Mitch Majeski is a leadership consultant at Peak Solutions and a former pastor of Summitview Church in Fort Collins, Colo. On May 20, Mitch shared how DIFW had influenced his life. Here’s an excerpt from his talk at “The Sounds of Work.”
“I think the best way to tell the impact of Denver Institute on my life is to share a story. I think some of the chapters of my life story have been titled by Denver Institute events.
“One I remember is when they brought in Greg Thompson, senior pastor of Trinity Presbyterian in Charlottesville, Virginia. He shared his own story of leading his church, and leading his church, and to be more in some places where they were not. And that ambition had a dark side.
“As he pushed his church to be more in places where they weren’t quite yet, he would receive their slowness as a disobedience, a lack of faith. And it started to erode his love and affection for his congregation.
“As he was telling that story, he said he misjudged the people he was supposed to love and shepherd. And what they wanted to be was, in faith, fully present to God, who there were, and where they were.
“When he repented from that and started to minster and shepherd them, to be fully who there are and where they are, he saw life.
And I’ll tell you, it was a chapter title in my life story. I remember grabbing him afterwards. It was one of those moments where you don’t want to be that guy, but I had to be that guy. I told him, ‘Greg, I feel like my life is in parallel to that. I’m in the midst of this, and the lights just turned on.’
“And I started weeping. I said, ‘I don’t know where to go from here.’ And he looked me in the eyes. And he was weeping, because he was there, too. And he said, ‘Jesus is risen from the dead.’
“Yes, there’s damage, and even death. But there’s also resurrection and new life. Repentance will create new life.
“As Wendell Berry said, you can find healing if you respect yourself and your congregation as creature, no more, no less. No more than a creature. You can’t self-sustain. You can’t be more than who you are. But rest in that. You are created with a purpose.
“And so work, and neighboring, is our chance to participate in God’s redemption of all things.”
“From that day until this, every time I’ve been exposed to an event with the Denver Institute, that message is driven deeper into my heart. And I’ve pivoted and turned to where I am, and brought that same thing.
“And in an age where the world is asking everybody to be more than who they are, it’s an important moment for us to step into this ministry and what Denver Institute is all about.”
Jeff Haanen is a writer and entrepreneur. He founded Denver Institute for Faith & Work, a community of conveners, teachers and learners offering experiences and educational resources on the gospel, work, and community renewal. He is the author of An Uncommon Guide to Retirement: Finding God’s Purpose for the Next Season of Life and an upcoming two-book series on spiritual formation, vocation, and the working class for Intervarsity Press. He lives with his wife and four daughters in Denver and attends Wellspring Church in Englewood, Colorado.