Orlando is known as the happiest place in the world. Ask many people around the globe about Orlando and I am sure an oversized mouse, gigantic killer whales, palm trees, and sunshine come to mind. While Orlando has some very beautiful aspects about it, the truth is Orlando is in desperate need for hope. The happiest place on earth has a whole only the Gospel can fill.
The Harvest– As a multinational community with a multimillion population that is largely unreached, Central Florida is a strategic location not only for reaching people with the gospel, but for sending people around the world. Here are some striking statistics concerning Orlando:
- Disney employs over 70,000 employees
- UCF is the second largest University in America with over 60,000 students
- Central Florida is home to over 4 million residents 86% (3.5 million) are not connected to a local church
- The city landed at No. 7 on Forbes magazine’s list of “America’s fastest-growing cities” of 2016
The Nations–God is literally bringing the nations to Orlando which makes it a strategic location for multiethnic ministry, missions, and multiplication:
- 56% Anglos 44% Non-Anglos
- 18% of residents are foreign born
- Orlando is ranked 7th in growth amongst minority populations
- 66 million people visited Orlando in 2015
The Issues– The Happiest Place on earth has a hole only the Gospel can fill:
- #1 worst mid-sized metropolitan city for homelessness
- Orlando is safer than 2% of the cities in the U.S.
- The poverty rate is 14.9%
- Orlando is one of the worst cities for abortions averaging about 30 babies per day
- Due to prominent tourism, Orlando has a high saturation of sexual trafficking
The weight of these issues are heavy but the hope of the Gospel shines brighter. I am excited to see another gospel-centered church intentionally pursuing racial reconciliation and multiethnic multiplication. By God’s grace, we continue to build upon the work of other faithful churches in the area in addition to planting more in Florida. Keep us in prayer as we take the Gospel to Orlando!
For God’s Glory,