Snow-capped mountains stand proud, poised atop tented sheets of brown earth and furrowed tree lines. The Front Range of the Rocky Mountains sets the backdrop for adventure and networking.
The first two days of this week, I was north of Denver, Colorado in the cities of Loveland and Fort Collins. Here on “business” with PowerPlant, I met with church group leaders from Texas, Arizona, and western Colorado. Local church planters have shared their vision for ministry, relationships and meaningful connections of people and families within their target areas.
Colorado is full of people busy enjoying Creation but not knowing the Creator. It’s full of people open to spirituality, but more skeptical of relationships with new people. It’s full of people looking for something more, but largely unaffiliated with any religious labels. The suicide rate and divorce rate are higher around the Mile High City. People still need to experience the grace and truth of Jesus through the Gospel.
Here are a few of the church planters and leaders we will be partnering with during the PowerPlant project in June:
Fort Collins Community Church
David Sutton leads Fort Collins Community Church. He also runs The Coffee Registry, a subscription-based coffee roasting company he started. Using the business as ministry, there are copious opportunities to connect with people over long-term relationships as avenues for sharing the Gospel. Old Town Fort Collins is heavy with local, independent shops and lots of young energy.
Chris Freeman is a recording artist and producer, and leads worship music for FCCC. He also serves as mentor to some of the less experienced worship leaders in the church planting network north of Denver.
The Pursuit Church
Alan Reed leads The Pursuit Church. They are connecting with families in Fort Collins, where few evangelical churches thrive. Alan and his team want to continue creating opportunities to cross paths with people in the area and build those relationships into the community groups of TPC for cultivating followers of Jesus. They recently hosted a massive Easter Egg Hunt with 3000 attending, which they used to serve and love people of their community.
Angus McKinley leads Elevation Church. They’ve been focused on connecting with busy young couples and families who live in an area of Loveland very close to major schools and religious institutions, like a large Mormon church building. They’ve had progress in fostering an open and mutually beneficial relationship with the local school they meet in. Elevation has even hosted a teacher appreciation event to practically serve and acknowledge leaders in education. It’s refreshing to see Angus’ passion for connecting to the people of his community in efforts to love them authentically like Jesus.
Nate Templin leads InsideOut Church. According to research, as few as one in nine Millenials (those born between 1980-2000) care about spiritual things. This is a driving factor for Nate and his team as they seek to build relationships and equip them as followers of Jesus to live out the Gospel both in Fort Collins and elsewhere. As a way to build long-term relationships, he started a local softball team. He often crosses paths with people who’ve been burned by the church, so InsideOut seeks to restore people to an accurate picture of Jesus. Many of the young adults in the area are students at Colorado State University, so Nate sees the college years as a brief time to connect people to InsideOut and send them off as missionaries to wherever they may work and live as their career grows.
Many People, Many Places
These are only a few of the local extensions of God’s kingdom in Colorado, but these four are the ones me and the student teams will work with in June’s PowerPlant North Denver/Loveland 2012.
This is a very, very busy week of travels and work and play. I have countless megabytes of photos and words and ideas to share with you. But first, here’s a teaser of some more of my scores of photos that I captured during my trip to Colorado:
Stay tuned for more travel, ideas and photos…
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