2 Key practices for emotionally healthy church planters
Facing stress as a pastor and helping others do the same
Denver, Colorado, is known by many names: the Mile High City, the gateway to the Rockies, the home of the Broncos, the Queen City of the Plains. As one of the original towns in the Old West, Denver continues to exemplify rugged strength and independence, and it has tremendous influence over the entire state and region.
Picturesque views of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains draw people to this area. They stay for the natural beauty and appealing climate, the outdoor activities and modern amenities, the cosmopolitan nature and business opportunities. But with 4.8 million people in the metro area, Denver has the same challenges of any urban center. Poverty and crime are a part of the picture, and the heaviness of tragedies such as the Columbine school shooting and the Aurora theater massacres still lingers.
There is only one Southern Baptist church for every 20,135 people in the Denver metro area. The need for planting new churches is vital in the areas between the urban core and the suburbs, which has been called “The Forgotten Region.” Young adults are flocking to these places to take advantage of Denver’s resources, which gives the Church a unique opportunity to connect and build community.
“Denver has such a huge regional influence,” says Dave Howeth, Denver’s Send City missionary. “The impact of this city is global. It’s one of the few major cities that has a state capital in the center of influence in its state, and it’s the 15th largest city in the country.
“The area we call Denver also includes more than one major city. It’s the whole Front Range of the Rockies, from Fort Collins in the north (one of fastest growing areas in the U.S. for the past five years) to Colorado Springs (with 5 military bases) in the south,” says Howeth.
The area is the largest in the U.S. per capita for small businesses. In fact, some 550,000 entrepreneurs and small businesses are actively pursuing success in the Denver metro area.
“Church planters are also entrepreneurs,” says Howeth. “My dream is for this spirit to merge together with the gospel to impact the world with a movement across the Rockies and that sweeps across to the West Coast.”
Whether for a short-term mission, long-term church plant sponsorship or full commitment to planting in the city, Denver needs devoted followers of Jesus Christ who will invest in the area and the people across the Front Range.
“Then when people think about Denver they won’t think about the Broncos or the Rockies; they will think about Jesus,” says Howeth. “Denver is known as the Queen City of the Plains. That is the city slogan. I am praying for the day when the people of the Queen City will be introduced to the King of kings.”
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