconic cities, none has more influence than the largest—Los Angeles. Hollywood alone commands tremendous sway on popular culture worldwide.
The sheer size of Los Angeles calls for considerable strategy in any attempt to reach the city. The city population alone, 3.8 million, is larger than 21 states. The county is nearly 10 million, and “greater” Los Angeles, that makes up the Send North America: Los Angeles plan, has a population close to 20 million.
One might think with a name that translates, ‘City of Angels’ that Los Angeles would be doing God’s bidding, sharing good news and proclaiming a Savior. But the reality is that Los Angeles is 100 cities all looking for a home; all looking for a purpose; all looking for the elusive California dream. It is home to the largest populations of ethnic, cultural and language groups in the U.S. There are some 400 distinctive groups here. The world is already here.
Send North America: Los Angeles focuses on five counties around the city, home to more than 18 million people. There is a Southern Baptist church-to-population ratio of 1:16,833. The estimated evangelical presence is 8.3 percent.
Throw in a thriving seaport (where a strategic church planting effort engages large cargo vessels) and world-class universities, and the complexity of the task emerges more clearly. Los Angeles is not a one-strategy-fits-all city. The Send North America: Los Angeles strategy is five-fold: universities, inner cities, beach cities (suburbia), people groups and Hollywood. To reach the greater Los Angeles area, greater partnerships with great churches are needed.