The Faces of The Littleton Church Plant

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Meet Lanny & Carla Arensen, if you haven’t already.  Chances are, if you’ve been at Wellspring for even a short amount of time, they have met you.  A couple with hearts that beat to welcome people into God’s house and His work, they are out to meet new faces each week.  Their gift of hospitality, both at home and at church, is a gift the church plant in Littleton will be infinitely blessed by.

Lanny tells me how this heart to join the church plant began, on their first visit to Wellspring.  They just happened to show up on a Sunday morning when the Discovery Class was being offered, so they thought this introductory class would be a great way get to know what Wellspring was all about.  And they weren’t disappointed. “Billy told us of his vision for a huge church, but not in the way we thought.  Not a big building with thousands of congregants, but for church plants all over Denver,” Lanny voices. “We joined Wellspring because of the plant.  We knew we wanted to be a part of this work.”  Carla tells me more about how this plant mirrors much of their lifetime of work in Africa, “We think missionally and we think locally.  We want to see new things happen.”  Back in the fall when the church plant group started meeting on Tuesday nights, the focus was prayer.  Now the meetings are on Sunday nights, with a focus to build the community up, in, and out into the Kingdom.  Lanny tells me about the small groups that are forming, “We are all apprentices in this business. It is good to remember our need to be discipled.”  Once the missional community meetings began, Lanny and Carla wanted prayer to continue, “to bolster up the church in Littleton, schools in the area, and the city leaders,” Carla shares. “We did prayer walks around the neighborhood.  We lead a prayer group each time we meet.  Tim told us from the beginning that he wanted to hear God through all of us.”  Those in the missional community are shaping and forming the church plant, after all, we are The Church.

Meet Mary Feeney, a woman whose infectious laughter radiates the joy the Lord has planted in her.  You’ve probably seen her greeting, teaching Sunday School, and volunteering however Wellspring will let her.  Her love of the Gospel, and sharing it with others, is apparent to anyone who has met her.  She tells me how her seminary classes in the Justice & Mission program have impacted how she views evangelism. “I started thinking about how much I wanted people to experience the Gospel. I was inviting people to Wellspring, but it wasn’t forced.  I genuinely wanted them to experience what I experience at church.  The plant is going to be an extension of the same Wellspring.”  She has experienced growth and vulnerable community in the missional community group, “The vision of these meetings is, to me anyway, just being a close knit community that brings others in.”

How can those who are staying at Wellspring Englewood support these ministers of the Gospel as they go out into Littleton?  Mary tells me, “There are going to be a lot of holes in service.  The people who are staying are going to have to step up and fill them.”  And with a laugh, “ You can still have us over for dinner.  We aren’t vanishing.”  “We would hope that being in another church wouldn’t stop the relationships.  We still want to come to Connecting Dinners at the Gayle’s,” Lanny tells me with a smile.  Carla talks about leaving with a bittersweet tone, “We thought, ‘We will only be at Wellspring for a year before the plant goes out, we will be fine leaving,’ but there is a heart wrench.  We are going to miss you guys.  Maybe we need an understanding of that, that this is hard for us too.  And also, we aren’t being sent off somewhere crazy, we are still Wellspring.”

If you are interested in learning more about the Littleton Church Plant, contact Tim Soots or join the Missional Community on Sundays from 4:00-6:00pm at Wellspring.

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