Inside a Growing Church That Unchurched People Love with Doug Dameron

Thanks so much for joining us for this episode of the unSeminary podcast. We’ve got a great interview today with Doug Dameron, the founding and lead pastor of Orchard Church in Colorado. He is with us to talk about how their church is reaching out in their part of the world.

Doug and his family came to Denver in July 2005, parachuting into adventure of starting a church. They had no friends or family there, but they knew it was the fourth most unchurched metropolitan city in the country with 90% of the people claiming no church affiliation. Doug had grown up in Oklahoma, in a place where churches were everywhere, and when his family would visit Denver for skiing they noticed the lack of churches in the area. God told Doug and his family that churches were needed in Denver and so they obeyed His call, moved to Denver, and started a bible study group in their living room 13 years ago that lead to starting the church.

  • Focus on needs. // In order to reach unchurched people or people who no longer attend church, Doug and Orchard Church focus on trying to meet people’s needs. They preach on the scriptures in a way that people can connect with them. When they ask people what draws them to Orchard, the thing they hear most often is that they keep it real, and that is one of their values. They want to make the experience real and down to earth so that the person can walk away thinking that they can apply what they heard in the sermon while at work or with their family.
  • Be open about struggle. // The more open and honest Doug can be about his own struggles and failures, the better he can connect with people around him. Even as a pastor, he doesn’t act like he’s got it all figured out. He’s found that the more he can be open and honest about his life, the more he can connect with others.
  • Present the Gospel each week. // At Orchard, Doug presents the Gospel every week in every service. Some of the members of his church tell him that one of the reasons they come to the church is because they share the gospel there every week and then give members the opportunity to respond. There is an average of about 80-100 first time guests at Orchard each week and many of them don’t know Christ, so Doug uses the sermons at Orchard to present the Gospels to everyone, including these first time guests, and lets them hear the truth about Christ and about God’s Word.
  • Connect the Gospel to life. // No matter what you preach about, you can always bring your word back to the cross and Christ. Orchard just recently did a four-week series on finances and the way to bring that back to Christ is by reminding your people that He gave His life for us, that God is a giver and He gave. No matter what they are preaching about, they always end with the Gospel and give people the chance to say yes to Jesus if they haven’t already.
  • Complexity crashes, simplicity scales. // The more that Orchard is growing and the bigger they are getting, they’re finding that they have to keep things simple or they will get too complex to maintain. One of their values is that they love people more than programs, and so the bigger they get, the simpler and smaller they get to stay laser-focused on their mission.

You can learn more about Orchard Church at their website or get in contact with Doug by emailing him.

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Lightning Round

Helpful Tech Tools // Readitfor.me, StudyLeadership.com, Ministry Grid

Ministries Following // Life Church

Influential Book // “Breaking Growth Barriers” by Anthony Fouts, “The Unstuck Church: Equipping Churches to Experience Sustained Health” by Tony Morgan, “The 5 Levels of Leadership: Proven Steps to Maximize Your Potential” by John C. Maxwell

Influential Leader // Craig Groeschel

What you do for fun // anything outdoors

Contact // website http://www.orchard.church/ or email Doug

Thank You to This Episode’s Sponsor: Leadership Pathway

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Rich Birch
Rich Birch is one of the early multi-site church pioneers in North America. He led the charge in helping The Meeting House in Toronto to become the leading multi-site church in Canada with over 5,000+ people in 18 locations. In addition, he served on the leadership team of Connexus Church in Ontario, a North Point Community Church Strategic Partner. He has also been a part of the lead team at Liquid Church - a 5 location multisite church serving the Manhattan facing suburbs of New Jersey. Liquid is known for it’s innovative approach to outreach and community impact. Rich is passionate about helping churches reach more people, more quickly through excellent execution.His latest book Church Growth Flywheel: 5 Practical Systems to Drive Growth at Your Church is an Amazon bestseller and is design to help your church reach more people in your community.