North Routt: Part of Grace's Story

North Routt: Part of Grace's Story

Posted on June 10, 2017


Do you ever have those moments where you look around and think, “how did I get here?”

I do.

I am a church planter and five years ago I never would have thought that this would be my life. I thank God that He has a bigger imagination than I do.

The Clark Store which is CLark's grocery store, post office, deli, libray and local business. 

When I travel the winding mountain roads, stop for an elk or moose crossing, or look at the cattle grazing as I sip coffee at the local general store, I can’t help but reflect in amazement on how God brought my wife Suzanna and I from the suburbs of Indianapolis to Clark, Colorado.

If you haven’t heard of Clark, you are most certainly in the majority. Clark is a small mountain community nestled about 25 miles north of Steamboat Springs, CO. Clark shares a lot in common with other small, rural towns scattered across America – friendly, slow-paced, hearty and often independent. One thing that sets Clark apart, however, was the absence of a local church for over 100 years.

Today, Clark has a thriving, multi-generational church called North Routt Community Church that has truly invested in their community and taken ownership of the idea that church is not just a building or an event but a people living out the Gospel of Jesus where they are. I couldn’t be more proud of this community and how far we’ve come as a church family.

Worship services at North Routt.

Now, if you are reading this you are probably wondering what all of this has to do with Grace Church.

Five years ago, I was in an ongoing conversation with Keith Carlson & Aaron Elliott about leading a new church plant in the mountains of northwest Colorado. The connective tissue of this story were members at Grace who had purchased a guest ranch in Clark several years prior to these conversations. To their surprise, Clark did not have a local church. That didn’t sit right with them and they, along with other local believers, prayed about what God might do among them to see a church become a reality. Their bold faithfulness was the kingdom seed that God was about to cultivate into a church. All I can say is that I am thankful for the prayer and faith of the many before me who laid the foundation.

Baptism weekend at North Routt.

On a personal level, I am sure there was a lot of external head nodding during those early conversations but internally my doubt and insecurity were articulating an emphatic, “Nope! There is no way you can do this.” In my head I began to list the reasons why I was not the guy for the job:

I’m too young.

I don’t have enough experience.

I’m a mediocre preacher.

I don’t know if I’ll fit in.

And on and on my “woe is me” monologue continued in a spiral of insecurity and self-pity. But thankfully, I had mentors at Grace who believed in me more than I did. Those relationships were extremely influential, and they spoke words of encouragement and calling into my places of insecurity. I had been developed at Grace over the previous 2 years, interning in the young adult ministry with David Bell. David had been discipling me that whole time which is a testament to his and Grace’s determination to see disciples of Jesus built up and sent out into God’s kingdom mission.

David Bell officiating our wedding ceremony.

If you call Grace Church your home, I believe you have a lot to be proud of and a lot to be excited for as God uses you as a catalyst of church planting in Indiana and around the world.

This could have easily been a story of what could have been. But by God’s faithfulness, North Routt Community Church is a part of Grace’s story and Grace is an invaluable part of ours.

My wife, Suzanna, and I.


What a beautiful story!

Posted by Lois Crawford on July 8, 2017 @ 10:39 am

Wow! What a fantastic story...of your journey, of God's faithfulness, of two churches...amazing! Thank you for sharing, David!

Posted by Steve Perkins on July 7, 2017 @ 11:34 pm

So proud of my amazing son-in-law and daughter! Love you guys!!! Keep up the good work!

Posted by Chuck Dsvis on June 16, 2017 @ 7:31 pm