Well, that’s kind of a big question.
If you would like a short answer, we are a welcoming community of people who are helping one another to know and to follow Jesus, experiencing and expressing our faith in every sphere of life.
But since the shortest answers are often not the most helpful, here are some more informative answers that will give you a better sense of what we are all about.
A number of people give us a funny look when they hear that we are starting a new church. Given the number of established churches in Denver, they wonder why we would go to all the trouble of starting a new church when there is space available in existing congregations.
Many people assume that we are starting a new church in order to compete with existing ones. Maybe we think that most of the established churches are ‘bad’, so we are determined to start one that is ‘good’. Or maybe (and even less admirably) we just want our denominational franchise to get its share of the ecclesiastical pie in Denver.
However, the fact is that we are not interested in competing with existing churches. Rather, we are starting a new church because new churches are essential for the healthy functioning and growth of the body of Christ in any city.
One major reason new churches are essential relates to orientation. Established congregations become oriented toward the needs, interests, and preferences of those who are already members. This is natural and to a large degree desirable. Denver needs its established churches. But there is also a need for churches that are oriented toward the concerns and sensibilities of those who are not its members. New churches naturally and of necessity have just such an outward orientation.
Another major reason new churches are essential is capacity for innovation. Established congregations have a developed set of traditions, practices and norms to which its members have become accustomed, and which are difficult to change. Since new churches start with a blank slate, they have the unique freedom to approach every aspect of ministry from a fresh and forward-looking perspective. This is why new churches tend (especially in the first few years) to attract members who are entrepreneurial visionaries – people who appreciate the opportunity to contribute their insights and gifts within a culture that is actively seeking new possibilities, rather than one that tends to preserve existing practices.
When people hear that we are starting a new church, the first question often asked is, “Where is your building?” This question is completely understandable. After all, the first step in opening a restaurant, retail store or school is to acquire and develop property. Only after the facility is in place and operational can they begin to develop a base of customers or members.
However a church is different because it is not fundamentally a building, an organization, or a provider of products or services. Rather, a church is fundamentally a community of people. Therefore the first step in starting a new church has nothing to do with acquiring property, or even organizing programs. The first step is to form a community.
We began the process of community formation and vision development in June of 2008. Since that time a growing and committed group of people has been functioning as a church body – learning how to follow Jesus together, providing mutual care and support, serving our community, and generally walking through and enjoying life with one another.
We began holding Sunday Worship Services on October 25, 2009 at Montclair Elementary School. Montclair School is a wonderful facility that should accommodate the needs of our new church community for the next few years. At some point in the future, the members of our church will probably decide that it makes sense to buy or build a facility. But our hope is that we will never think of the building as the church, but merely as a resource that helps the church to better serve our city.