- Contact Us
God's Pursuit through Fort Collins' Pursuit Church
By Amber Cassady
Fort Collins, Colo.- Two short years ago, The Pursuit Church was doing a series of three preview services with 60 to 80 people in attendance at each as they tried to establish a presence among the Fort Collins community. Now visiting their regular services of approximately 200 people on Sunday mornings, it is remarkable to see how God has expanded their ministry lead by Pastor Alan Reed as they serve and share the love of Christ.
“We were hoping we would be at this point so soon there is always that uncertainty,” Reed said. “Church planting is like a declaration of war. It is painful. It is hard, but it is beautiful and you reach people that would not normally be reached in another churches.”
Immeasurable life transformations have happened at The Pursuit since 2009 when the Reed family moved to Fort Collins to start the church. Christ-instilled values centered on humility, loving relationships, teamwork, truth and reaching the world beyond their church have attracted many to check out just what The Pursuit is all about.
One such person is a new Fort Collins transplant, Leo Glass, who began to visit The Pursuit in December 2011. “When I first started attending services at Pursuit, I was distracted thinking about things at work,” Glass explained. “But when my mom was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer, I began to really pay attention to what was going on at church.”
Often before preaching Pastor Reed will ask those in attendance to pray that the Lord will open their hearts to what He wants them to hear. Glass began to pray this, and he felt God revealing sin in his life that needed to change. “I realized lots of things in my life were getting in the way of loving God back,” he said.
An English major in college, Glass said he used to view the Bible as archaic and inaccessible. He would read mostly to analyze the literary devices within and critically doubted its implications for his life. But as Glass read through the Gospels, again in April and May 2011, he felt he was actually being transformed by what he was reading.
Glass works with fraternities and sororities across the country to teach them to be better recruiters and leaders- an occupation that helped him especially relate to the gospel of Matthew. “[This book] really spoke to me,” Glass said. “Jesus asked Matthew to be a fisher of men for him. I have been asking people to be fishers of men my whole life- its part of my career. It then donned on me that Jesus wanted me to be a fisher for Him.”
Jesus used that among other truths to ultimately lead Glass to recently make the biggest decision of his life- to accept Christ as his personal Savior. He now attends the “Next Steps” class at The Pursuit Church, participates in the church’s outreaches, and meets with Pastor Reed on a regular basis as he continues on this new journey of walking with Christ. “Making choices now as a Christian has been hard,” said Glass. “But also better and easier because I feel the love of Christ in my heart.” Glass was baptized at The Pursuit Church on Father’s Day, June 17.
“The Pursuit is awesome. They focus so much on loving relationships and allowing that to make room for God’s will in people’s lives and for faith to be shared,” Glass noted appreciatively.
Glass is a part of the approximately 30 percent of people at The Pursuit Church, according to Reed, who have been believers less than three or four years. Another 30 percent of their body is made up of those who have some church background but left it behind and are now coming back to the Lord through the church, and the remaining 40 percent of the make-up of The Pursuit are move-ins to the community who have been previously churched.
Outside of Sunday mornings, The Pursuit Church provides a number of different ways to get involved including community groups, ministries to the homeless of Fort Collins, and other service opportunities with partnering local non-profits and charities such as the Namqua Center and the McKinney Backpack Initiative also working to serve the area.
There are nine different community groups that meet at various times throughout the week in leaders’ homes or local coffee shops to fellowship and go deeper into God’s Word. Only three of the groups are lead by The Pursuit staff. Individuals who have been ministered to through the church and are now serving as leaders facilitate the remaining six community groups.
One of Pursuit’s biggest locally focused outreaches is the All-Star Kids Games. This summer will be the second consecutive year for The Pursuit, alongside volunteers from partnering Lakepoint Church from Rockwall, Texas, to provide a children’s summer day camp revolving around sports and family values with the intention of reaching families for Christ. This year the camp will be held daily July 9-13 from 9:30 am until 12:30 pm. Kids will have the opportunity to split off into specialized activities for the sport they choose from the nine options available this year including basketball, soccer, football and even journalism. To date, more than 130 children are already registered to participate this year.
Whether it is on Sunday morning services, in community groups or playing at All-Star kids camp, The Pursuit Church of Fort Collins is striving to be a group of people where outsiders and believers alike can find the Truth and be a part of expanding God’s kingdom through loving relationships as God seeks out their hearts. Glass said, “Pursuit Church is aptly named, because it represents God pursuing us into a relationship with Him.”
*Photos taken by Amber Cassady*
Amber Cassady is the missional correspondent for the Longs Peak Baptist Association of Colorado and is a senior communication & journalism student at Texas A&M University.