by Jason Janz
If you can’t view the video above, please try this alternate link.
In the spring of 1996, my pastor called me and asked me if I would consider coming to my home church to serve as a youth pastor. As students in Bible college, my wife and I were planning on going to the mission field, but we decided to pray about his invitation. After considering it, I called my pastor and told him we would come for a year. He must have grinned to himself. What long-term ministry can a youth pastor do in one year? He asked for a commitment of four years. After talking it over with Jen, I told him we would do it.
At the four-year mark, two of our key assistants moved into other ministries, and Pastor Heinze asked me to stay on until we relocated our ministry. In 1999, we began a journey to relocate our campus to the outer ring of the suburbs. At that time, we thought the relocation would happen in 2002 or 2003. We agreed to stay and were pretty excited to see Red Rocks take this next step. Being part of that journey changed our lives in so many ways. Well, after eight years, our church finally made the move in March of this year. It was great to see the dream come to fruition with a team that we thoroughly enjoyed. About a year and a half before the move, God began moving in our lives to direct us in the next phase of ministry.
We prayed about four options: staying on at Red Rocks Baptist Church, going to an existing church that needed a pastor, planting a church, or going to China as missionaries. To make a long story short, God made it very clear in our lives, mainly through an ever-increasing burden, to start a ministry in the center of the city. The Denver metro area is home to 2.5 million people with one out of five of those living in the city proper. Denver is one of the least churched cities in America, more so even than Seattle. Over the last twenty years, Red Rocks has been involved in planting churches around the perimeter of the city; however, the core of the city has tremendous needs. So we began making plans, and on May 20, 2007, we had our sending service. Pastor Les Heinze, my pastor and friend for the past twenty-two years, sent us out to do God’s work in the city. I’ve only been part of two churches my whole life—a church I grew up in in Green Bay, Wisconsin, until I was 12 and then Red Rocks. I’ve always treasured the local church and I’ve never had to say goodbye to one as an adult. For my goodbye, I read Philippians 1:3-11 where Paul talks to a church he loved (You can hear my sermon here.). This passage echoes our heart in leaving that church. We love the people of Red Rocks!
Regarding the church plant, Red Rocks Baptist Church is my sending church. They are giving us $350 in monthly support to help with our plant. We are endeavoring to raise the rest of our support through deputation, both in churches and through individuals.
We are planting Providence Bible Church. The core values of the church will be the following:
- God Exalting
- Scripture Saturated
- Gospel Centered
- Life Building
- Prayer Empowered
- Culturally Engaged
- Compassionately Serving
- Missions Focused
- Leader Guided
- People Embracing
Our timeline consists of raising support over the next year, starting core meetings in January, having preview services in the summer, and launching the church in September of 2008.
If you would be interested in supporting our ministry, there are several ways to be involved. We are asking God to provide us with partnerships with churches and individuals. We are available for local-church meetings as well as home meetings. The home meetings may be a new concept to many, but if you know of several individuals who would like to partner with us in some way, my wife and I would be willing to fly to your city for a home meeting. At the meeting, we would present our ministry, answer questions, and get to know the people you invite. We are looking for partnerships in the following three areas:
We are asking God to provide us with 1,000 Prayer Partners who will pray for us over the next three years. By signing up to become a Prayer Partner (click here), you agree to pray through our requests that are sent to you monthly. My wife and I have also pledged to pray through the prayer requests that are sent to us by our partners. Thankfully, we already have around 500 prayer partners and are trusting that God will lead the rest to us.
- Church Support—We are asking God to provide us with 20 churches who would partner with us financially.
- Individual Support—We are asking God to provide us with 40 individuals who would partner with us financially.
- We are asking God to provide us with $465,000 for the start-up costs for the first three years.
Core Launch Team Partners
- Church Members—We are asking God to provide us with a core of 50 adults who will help us with the start of the ministry.
- Short-Term Missions Trip—We plan on having three weeks in the summer of 2008 when we are asking our Ministry Partners to come and participate in a major brochure saturation campaign in downtown Denver. During that time, we will also spend time educating and exposing them to ministry in the city. So, if you are a pastor or youth pastor and would like to come and help, please contact me.
If you would be interested in partnering with us in any way, sign up at our website here. You can also request a hard copy of our DVD presentation and we will send it to you.
Many have asked me about the future of SI. I am praying through that right now and am getting counsel from some individuals. I’m not sure I can do church planting and SI. Starting Providence is my primary passion and burden, and that needs to get my full attention for quite a while. So you can pray with me and for me that I will make the best decision for all involved.
If you would like to catch up on what we’ve been up to the last three months, here are our eNewsletters. Also, I attached the handout from our first informational meeting last week.
- First Informational Meeting Handout (PDF)
- September eNewsletter (PDF)
- August eNewsletter (PDF)
- July eNewsletter (PDF)
Also, several have asked who did our video. You can contact the Matt Slocum here. His bud, Jeremiah Dew, helped with the project and also made a cameo at the back of the bus (literally).
|Jason Janz, SharperIron site publisher, is planting Providence Bible Church in downtown Denver. Formerly, he served as an assistant pastor at Red Rocks Baptist Church (Morrison, CO). He has a bachelor’s degree in Bible and is currently finishing a master’s degree in theology. He has been married to Jennifer for 10 years, and they have four boys. His interests include pastoring, reading, and wrestling with his boys. He likes SI because of how it helps serve pastors and church leaders.|