Hope everyone is doing well and hope your summer is filled by connecting with friends and family and enjoying this beautiful state of Colorado.   Things have been busy here at Northern Hills as we continue to seek God’s wisdom and direction in terms of staffing.

A few months ago we discussed a need to fill key lead positions in the following areas:

  1. Worship
  2. Students
  3. Teaching
  4. Children

Over the last few months we have filled two of these positions.

Worship– We filled this position with Jacque Kruetzer in March.  Jacque has done such a great job of continuing the excellence of our worship and challenging us to grow in our ability to worship.  I am not sure if you were here a couple weeks ago for the last song “Joyful, Joyful”, what a great time of celebrating the joy that God has created inside each of us.  I think I may have seen that some of Northern Hills even tapping your toes.  Jacque has also led us to set aside some time for a Night of Worship.  If you haven’t been to one yet, I highly encourage you to watch the bulletin for the next one and be sure to attend.

Students– We filled this position with Sam Peketz. Sam has done a great job of leading our students and rallying a new level of excitement and energy while building a great team of adult leaders. A couple of weekends ago we saw a great example of the outcomes that we are seeing from our Student Ministry as we saw the 3 students that were baptized.  What many of you didn’t see were the students that were here on Saturday night for a bonfire that was interrupted by a heavy downpour. The students escaped into the building only to find that the water was making its way into our building.  The students all rallied to find mops and brooms and whatever they could find to clean up the water so we wouldn’t find it that way Sunday morning.  Talk about living out our core value of We Serve Like Crazy.

So that leaves us with the leads for Teaching and for Children’s. Today we will discuss the area of Teaching. We have many people ask how we are coming on the lead pastor search. Over the last six months the Elders and StratOp team have been praying and seeking God’s direction on how we would address the teaching at Northern Hills. The decision has been made not to hire a lead pastor but instead, we will fill the teaching lead position by a teaching team. This will look a lot like what you have seen over the last six months or so in regards to teaching on Sunday Morning.

Currently, our teaching team is comprised of:

  • Rob Kelly, Elder at NHills & Compassion Int’l Church Relations Manager
  • RJ Koerper, President of Global Action
  • Brandon Freyta, Adult & Family Director at NHills

On Sunday I announced that we had hired a fourth member of the Teaching Team in Loren Jones. Loren will serve as Connections Pastor in addition to his teaching responsibilities.

Loren comes to us with over 15 years of church ministry experience, including time as a youth pastor and lead pastor in a church plant.  He also has additional ministry experience with Young Life as a team leader and area director.

We are so happy to have Loren, his wife Keri, and his kids Abbi, Emily, Rachel, and Hanna join the NH staff family.

Loren will have some short term and long term objectives as he joins. Initially much of his time will be in leading our teaching team and gathering a group of us to plan out series for the future. Once we get into a rhythm with this. he will be able to devote more of his attention to the area of Connections and developing a plan for how this will look for Northern Hills in the future.

We believe Loren is a big part of God’s plan for Northern Hills as we move forward in being a church that:

  • Believes it’s okay not to be okay, but it’s not okay to stay that way.
  • Seeks God desperately.
  • Prays expectantly.
  • Serves like crazy.
  • Gives until it hurts
  • Doesn’t go it alone.
  • Is introducers.

If you see Loren on Sunday, welcome him and his family and keep them in your prayers as they embark on this new adventure.

I continue to be encouraged about what God is doing at Northern Hills and even more excited about what He will do. Thank you to all who are part of the Northern Hills Church family.


Jon Holtorf
Executive Pastor