In the fall of 2016 Christ Lutheran Church in Breckenridge began partnering with Salt of the Earth Communities, a mission organization within the Denver Northwest Circuit that was led by Pastor Larry McGurer. Although we had no way to know it at the time, this was the beginning of Summit Mission Alliance. This partnership had three primary goals: 1) To provide Christ Lutheran with pastors to lead their Sunday worship services, as they were without a pastor at the time; 2) To equip the members of Christ Lutheran in the ways of discipling huddles and missional communities (i.e., relational discipleship); and 3) to help the members of Christ Lutheran acquire a pastor to serve their congregation (a major component of Congregational Health).
Throughout 2017 and 2018 goals 1 and 2 were addressed. There was regular and consistent preaching of God’s Word happening at Christ Lutheran, and the members of the congregation were growing in the ways of huddle and missional communities and had identified Open Arms Preschool as their local mission. However, goal number 3 (to acquire a pastor) was not going well. Twice in that time Christ Lutheran had calls for pastors returned. The reality was that the small size of the congregation only allowed it to offer a meager package to prospective pastors. This, coupled with the high cost of housing in Summit County, made it next to impossible for the congregation to support a pastor on their own. This dilemma consumed so much time and energy that it was impossible to devote the desired energy towards relational discipleship and the families of Open Arms. The members of Christ Lutheran were losing hope. It was a humbling time for everyone involved. Christ Lutheran knew they needed more help.
Right on cue, the Lord provided the much-needed help through His Church. In November of 2018, Christ Lutheran began working with Lutheran Church Extension Fund’s Ministry Clarity team. Ministry Clarity enabled Christ Lutheran to clearly identify and articulate their goals and helped them to come up with out-of-the-box ways to secure the necessary finances to support a pastor. It was at this time that the Denver Northwest Circuit’s Gospel Gap Committee pledged 2 years of financial support to Christ Lutheran in order to get their ministry plan up off the ground.
In the spring of 2019 Christ Lutheran called Pastor Larry to be their pastor. He accepted the call and was installed in July. In the fall of that year Christ Lutheran began the Seeking the Summit capital campaign. The immediate goal of that campaign was to secure the funds and a loan for a parsonage, the next step in the overall mission and ministry plan. The campaign is still ongoing and has been hugely successful. In early 2020 the congregation was able to secure the necessary loan and purchase the parsonage.
Right as the parsonage was purchased our world was forever changed by the Covid-19 pandemic. While this has impacted the congregation and its members in undeniable ways, the mission continues. We have been able to devote the necessary time to solidify Congregational Health. And we are preparing to shift our time and energy back to developing relationships with the families of Open Arms and to further develop our huddle and missional community ministries.
Jesus has been abundantly gracious and merciful to us these past few years. And we are excited to see where He will lead us in the coming days, weeks, months, and years.