The following post was written by Highlands Church co-pastor Mark Tidd and originally published here.
Growing up in Boulder it was inevitable I would become a snob about many things including why anyone would bother living in any other city besides Boulder, the epicenter of all things beautiful and enlightened. I used to relish telling the joke, “What’s the difference between yoghurt and Longmont?” “Yoghurt has active culture.”
I no longer cherish that particular feeling of superiority, in part because I can only get a day pass to visit Boulder on rare occasions because apparently, my BMI is too high to actually live there.
Boulder has changed, my body has changed and Longmont has changed! In my opinion, only one of those changes has clearly been an improvement!
The Longmont economy and job base has shifted from being primarily agricultural to a diversified and thriving community with major technology companies, excellent breweries, (Left Hand and Oskar Blues to name a couple) and the headquarters for CROCS. If you happen to feel that the colorful, spongy shoes are primarily for clowns who won’t really commit, then that may not be considered a plus.
That northern part of Boulder County is also home to three of Colorado’s biggest mega churches. So why would Highlands Church want to plant a church in the land of giants in the next year? I think it was Tony Campolo who once said, “Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than going to McDonald’s makes you a hamburger.”
Our purpose in going there is not to be “against” any other churches but to be a voice and presence “for” the just and generous expression of what we understand to be the good news of Christ for ALL people.
Many of us can remember how we felt so bruised and confused from our previous church experiences that we didn’t think we could ever fit in any church until we found Highlands. So many people feel like many of us felt. God has been actively creating new churches to reach those who’d given up.
And no, my enthusiasm for this new start in Longmont is not my repentance for being a Boulder snob all those years! I just don’t want us to miss out on this joint venture on which I feel God has invited us.
Nothing but love, even for Longmont,