Churches in Denver

City Guide: Denver

Matthew ThompsonBy Matthew ThompsonJune 14, 201917 Minutes

Regularly topping the list for fastest growing cities in the United States, Denver has become a go-to destination for younger generations. But while we were in town, we quickly learned that it’s been a historically tough place to plant churches. Many of the congregations are smaller, older churches that are dwindling in size.  Denver features a bustling bar scene, the scenic outdoors and is only one of five cities with pro teams in all four major sports. With so much to do, people have tons of options at their fingertips and tend to be noncommital when it comes to going to church.  But outside the public eye, we discovered that a movement has started in the city, led by a few churches who are really connecting with this generation.

Breaking through the spiritual wall in Denver

Down in Denver Tech Center, LIFEGATE Church has broken through the spiritual wall of church planting in Denver and experienced explosive growth over the last five years. Led by Pastor Nirup Alphonse, they’ve attracted a ton of 20 and 30-somethings, in part due to their unapologetic nature to preaching scripture and approaching hard topics in love.

In one word, the community is best sum up by their authenticity. Pastor Nirup regularly shares his struggles, both past and present and has a way of connecting with the audience. By regularly reflecting the love of Christ in all they do, LIFEGATE created opportunities for people to push past their preconceived notions of Jesus and get to know who he really is, like Sydney.

One member said that LIFEGATE is “marked by warmth and humility”, while another said they were “constantly challenged to grow”. During the week, the community regularly bonds through house parties, life groups and large gatherings in the city. On Sundays, you can expect a packed house of passionate people, who fearlessly exalt the name of Jesus. Pastor Nirup brings a mix of humor, confidence and sound biblical teaching and is one of the top up-and-coming preachers in the U.S. If you decide to make LIFEGATE home, you will learn a ton and be encouraged to look more like Jesus every day. 

Embrace the "In & Out Lifestyle"

In 2014, the Dallas-based UPPERROOM planted a new church in Denver near Cherry Creek. Led by an incredible team, it’s been a major blessing to the city. Out of all the churches our team has experienced across the entire country, UPPERROOM definitely had one of the most special and needed ministries.  Built on the concept of the “In & Out Lifestyle”, UPPERROOM operates a worship and prayer room out of CityPoint Church four days of the week, in addition to their Sunday services.

Whether it’s before work, during lunch or after work, this creates a daily opportunity to come into the presence of God and experience healing throughout our day, then go out to love people and show up to our lives well. One member said of their experience, "Yes, our worship music is phenomenal. Yes, our pastors are awesome. Yes, we have incredible community. But more than any of that, UR has created a place where people come face to face with the goodness, power, and presence of God." As you consider where you’re going to plant your roots, we would say that joining this beautiful community and making this a daily part of your day will radically change your life.

One of the fastest growing churches in America

Priding themselves on being a “front porch” for the prodigals, Red Rock Church has regularly been on the list for fastest growing churches in America during the last few years. In 2005, they launched out of a run-down theme park and quickly outgrew that space. With a mission to make “Heaven more crowded”, they do an awesome job at making people feel comfortable who have never gone to church before.

Their young adults ministry (18-30) has also exploded over the last few years, as 900+ people regularly gather at the Lakewood campus on Thursday nights. Tune in below for some highlights of what happened in the 2017 calendar year.

When it comes to preaching, Pastor Shawn Johnson also leads with a refreshing vulnerability, regularly sharing his struggles and faith testimony with the congregation.

A lighthouse to the city

When Lighthouse Church came to Denver in 2016, the goal from the very beginning was to create an environment that allowed people to become known on a level they've never experienced before. What they've seen develop over the last few years is a beautiful inter-racial, multi-generational community that feels closer than a family. You'll feel this as soon as you walk in, as we did. One member commented that they've found friendships "faster than most places" and that Lighthouse was "always looking to invite new people no matter the circumstances".

Over the last few years, Lighthouse has also developed one of the strongest worship cultures throughout Denver. Each week, there is a heavy focus to responding to the message and encountering the presence of God. You will tangibly feel the passion and praise fill up the room as everyone lifts up the name of Jesus.

Finding the right fit for you

No matter where you stand in your spiritual journey today, there’s something for everyone in Denver. Any of these churches have the potential to change your life and help you go deeper in your relationship with God. While each one is different in nature, there’s one common theme in that you can find genuine community at any of these places. And that's a beautiful thing, because we won't make it - both in life and following Jesus - without other people.

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