Settling into a church as "home" is nothing to rush into. And yet, if a community of believers holds the possibility of feeding your faith and hope for living, then looking for such a group is nothing to put off. Denver's south suburbs are full of healthy, Christ-centered congregations seeking his good for our community. Having lots of options is a great gift. And yet that can make the search hard, and inadvertently turn us into mere religious "consumers" more than God-seekers. This page will give you a few things to think about if Centennial Covenant is one possibility for you.
What's distinct (and not) about Centennial Covenant?
Our church family takes very seriously the unity of Christ's richly diverse body, while holding up the one and only reality that makes us one: Jesus as crucified and risen Lord of all things - made known through the Bible and God's Holy Spirit. There is much about us that is not uncommon among local churches. Compared to neighboring congregations we are not distinct in our basic ministries. For example:
- WORSHIP GATHERINGS: each Sunday we have two morning gatherings to open ourselves to Christ's presence and take steps on our life-journeys with him. Our gatherings offer biblical teaching and sharing of personal faith-stories. Dress? Very casual and "come-as-you-are," though a few folks like to dress up. See more on Worship HERE.
- LIFE GROUPS are our primary ministry for adults: 2-20 people intentionally gathering in homes, coffee shops, and church classrooms to build friendships, explore God's Word, and prepare for daily life - following and serving Jesus. See more on Life Groups HERE.
- KIDS: we take very seriously caring for and biblical nurture of our children. This happens during our two worship gatherings, as well as our 9:00 am Sunday "Connecting Hour." See more on Children's Ministries HERE.
- STUDENTS: we have strong ministries to Middle School and Sr. High students. See more on Student Ministries HERE.
- MINISTRY TEAMS: people find a wide variety of ways to serve alongside others - both within and beyond the congregation.
What then might be more distinct about Centennial Covenant?
- Some might say it's our pastors, which include two artists, a juggler, and a budding coffee roaster. See more on our Pastoral Team HERE.
- Others might say it's the way we often baptize people - in a cattle trough.
- With our name, at least one person wondered if we were a "convent" (for nuns), while another thought we were a "convenient" church (hopefully true in some ways, and not in others?).
- More helpfully perhaps, we are medium-sized: about 300 adults and kids gather on a typical Sunday.
- Getting to the heart of our life together, we affirm the infallible authority of the Bible as God's Word, and yet take care to remember that we who interpret and try to live-out Scripture are quite fallible. We try to follow Jesus into the kind of humility and love that includes "agreeing to disagree agreeably" on secondary issues of belief and style. That means we have folks from all different church backgrounds, though not too many who say "anything goes" or who want "everything nailed down." For example, we practice both "believer's baptism" and an evangelical form of "infant baptism" for parents who have such convictions from Scripture (though the latter is not done in the cattle trough!). Also, we are unashamedly "protestant" and "evangelical" in our core convictions, yet embrace enriching ways God has given truth and practices through differing Christian traditions throughout history and around the world. See more on our "Covenant Affirmations" and other Covenant "distinctives" HERE.
- We embrace what we believe are calls from God that have us on a "road less traveled" compared to many truly good congregations. For example:
- Leadership by shared discernment - more than strategic planning;
- Pursuing transformational journeys that seek to discern unique stages and needed faith-steps for individuals and groups - more than good but generic discipling methods;
- Peacemaking that willingly faces conflict and struggle as God's opportunity to transform lives, more than evading what's uncomfortable;
- Missional identity that sees ministry as whatever we do 24/7, wherever we are, with whomever we're with - more than just particular outreach programs carried out by some.
See more on"The Shape of Our Ministries" HERE.
- We affirm God calling and gifting women for leadership as Elders, Pastors and other guiding roles. This is not to be "politically correct," but to be biblically faithful to Christ. See more on Women in Leadership HERE.
- While affirming our unity with all Christ-followers, we are gratefully involved in our denominational family, the Evangelical Covenant Church. This body grew out of a renewal movement in Sweden in the 1800s, and now has ethnically diverse (25% non-Caucasian) ministries in 700+ North American congregations, as well as mission partnerships in 25+ nations around the world. See more on the Evangelical Covenant Church HERE.
The Bottom Line
What finally matters is what God wants. He knows you best and loves you most. Ask him to guide you to a church. Then ask him to help you embrace its strengths, grow in love as you discover its weaknesses, and be available to build on what's good and be redemptive in what seems less than the best. If you ever feel inclined to leave and "shop" again, do so very prayerfully, humbly and honestly. Don't "look" for justifications to make a change. That will probably distort the full truth and damage some relationships. Remember that you can leave a congregation, but never God's family. So do what you can to let God bring his peace into whatever relationships have developed. If it would help to receive some prayer on this, feel free to call one of our pastors - with no strings attached. Really. Even if you have no intention of even visiting this church. Contact Senior Pastor Steve Thulson or other pastors HERE.
A few of many local congregations worth considering:Centennial Covenant is just one part of Christ's body in our community. Within just three or so miles of our building, here are just a few of some healthy churches that just might provide the kind of ministries, connections and opportunities that would be God's best for you:
- Inversion Community (Another ECC church)
- Mission Hills (Converge)
- Bethany (Evangelical Free)
- South Suburban Christian (Disciples of Christ)
- Grace Point (Evangelical Presbyterian)
- South Fellowship (Independent Presbyterian)
- Wellspring (Anglican)
- Littleton Christian Church(Evangelical Presbyterian)