Category Archives: Church Planting
It was three years ago that I informed the Mountair Christian Church community that I would be transitioning from the Interim Pastor role into full-time leadership of Edgewater Collective. Since then we have been attending Mile High Vineyard and seeking the common good of our city. As I left leadership in the church, I thought I would never return. Honestly, I have loved serving my city outside the walls of the church and rallying folks to create a thriving city regardless of what they believe.
But throughout this process, God has been tugging at my heart and for a few years I ran from his call. A little over two years ago, I had a pretty vivid of dream of baptizing people in Sloan’s Lake at the beach on the northwest corner. That dream made a strong impression on me but I didn’t think I would play a role in that. I waited for others to create a new type of church in our community that would be welcoming to families and those who had never attended church.
After a year of poking and prodding by the Lord, I’ve realized that he might want me to step out in faith and lead a new faith community in our area. The beauty of this new possibility is that I continue my fulfilling work with Edgewater Collective during the week and lead a neighborhood church on the weekends with a great team of folks who live locally.
Our church, Mile High Vineyard, believes strongly in neighborhood churches that love a community and take on the Catholic idea of being committed to a parish. So we are starting to gather folks that live in Edgewater, Wheat Ridge and northeast Lakewood that are drawn to following Jesus and loving a community. On Sundays we are gathering at the Mile High Vineyard churches in the Highlands and Arvada until we have the critical mass to gather on our own in the Edgewater area on Sunday mornings. On Thursday nights we will all come together for a meal and connecting with each other through conversation and prayer.
We are excited for this new season because it builds on our rootedness in the Edgewater community. Our dream is to start gathering on Sunday mornings by Easter of next year. And God willing, one day we will baptize new Jesus followers in Sloan’s Lake.
Recently our little city of Edgewater just to the west of Denver was hit with a rash of graffiti. I first noticed marks of a night of illegal art on some hanging sculptures in the yard of a house we pass each day on the way to school. In recent months there have been at least 60-70 victims of graffiti. It’s hard to walk around Edgewater and not notice graffiti.
Teenagers in their boredom have left their mark on this city by defacing their neighbors’ homes with graffiti. Older neighbors fear for their safety as they believe graffiti is linked to gang behavior.
How are we leaving our mark?
Edgewater is our neighborhood; our parish. Parish is a seldom used word today but years ago it meant the territory or area assigned to a specific priest. That priest would be responsible for the pastoral care of that geographic area. The word parish was used most in Catholic circles.
Though the church I serve is located in a different neighborhood within a mile of Edgewater, our family is focused on deepening our roots in this neighborhood. Our kids go to school here and a lot of our family life revolves around this city that covers less than a square mile. Read the rest of this entry
A normal day begins with walking our daughters to school just down the street from our duplex. At school I see my bartender whose son is in my daughter’s class. I see members of our Community Group who work at the school or are dropping their kids off at school. Then I walk a little over a mile to work at church. In the afternoons I work from home or at a local coffee shop a few blocks from our house. Then I pick up our daughters from school with my wife. Then I close off the afternoon with a run around a beautiful lake just down the road from our house.
Most of my work and family life happens within a one mile radius of our house.
I am beginning to realize that one of the most strategic values of ministry life is proximity. Read the rest of this entry