Tuesday, Nov. 13 /
8:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. /
Littleton, CO

Thriving Churches, Thriving Cities

Event details

“There is a palpable loneliness…that is intrinsically related to the profession and the stratospheric demands we place on pastors as evangelical Americans.”– Local ministry leader

“The job descriptions…are generally ‘be like Jesus.’ In the past few months alone, I have been expected to be the best therapist people know, the best preacher people know, the best leader people know, the most productive employee people know.”– Area church planter

Thriving ministry leaders work from the inside out: they draw on the life of Christ from within, pursue excellence in their craft, and build churches that vibrantly engage their communities. Yet many struggle with increasing complexity in their ministerial roles.They feel relationally isolated.They wrestle with an ever-growing list of professional demands.They struggle to speak to changing cultural norms.How can we address these challenges and equip ministry leaders to thrive for the sake of their cities, churches, and themselves?Denver Institute for Faith & Work invites you to “Thriving Churches, Thriving Cities,” an annual event helping church leaders and staff build personal and spiritual health, professional and pastoral excellence, and effective community engagement. Join leaders from across the Front Range for a day of growth, relational connection, and encouragement.Hear from keynote speaker, author/pastor/counselor Chuck DeGroat and breakout sessions tailored to the needs of both senior leaders and church staff.


Rob Brendle

Lead Pastor

Haroun Cowans

Associate Pastor / Chief Real Estate Officer

Chuck DeGroat

Professor of Counseling and Christian Spirituality / Co-Founder, Newbingen House of Studies

Nathan Hoag

Parish Pastor & Outdoor Guide

Jason Janz


Marcy McGovern

Financial Advisor

Linda Olson


Michelle Warren

Director of Advocacy and Strategic Engagement

Darius Wise

Executive Vice President & COO

Brad Strait

Senior Pastor

General Admission

Tuesday, November 19th

8:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Group of 4 ($40 savings)

We will provide a discount code group members can use to RSVP

Tuesday, November 19th

8:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Table of 8 ($80 Savings)

We will provide a discount code group members can use to RSVP

Tuesday, November 19th

8:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Student Ticket

For currently enrolled college or graduate students

Tuesday, November 19th

8:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.


KEYNOTE: Wholeheartedness in Church Leadership

“I’m being pulled in a thousand different directions.” As a therapist, pastor, and professor of spiritual formation, Chuck DeGroat hears that line all the time. “I hear it from students and software developers,” he says. “I hear it from spiritual leaders and coffee baristas. And I hear it from my own inner self.”

We all feel that nasty pull to and fro, the frantic busyness that exhausts us and threatens to undo us. And we all think we know the solution — more downtime, more relaxation, more rest. And we’re all wrong.

As DeGroat himself has discovered, the real solution to what pulls us apart is wholeheartedness, a way of living and leading that can transform us from the inside out.

Led by Chuck DeGroat

BREAKOUT: Toughest People to Love: How to Understand, Lead, and Love the Difficult People in Your Church

People -- frustrating, confusing, disappointing, complicated -- are the most difficult part of leadership, and they challenge leaders everywhere, from leaders of many to managers of a few. Chuck DeGroat addresses the flawed nature of people and offers wisdom for leaders of all types in dealing with just about anyone who is difficult to lead and to love.

Explore the basics of how people "tick," learn to examine and take care of yourself so you can better understand and care for others. Based on Chuck's experience as a pastor, professor, and therapist, this seminar offers wise, practical counsel you’ll use throughout your life and ministry.

Led by Chuck DeGroat

BREAKOUT: Organizational Leadership through Crisis, Change, & Conflict

A recent DIFW survey of local pastors revealed that interpersonal conflict or the strain of leading a congregation through change weighs heavily on churches leaders. Seasoned leaders Brad Strait (Cherry Creek Presbyterian), Darius Wise (Denver United), and Rob Brendle (Denver United) will share insight gleaned from years of fruitful, but at times tumultuous, ministry. Join us to gain the personal and practical skills you need to navigate the challenges of leading diverse, growing congregations.

Led by Brian Gray, Brad Strait, Darius Wise, Rob Brendle

BREAKOUT: Building Effective Community Partnerships

Every church wants to make a positive impact on its community. But there are also practical challenges to doing so. What are the issues we should care about and focus on? And how can we practically do something with the time and resources we have? In this session, we will hear from Marcy McGovern (Alternatives Pregnancy Center), Michelle Warren (Open Door Ministries, CCDA), and Jason Janz (Cross Purpose) on the key issues facing our city – such as poverty, abortion, and immigration - and the practical ways churches can partner with their organizations to serve the vulnerable and bring about the healing of their communities.

Led by Jeff Haanen, Jason Janz, Marcy McGovern, Michelle Warren

PANEL DISCUSSION: Peace and Prosperity for Our Cities

“Seek the peace and the prosperity of the city.” We’ve all heard this passage from Jeremiah, but what does this practically look like for churches in our city? How can pastors develop meaningful relationships with local leaders, such as city council members, business owners, and other nonprofit organizations? In this lunch panel, we will hear from Nathan Hoag, lead pastor of the Sacred Grace Englewood, and Linda Olson, PhD., a professor at the University of Denver and the newly elected mayor of Englewood. They will share about how they developed a relationship, the history and state of Englewood, the unique role of both pastors and city officials can play in the flourishing of their local economy and culture.

Led by Jeff Haanen, Nathan Hoag, Linda Olson

Thank you to Made to Flourish and Thrivent Financial for sponsoring this event!