Calvary Castle Rock: Roots Ministry
Calvary Castle Rock: Roots Ministry

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Young Adult Ministry at Calvary Castle Rock ‘Roots’ Young Adults in Truth and Warm Fellowship

Story by Margot Bass
Photos by Tom Price

On Sunday nights, nearly 70 young adults come to Calvary Castle Rock, CO, for strong biblical teaching and warm fellowship that lingers long after the service. Teacher Chris Kroger and his wife Nicole have allowed God’s dramatic transformation of their broken lives to pave the way for this vibrant ministry—Roots.

Roots is a diverse group of students, singles, married couples, and parents between 18 to 30 years old. “Some have grown up in the church and faithfully still attend, and others have walked away from faith and are finding themselves drawn back. Some who have never stepped foot in a church and were invited by a friend are coming to know the Lord,” Chris stated. He enjoys reaching out to those struggling with drug and alcohol dependency.

Chris preaching

Chris Kroger, young adult pastor at Calvary Castle Rock, teaches at a Roots meeting.

“My wife and I really have a heart for this generation, having been saved out of a life apart from the Lord. These young adults are hungry for the truth of the Gospel, which is changing people,” he explained. “We’re not reinventing the wheel—we’re just worshiping God for who He is.” As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving (Colossians 2:6-7).

A Mini-Revival

Senior Pastor Dave Love is excited about Roots. “These young adults are reaching out to their friends, who come and get saved,” he declared. “It’s like a mini-revival, and it’s exciting for our body to hear about young adults getting excited for Christ. It shows that God is moving when young people are able to say, when bombarded with temptation, ‘I’m going to do it God’s way.’”

Chris talking to man with Bible in hand

Chris mentors a young man who attends Roots, the ministry for post-high school adults.

From Addiction to Ministry

Chris, an addict for 15 years, did not grow up in the church, and was an outspoken unbeliever before he was “radically” saved in Chicago in 2007. “That was my last run with drugs and alcohol. My wife was going to divorce me, and we had two little girls,” he said. “But God restored my marriage and my family.” He found Calvary Castle Rock during travel for job training. “I remember telling Nicole, ‘I found a church, and you’re not going to believe it—it has this crazy idea of teaching the Bible verse by verse.’ We had never experienced that before,” he added. They relocated to Castle Rock in 2009 and never left the church. “The Lord worked in short order; we grew supernaturally,” he noted. Within two years, he was serving on staff as a worship leader and helping in senior high youth ministry.

They started Roots four years ago to provide ministry to high school graduates, then a small group of eight meeting casually on Saturday nights to study God’s Word. “That number doubled, and our core group of 15 to 20 were now our leaders and had grown up in the Lord; they had a heart to reach their generation and the community,” Chris recounted. In November 2018, they switched to Sunday night services.

Students sit and listen to teaching

Young adults who attend Roots pay careful attention to the teaching, while taking notes.

The young believers have come to own the ministry, Chris observed, taking responsibility for worship, sound and media, set-up, food, prayer, and greeting. They also serve in the main church, some with the youth. Chris and Nicole encourage discipleship through separate men’s and women’s Bible studies. Among their activities, Roots hosts an evangelistic concert outreach in downtown Castle Rock. You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also (2 Timothy 2:1-2).

A Changed Family

Believers Kasey and Rachel Hawks had stopped attending church before coming to Roots in late 2018. Rachel was ready with excuses when a co-worker, Maddie, invited her. “I really didn’t want to go. But I knew I had the perfect excuse because I work Sunday mornings,” she admitted. When Maddie replied that the service was on Sunday night, she countered that the couple had a baby. “I thought because it was a young adult service, there was no way they provided childcare. Maddie answered that even that was taken care of,” Rachel said.

Guy plays with baby

Caedon Davis (right) enjoys a Roots baby.

Rachel and her extended family had faced difficult issues over the years. “I had been looking for a ministry where things weren’t sugarcoated, for a pastor who recognized that life can be really hard, even if you’re a follower of Jesus. But Jesus doesn’t necessarily make everything easy. I really liked that Chris taught that,” she recalled. “It’s not that Jesus doesn’t improve our lives; sometimes He does it in a way that we don’t expect.”

Rachel soon realized that Chris might be able to relate to her brother Jonny, who was dealing with substance use and PTSD symptoms. Her parents came to a Roots service and met Chris, who encouraged them to call him anytime. Jonny soon met with Chris. Jonny said, “He listened to my story and told me his story, and he didn’t seem to do any judging. I felt like God was reaching out to me right then.” He accepted Christ that day. “I’ve been meeting every week with Chris ever since then. It’s amazing how much in this short time God has worked in my life,” he added. His parents now attend Calvary Castle Rock, and he attends Roots weekly. “I walk away from Roots every time feeling encouraged,” he concluded.

Girls hugging

Brianne Davis (left) and Jenna Coffman greet each other warmly at a Roots meeting.

 

All verses above are quoted from the New King James Version.

© 2020 Calvary Chapel Magazine. All rights reserved. Articles or photographs may not be reproduced without the written permission of CCM. All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.® Used by permission.

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