Pastoring Beyond the Pandemic

Pastoring Beyond the Pandemic

Pastoring Beyond the Pandemic - yellow caution sign with coronavirus graphic
Presented by CCU's Thriving Church Initiative.

With the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent government restrictions, the church has been rocked for an entire year, resulting in a new understanding of what it takes to be the church in extreme times. Church leaders have reported an increased sense of isolation, new technology expenses amidst declining giving, and even burnout to the point of leaving the ministry. Now that vaccines are being rolled out and social restrictions are easing, it is time to consider pastoring beyond the pandemic.

This annual pastors conference held on the evening of Thursday, March 18 and the morning of Friday, March 19 is intended to inspire pastors and ministry leaders with a renewed vision for faithful ministry as the world returns to normal and yet will never be the same.

Download the Pastoring Beyond the Pandemic program.

Conference Overview

Thursday, March 18, 6:30-8:30 p.m. MDT

On Thursday night, CCU President Donald Sweeting will provide encouragement from a historical context,view by drawing insights from of how the church has overcome fiery trials in the past. In addition, best-selling author and evangelist Lee Strobel will give a keynote address on how the church’s mission for effective evangelism is still taking place during the pandemic and how outreach will look in the future. This evening session will conclude with an opportunity to submit questions online.

Friday, March 19, 9:00-11:00 a.m. MDT

On Friday morning, four local pastors (David Anderson, Dan Freng, Dr. Mark Hallock, and Gary McQuinn) will talk practically about the effects of the pandemic on local churches, adjustments that were undertaken, and plans for the future beyond the pandemic. This morning session will conclude with a panel discussion and opportunity to submit questions online.

For questions, please email the Thriving Church Initiative at

Thursday Speakers

Dr. Donald W. Sweeting

Dr. Sweeting portrait photo Dr. Donald W. Sweeting is a pastor and educator. He received his B.A. in history from Lawrence University. At Oxford University in England he read theology and studied church history, receiving a B.A. and M.A. degree. He later earned his Ph.D. in historical theology at Trinity International University.

For more than 20 years Sweeting served as a pastor, first as a church planter in northern Illinois, then coming to Colorado to serve as the senior pastor at Cherry Creek Presbyterian Church in Greenwood Village. While at Cherry Creek, Sweeting was an adjunct faculty member at Denver Seminary teaching church history. He joined the Board of Trustees at Colorado Christian University where he served as the chairman of the Academic Affairs Committee under President Bill Armstrong.

In 2010, Sweeting was called to become the president of Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida. There he was also named the James Woodrow Hassel Professor of Church History. In 2016, Sweeting was named the president of Colorado Christian University.

Sweeting speaks and preaches around the country and has published numerous articles for well-known magazines and scholarly journals. He also co-authored two books and is working on several others.

He and his wife, Christina, (who teaches New Testament Greek at CCU) have three sons and a daughter.

Lee Strobel

Dr. Sweeting portrait photo Atheist-turned-Christian Lee Strobel, the former award-winning legal editor of the Chicago Tribune, is a New York Times best-selling author of more than 40 books and curricula that have sold 14 million copies in total. He has been described in the Washington Post as “one of the evangelical community’s most popular apologists.”

Strobel was educated at the University of Missouri (Bachelor of Journalism) and Yale Law School (Master of Studies in Law). He was a journalist for 14 years at the Chicago Tribune and other newspapers, winning Illinois’ highest honor for public service journalism from United Press International. He also led a team that won UPI’s top award for investigative reporting in Illinois.

After probing the evidence for Jesus for nearly two years, Strobel became a Christian in 1981. He subsequently became a teaching pastor at three of America’s largest churches and hosted the national network TV program, “Faith Under Fire.” In addition, he taught First Amendment law at Roosevelt University and was professor of Christian thought at Houston Baptist University.

In 2017, Strobel’s spiritual journey was depicted in an award-winning motion picture, “The Case for Christ,” which was shown in theaters across America and around the world. The movie is still on Netflix. Strobel won national awards for his books The Case for Christ, The Case for Faith, The Case for a Creator, and The Case for Grace. His latest book is The Case for Miracles.

Currently, Strobel is founding director of the Lee Strobel Center for Evangelism and Applied Apologetics at Colorado Christian University. He and his wife, Leslie, have been married for 47 years. Their daughter, Alison, is a novelist, and their son, Kyle, is a professor of spiritual theology at the Talbot School of Theology at Biola University.

Friday Speakers

Gary McQuinn

Dr. Mark Hallock black and white photo Gary McQuinn earned his B.A. in biblical languages from Northland International University and his M.A. in biblical theology and exegesis from Wheaton College. From 2010 to 2014, McQuinn helped plant and pastor The Crossing Church in Fort Collins and launched Porterbrook Colorado, part of a theological training network that equips leaders of gospel-centered missional communities. In 2014, McQuinn and his family came to Denver to join Park Church where he serves as the lead pastor. He also serves as the central Colorado area leader for Acts 29. McQuinn and his wife, Jamie, have been married for 14 years and have three children.

Dan Freng

Dr. Mark Hallock black and white photo Dan Freng earned his B.S. from Southwest Minnesota State University and his M.Div. from Denver Seminary. Freng planted and has served as lead pastor at Calvary Church in Littleton since fall 2013. Freng is also the vice president of the Calvary Family of Churches, an interdependent family of churches committed to planting and replanting churches for the glory of God ( Freng has been married to Kelly for 20 years, and they have five children.

Dr. Mark Hallock

Dr. Mark Hallock black and white photo Dr. Mark Hallock earned his B.A. from Eastern University, his M.Div. from Denver Seminary, and his D.Min. from Westminster Theological Seminary. He has been the lead pastor at Calvary Church in Englewood since 2009. Hallock is also president of the Calvary Family of Churches, an interdependent family of churches committed to planting and replanting churches for the glory of God ( He is grateful for his wife, Jenna, and loves being a daddy to their two kids. Follow Hallock on Twitter @markhallock.

David Anderson

Dr. Mark Hallock black and white photo David Anderson serves as pastor-teacher of Littleton Bible Chapel, in Littleton. From a young age, Anderson felt a call from God to serve the Lord. He came to CCU in the fall of 1998 where he earned a B.A. in speech communication. In 2005 he graduated from Denver Seminary. While attending CCU, Anderson began a preaching ministry and later started pastoring a church in Englewood at the end of his senior year.

Since his time at CCU, Anderson has given his life to the study and proclamation of God’s Word. He has a passion for the multiplication of healthy, biblical, New Testament patterned churches. He has a strong desire to raise up more preachers and qualified elders.

Anderson also serves in a ministry called Biblical Eldership Resources which aims to strengthen church leaders and train the next generation. He speaks nationally and internationally on the topics of expository preaching, biblical eldership, and protecting churches and families against the “tsunami of secularization.”

Anderson is married to Lonnalee, and they have three kids.

You can follow Anderson’s ministry at: and