I am so excited to share with you the call that God has placed on our lives to start a new church in Denver. As we have discerned our call to start a church, God called us to Denver. Since moving here in August, we are even more excited that God has called us to Denver — a great city in great need of the Gospel.
Denver has grown rapidly in the last 20 years. Today it is a city that grows by 1,000 people each month, mainly from the millennial generation. They move here to be close to the mountains, for the weather and even for the legalized marijuana. Simultaneously, Denver is on the leading edge of secularization. Churches are shrinking and closing all across the Denver metro area.
This is especially the case in Southeast Denver. Even in our corner of Denver, there is only one gospel-centered church for every 10,314 people. This tells us that fewer than 1% of people in this area regularly attend worship services.
And we have found this to be true as we get to know our neighbors. Several of our neighbors have moved into our neighborhood within the last year as they begin to start their families. We also have neighbors who have been here for decades, raised their families and are now transitioning to being empty nesters. None of them are a part of a church community.
As we have talked to people across Denver, finding meaningful friendships can be a challenge. A doctor, who has been here for ten years, told me he has struggled to make friends. Talking to a bartender from Tennessee, she said she was ready to move on from Denver after only three years. She thought she would find community and a new life here, but it hasn’t turned out that way. Another young woman who grew up in Denver recently moved back. She’s been struggling to find Christian community in her hometown and said “It’s like being a stranger in your own home.”
And this is where we find our story connecting with the story of Denver. We, too, desire to be connected in meaningful relationships with other people. Throughout our lives both of us have moved to a number of new cities and have had to form new friendships. We desire those same meaningful relationships with our new neighbors and our new friends we have met in Denver.
We believe that the most meaningful relationships are friendships formed through a relationship with Jesus Christ. It is only through His power, grace, mercy and love that we can be honest about who we are and form friendships with one another.
We believe the most effective way for people to have a relationship with Jesus is through starting a new church. It is our hope that we would gather a community of those who have never known Jesus, those who have turned away from Jesus, and those who have a relationship with Jesus to come together to worship and join God in serving the people of Denver.
We believe this happens around a table. Thus we are calling this church planting endeavor The Table Project. Whether we are eating, working, relaxing or worshipping, our lives take place around a table. And we believe our deepest hungers in life can be finally satisfied around the table of God’s grace and mercy, in and through the person of Jesus Christ.
And so we want to share our vision and strategy with you, in the hopes that you would too would have a vision for what God is doing in the city of Denver. And we pray that you would join in this mission by praying for us, partnering with us and even, if God calls you, to personally join in this new work God is doing. We believe the establishment of a new church will take $150,000 per year for five years for a total of $750,000. More details on our budget are available upon request.
Starting a new church is no easy task, but we believe that with your partnership, God will sustain us and guide us in this endeavor. It is infinitely encouraging to us to know that you are with us, praying for us, and supporting us in this work of God.
At the bottom of each page, you will find links to the details of the scope and vision of The Table Project, as well as a link to our giving page with Aspen Grove Church Planting Network.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
May the grace and peace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ be with you always,
The Table Project
mark.grapengater [at} gmail.com