The Omaha MSA offers tremendous opportunities in the arts and entertainment, boasts a vibrant and continually developing downtown area, and hosts the College World Series in the newly built T. D. Ameritrade Park.
The Omaha metropolitan statistical area (MSA) encompasses 4,400 square miles in eight-counties in two-states. The MSA has a population of 865,350. Southern Baptists number 1.4% of the population. All evangelicals combined total 12.1%. 50.6% of the population claim no religious affiliation.
Many people in the metro area reflect an interesting mixture of economic conservatism and mainline Christian liberal, universalism. As such the area is familiar with alternative lifestyles and various religious traditions from Mormonism to Islam and Buddhism to Zoroastrian. The region has a high rate of alcohol abuse and a heavy fixation on sports-especially all things Husker.
The MSA is experiencing an exploding ethnic diversity. The major ethnic minority is no longer African-American, but Hispanic. The area boasts the largest Sudanese population in America, and is experiencing a growing population from Burma, Bhutan, Somalia, China, and a host of other countries from all around the world.
The challenges represented by this cultural diversity and the spiritual climate it creates provides a number of church planting opportunities for Southern Baptists who are experiencing Nebraska the Good Life. These areas include…
- Reaching the expanding ethnic minorities.
- Connecting with the various inner city opportunities among African-Americans (the Eastern Nebraska Baptist Association includes 10 predominantly African American Churches)
- Connecting with college students (there are over 70,000 students in the MSA).
- Ministering to the least among us (Set Free Church is helping us lead the charge in this area).
- Expanding suburban areas—in the last decade hundreds of acres of farmland have been converted into housing developments.
- Growing bedroom communities—the MSA includes dozens of smaller communities that are experiencing significant and at times uncomfortable population growth.
- Struggling small towns where low income families find inexpensive housing—most of these communities have no SBC church and where there is little evangelical work.
Southern Baptist leaders in the area provide significant logistical and relational support: housing for mission teams and for planters we have office space, peer networks, administrative support related to all aspects of a new church plant, as well as low cost printing and high-quality graphics support just to name a few.
If your are looking for an opportunity to impact lostness for the glory of God, contact us. The church planting and church partnership opportunities are significant and varied. Call Mark Elliott or Craig Liscom at 402-551-0608 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.