Planting a Seed in Colorado

Name: Patrick Lightfoot

Current Status: Alumni

Graduation Year: 2013

Patrick Lightfoot (MA ‘13) has been a member of Journey Christian Church in Greeley, Colorado, for the past 13 years and has served as the church’s Adult Minister for four of those years. Patrick and his wife answered the call to serve the community of Windsor, Colorado, and their church sent them to plant Traverse Christian Church.

The new church held its “soft launch” last Christmas Eve with 186 participants in worship. “I can’t think of a better day to launch a church in our community,” Lightfoot said.

He is concerned that today’s church has developed a consumer mentality when churches really should be replicating the grace that has been extended to believers.

“Our mission is to ‘help others live transformed lives that fiercely love Jesus and others,’” said Lightfoot. “I desire for this church and the church around the world to be sold out for Jesus.”

Traverse is committed to family ministry and began its programming by focusing on Sunday worship services and children’s programs (infant – 5th grade). Lightfoot believes that less is more and he is adamant about developing excellence in those two specific areas. Later this the fall, the church will add mid-week programming for middle school and high school students, as well as growth groups and couples’ groups.

Growth groups are adult groups that will meet for a 10-12 week season and then take 5-7 weeks off to focus on church-wide events to promote unity and reach the community. The curriculum for couples is Married People, a program that was designed to enrich, encourage, and grow marriages.

“In our community, 64% of the population is married and the greatest gift we can give our children is a strong marriage,” Lightfoot explained. “We will have community events and education opportunities for married couples. We’ll also offer date nights because couples too often spend all their creative energy at work and raising kids and leave nothing for their spouses.”

His vision for Traverse is to have a safe place for children of all ages to learn and grow in Christ; a place for adults, both single and married, to worship freely and live out the purpose Jesus has  called them to, men leading as servant leaders within the church and home; and, finally, a place where marriages can be honored, celebrated, and encouraged. He happily added that attendance on Easter Sunday was 292, there have been seven baptisms to date, and 180 is the average attendance.

He said that HIU prepared him for this new foray into church planting and expressed gratitude for the opportunity to learn online while he was already serving in the church.