Rising along the Bow River and stretching into the Canadian Rockies, Calgary is rich in many ways. Located in Alberta, Canada, it has been dubbed the “Stampede City” for its annual 10-day outdoor extravaganza and rodeo event, which brings more than a million visitors each summer. Business here includes oil, cattle and tourism, and the city garnered global attention when it hosted the 1988 Winter Olympics. The five venues constructed for the games continue to draw both athletes and crowds and have contributed to Canada’s success in competitions on the international level.
But there’s another side to Calgary. Only 5.2 percent of its 1.4 million inhabitants claim to believe in Jesus Christ. And currently there is only one Canadian National Baptist Convention (CNBC) church for every 46,365 people. Aware of these numbers, Southern Baptists and CNBC have joined forces to lay the groundwork for change.
“We’re really asking God for an indigenous movement,” said Bob Shelton, the area’s Send City missionary. “This means getting local leaders to own the strategy and to develop leaders for future plants. But we also want non-local leaders to come and set their hearts on Canada.”
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