The Vegas You Didn’t Know

As the “Entertainment Capital of the World” you probably know about Las Vegas’ luxurious casinos, high-end shopping and mind blowing shows.  But there’s a residential side of Vegas, off “The Strip”, that you may not know about.  Residential Vegas experienced explosive growth in the early 2000’s, was hit hard by the recession and is on the upswing once again.  The city’s low cost of living, growing job market and 310 days of annual sunshine have made it the destination of choice for thousands of young professionals, college students, families and retirees.  The result? In 2011-2012 Vegas was the 11th fasting growing metropolitan area in the U.S. Commenting on ministry in Las Vegas one pastor said: “It’s really refreshing to pastor here. No one is at your worship service because it’s a cultural expectation.  People come because they want to be. They either want to worship Christ or they are genuinely interested in learning more.” Local pastors describe Vegas as “Pre-Christian”. A city characterized both by the shocking realities of a culture unengaged by the gospel and the great opportunity to reach thousands who have never heard of Christ.  When the pleasures of sin fail there is a powerful opportunity for the gospel to redeem.

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God is at work in Las Vegas: over the last ten years the percentage of evangelical believers in the city has increased markedly.  But it still leaves the vast majority of Las Vegas unengaged with the gospel.  Earlier this year the staff of Summit Network got to visit Las Vegas. Local pastors showed us a sprawling neighborhood home to more than twenty five thousand people where there are zero churches. Not zero Baptist churches, or zero evangelical churches but zero churches (though there are two Mormon temples). Lost people aren’t likely to drive thirty minutes to attend a worship service.  By planting churches where people live we can eliminate geographic hurdles to the gospel being heard.  God is at work in Las Vegas, could He be calling you to join him?  To learn more about church planting in Las Vegas or about partnership with Summit Network visit

Josh Miller (@joshmiller0604) is a Church Planting Catalyst with Summit Network and a Church Planting Pastor at The Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, NC.