COS I Love You is a play on words. COS is a common abbreviation for Colorado Springs. Pronounced as a word, it also means “because” as in ‘Cause I Love You.
I lead a network of pastors in our city who meet regularly for prayer and conversation. Over the last year, our conversation has turned towards the question, “How do we share the love of God with our city?”
It is a “Who is my neighbor” question with a “City of Colorado Springs” answer.
In these conversations, one pastor, Jason at Red Rock Church, unveiled an image and phrase God gave him for communicating to this city that we Christians are for the city not against you.
If you have lived in COS for a while you know that Christians haven’t always had the best reputation. Sometimes we have come across more like the people who pass by on the other side than having compassion and crossing over to help.
But the tide is turning and there is a new generation of leaders in our churches who want to rebrand our faith.
So we are asking how we churches can band together to be a good neighbor to our city. And when we asked that question, the city responded.
The churches in the Springs have been asked by our Mayor to partner with them in a project with the Springs Rescue Mission.
See, there are 31,000 households at risk of homelessness every single day in our city. Over 1000 people are already homeless. About 300 people every day are without shelter.
So we are partnering with Springs Rescue Mission and the City of Colorado Springs to develop a multi-agency campus designed to help every person living on the streets of Colorado Springs to find a pathway out of homelessness. This project will almost triple the number of beds to provide 55,000 shelter nights per year, provide a dining room capable of feeding 200,000 meals per year, provide laundry and shower facilities, and a day center stacked with agencies to help them find a pathway out.
Simply being good Samaritans who see a need, cross over, and help.
You can visit www.cosiloveyou.com for more info. This is a project you will hear more about in the months to come.
The point is that we want the city not to see a church, but THE church. This is why this shirt doesn’t say Pulpit Rock. I would love to see Christians all over the city wearing shirts, hats, bumper stickers that promote THE church in Colorado Springs.
This is not about a church but THE church. The community of Christ followers who don’t just talk about being good Samaritans, but go and do likewise.
Maybe this begins to break down walls and change the way we are viewed. I mean, if a Samaritan could be the hero of Jesus’ story, maybe there is hope for us as well.
A friend of mine heard his pastor say this a few weeks ago:
Let our critics crawl over a pile of good works, brotherly love, and acts of compassion to cast their stones at us.
If this world is going to reject us and our message of God’s love, let them do so for the right reasons—because we are good Samaritans carrying out the heart of a father.