Elevating Change In The Heart Of Denver With World Impact

In the Denver area, World Impact’s key programs are turning the tide, bringing about life and community transformation through hope and healing.

In the heart of Denver County, a startling number of individuals—over 250,000 or 13.9% of its residents—are grappling with poverty. Furthermore, within the working population of Denver, a concerning 4.6% find themselves impoverished. The scenario is even more dire for those out of work, with nearly 29.8% of the unemployed falling below the poverty threshold. Adding to the city’s challenges, homelessness has surged by 31.7% compared to the previous year.

The call for radical change in the Denver community is louder and clearer than ever. Throughout this article, we will explore potential paths to transformation and highlight various efforts that are bringing new life to Denver. We all can work together to begin a fresh start for our beloved city, creating real and lasting positive changes.

Keep reading to explore the different ways World Impact is reaching Denver, or use the table of contents below to navigate through them easily. 

A Vital Role for the Local Church

When individuals in under-resourced communities experience trauma, the local church has historically been a place of hope, providing a space for healing, restoration, and encouragement.

But, what if a community lacks a healthy church?

The urgent need for healing and restoration within numerous Denver neighborhoods drives our unwavering commitment to plant healthy churches in communities of poverty—starting with the training and deploying of church leaders and pastors to establish those places of worship. 

Addressing the Training Gap

A staggering statistic fuels our dedication to training leaders: 

95% of today’s leaders lack formal training for pastoral ministry. 

The fact that only 5 in every 100 people receive adequate training for developing and leading a church in their neighborhood highlights a worrying shortage of skilled leaders. This shortage presents significant obstacles to maintaining healthy churches and growing their communities.

Empowering Through Core Programs

To bridge the training gap, World Impact’s core programs have served as pathways to discipleship and leadership for thousands of men and women over the past 50 years. These programs play a crucial role in preparing individuals for meaningful and robust ministry work within the Kingdom, establishing the groundwork for powerful community engagement.

Those programs include:

  • Church Planting
  • Church-based Seminary
  • Prison Ministry
  • Trauma Healing

Leaders trained by these initiatives are crucial in serving communities in need, especially those affected by poverty where training opportunities are scarce or too expensive. It’s essential that these individuals are provided with the resources and support they need to build prosperous churches and help their communities thrive.

Reaching Denver Neighborhoods

Amid the challenging landscape of under-resourced communities in Denver, World Impact has been actively delivering hope and healing through impactful programs. Dive into these initiatives that are active in Denver and discover how you can also make a difference. 

4 Programs Transforming Denver Today

1. Church Planting

The Evangel School of Urban Church Planting focuses on training church planting teams to effectively reach impoverished urban neighborhoods like the ones we serve in Denver. The classroom teaching and hands-on coaching equip leaders to share the gospel in under-resourced communities.

Graduates receive customized preparation tailored to the unique needs of urban church planting. A key component is learning the importance of building a solid support team. Leaders are trained to do everything as a team instead of alone, which can be a common pitfall among enthusiastic ministers. 

A Contextualized Approach

The Evangel School of Urban Church Planting’s contextualized approach differentiates it from other ministry training programs. Students learn how to plant churches designed to flourish in the unique challenges of urban poverty. They carry this specialized knowledge with them, along with the tools to build a collaborative leadership team. Together, these things set up graduates for sustainable success.

2. Church-Based Seminary

World Impact’s Church-Based Seminary program trains pastors and leaders to:

  • Collaborate with local churches, organizations, or denominations to pinpoint emerging leaders
  • Set up training centers for education
  • Award certification upon successful completion
  • Support graduates as they spearhead revitalization and spiritual development in their communities

Leaders in under-resourced urban areas often lack access to the same caliber of theological education available in more affluent communities. Recognizing this gap, World Impact has instituted learning centers that offer a thorough theological and practical education tailored to equip emerging leaders for effective ministry in urban settings.

The Benefits of Church-Based Seminaries

Meet Tshlaine, whose life was transformed by a Church-Based Seminary, changing her from a struggling single mother to a pastor and mentor. Her profound growth and active ministry demonstrate the power of faith and education in overcoming adversity. 

When you partner with World Impact, you contribute to empowering individuals like Tshlaine, enabling life-changing journeys through ministry training and leadership development.

3.  Prison Ministry

In correctional institutions, our Prison Ministry program offers extensive biblical learning and urban ministry capabilities. Upon completing their sentences, we assist in the seamless reintegration of formerly incarcerated into local congregations, offering continuous mentorship and empowerment. These congregations gain from our specialized training and support, enabling these individuals to successfully reintegrate into society and further their spiritual growth.

Preparing Individuals for Leadership

Through this work, we are committed to creating a lasting impact in underserved urban communities by preparing individuals while they are still incarcerated and empowering churches for post-release ministry. From behind bars to their initial steps after re-entry, we stand with prisoners as they transition into influential spiritual leaders.

4. Trauma Healing

In neglected urban areas, the widespread presence of trauma significantly hinders individuals’ connection with God, highlighting the critical need for our Denver church leaders to be well-versed in trauma healing.

Our Trauma Healing program, crafted in collaboration with the American Bible Society, equips urban ministry leaders with essential skills and insights to run Bible-centered healing groups. Those who complete the program receive a certificate, allowing them to facilitate their groups, thereby extending the reach of healing further.

Read more: Finding Light, Hope, and Healing in the Midst of Trauma and Tragedy: How the Church Became Renee’s Lifeline

Trauma manifests in various ways, including abuse, violence, addiction, racism, incarceration, and loss of home. Our trained leaders are prepared to foster secure environments where people can explore their trauma through Biblical teachings and community support. This process not only aids in healing their wounds but also enhances their spiritual connection, making it possible for them to fully engage with God by overcoming these obstacles.

Transformative Healing and Empowerment

The impact of equipped leaders goes beyond individual healing. They act as agents of transformation, initiating a wave of healing that permeates families, communities, and cities at large.

The trauma healing initiative, as emphasized by Karin Esselstrom, is more than mere training; it’s a life-changing experience for those involved. She reflected: 

“They initially come for training, but as they go through the healing group, they undergo transformative ‘aha’ moments, realizing they too are healing in the process.”

This journey of self-discovery instills in them a profound sense of empathy and comprehension, which are crucial and powerful tools for guiding others in their paths to healing.

Observing such transformations is immensely gratifying for trainers like Karin and plays a crucial role in nurturing a culture of wellness and resilience within communities. The initiative fosters a dynamic cycle of healing and empowerment, transforming those who have healed into pillars of support and well-being, thereby enriching and unifying the community fabric.

Empowering Denver Leaders to Succeed

At World Impact, we believe in meeting leaders wherever they are on their journey. Our comprehensive training paths are designed to empower leaders from diverse backgrounds and callings to excel in ministry.

Every one of the programs is designed for the urban context to train church leaders to train others in their communities. 

It’s the support of our donors that makes this possible.

By equipping more leaders to answer their calling in Denver, we are creating access to thriving churches that uplift and transform underprivileged communities. 

When you give to World Impact, you join us in this mission. 

Will you help to bring healing to Denver by giving today? Together, we can create a big impact as empowered leaders in Denver succeed, multiplying our influence.