Connect With Our Experts
Growing the Kingdom in Colorado
Storyline Church pushed through the “good-life” illusion to cultivate a committed congregation. Thanks to a refinanced loan, it’s set to continue thriving for years to come.
In the town of Arvada, Colorado, there are two conflicting pictures. The community’s surface is stunningly beautiful; nestled in the foothills of the Rockies, the area is known for its mountain vistas, neighborhood parks and prosperous populace. But beneath this idyllic image of material contentment lies another — one of spiritual emptiness.
JESUS IS LORD – Watch how Storyline Church is reaching their community in Arvada, Colorado.
“Arvada is a gorgeous community,” says J.T. English, lead pastor of Storyline Church. “Almost every single Coloradoan I’ve met believes they’re here to live the good life. They think they’ve ‘arrived’ — but the reality is there’s so much brokenness underneath.
“About 90 percent of our community is unchurched, which means our neighbors are largely uninterested in a relationship with Jesus.”
The dichotomy between these two worlds — Arvada above and below — is one the church addresses directly. Go to Storyline’s website, and you’ll see one central message: the good life doesn’t come from Colorado.
SEASON OF CELEBRATION – Storyline members connect in the church’s spacious foyer following Sunday morning services. Since its founding in 2015, the young congregation has experienced rapid growth in Arvada, a bustling suburb near Denver.
“One of our values is that Jesus is the good life,” English says. “What we’re trying to do is awaken people from the slumber of this idea that they’re living the good life because they live in the mountains, or because they have their kids on the right sports teams, or because they can afford to call a community like this home.”
Despite Arvada’s spiritual vacuum, people are responding to the message of the Gospel. Storyline has experienced significant growth since its founding as a North American Mission Board church plant in 2015. Nearly every week, someone in the congregation makes the life-changing decision to follow Christ.
For Lindsay Acocella, Storyline’s director of strategy and operations, the expansion has been simultaneously exciting and problematic.
“We’ve seen a lot of consistent growth,” she says, acknowledging that Storyline quickly outgrew its original footprint.
“The question then became: ‘Where are we going to put all these people?’” Acocella adds. “So, we had to come up with a solution.”
Eventually, the church decided to embark on a renovation project at its current campus. Storyline leased the building next door as a dedicated place for middle and high school students and transformed the student ministry’s former home into an adult discipleship area. With so many young families joining the church, major updates were also made to enhance the space for Storyline’s children’s ministry. This focus on youth and children’s ministries was intentional.
“We really believe that the next generation is not the church of tomorrow. It’s the church of today,” Acocella emphasizes. “We want every person — young or old — who comes to Storyline to feel like this isn’t their parents’ church or their grandparents’ church. This is their church.”
The need for a revamped space was clear. The harder part? Paying for it. After the COVID-19 pandemic, Storyline’s leadership team went through a period of searching, balancing God-given vision with available resources.
That’s when Acocella got connected with WatersEdge. “We immediately sensed such a partnership — a like-mindedness of what we were wanting to accomplish,” she says. “Not because we wanted to make Storyline well known, but to be obedient to what we felt like the Lord was calling us to do.”
NEXT GENERATION – Storyline puts a strong emphasis on creating a space for everyone to belong, from the church’s oldest members to its youngest.
English emphasizes that same word: partnership. “It was clear to me from the very first phone call that this was all about the mission of God and seeing Jesus known here,” he says.
Storyline already had a loan for its original building but decided to refinance at a lower rate through WatersEdge, as well as borrow additional funds for the new space and renovations. The total was significant — $7.1 million — but through refinancing, the church saved thousands of dollars each month. Better yet, the interest that Storyline pays on its loan isn’t going to line the pockets of a bank or traditional lender. Through WatersEdge, it’s funding other churches.
“We want everything about Storyline to be Gospel-focused, even the loan for our building,” Acocella says. “With WatersEdge, we know that those funds go back toward Kingdom causes.”
Renovations were completed earlier this year, and Storyline is already seeing the benefits. “I anticipate that the Lord, by His grace, will use this space to advance the Gospel and further the Kingdom of God here in Arvada,” Acocella says. “We’re excited to be a part of it.”
SUNDAY MORNING HUDDLE – Storyline pastors, staff and volunteers meet together to pray every Sunday morning before services begin.
For English, the renovations are the cap to a time of incredible sweetness and joy. “There are seasons churches go through. And we’re in a season of celebration,” he says. “You can’t manufacture this. Our church is happy to know Jesus in deeper ways, to be full of His Holy Spirit, and to be known in community.”
Partnering with Purpose
WatersEdge partners with churches of all sizes to provide biblically grounded loans for new construction, renovation, refinancing and other projects. Unlike traditional financing, a WatersEdge loan returns interest dollars to ministry instead of a bank’s bottom line. Visit our website to learn more, compare rates or apply online.