How did your network start?
The Arvada Network was birthed in 2006 when five lead pastors met to talk about the possibility of working together to serve the city. Our initial focus was to bless the teachers at a handful of the elementary schools in our community. This effort had mixed results and we learned a lot about how the importance of “posture” in taking on a joint service project. In 2009, a group of pastors representing twenty churches met with Arvada mayor Bob Frie. We asked him to share his dream for our city and to talk about the issues that were hindering that dream from becoming a reality. Bob stated that what our city really needs are good neighbors and he said that, “the majority of the issues that our community is facing would be eliminated or drastically reduced if we could just become a community of people who are great neighbors.” This sparked our network to launch an effort to raise the value of neighboring among the people who attend our churches.
In 2010, twelve of the churches in the network made a commitment to pray for one another in their weekend services. From January to March, we prayed for the needs of a specific congregation and asked our people to pray for those needs throughout the week. The response from those in our churches was powerful and was best summed up by the comment made by a woman who said, “this prayer thing has helped me to realize that we really are on the same team.” We feel that the act of publicly praying for one has been the most important thing that we have done as a network.
What are you focused on now?
We are working towards a school partnership initiative in which individual churches are building relationships with nearby schools. Each church is focusing on ways to address the physical needs of the school, how to best serve the teachers, and spending time tutoring the students. We are also focusing on the relational connectivity of the pastors in our city.