Spotlight Interview with Keith Baldridge

By Prestonwood Network Staff

Prestonwood Network: Can you share with us how God led you and your family to plant a church in the Denver area?

Keith Baldridge: A few years ago my wife and I began praying relentlessly for God to confirm in our lives what was already stirring in our hearts. If He was truly calling us to quit my job and plant a church, how would He provide financially? After months of prayer, I received a call from Carrie, a woman we’d recently ministered to after she’d lost her husband and two college-aged sons in a horrific car accident. She said, “Keith, God kept me up all night, for some reason, He wants me to give you $25,000 for your ministry.” Until this point, we hadn’t shared with anyone what was stirring in our hearts. I told her how we’d sensed God calling us to plant a church but we’d been asking God to show us how He’d provide. This was the nudge we needed to go all in. It was clear what God was doing; this was an unmistakable answer to our prayers. Carrie cheerfully agreed!

This began a totally new season of prayer for us as we started asking God to show us where in the world He was actually calling us. We prayed through a few different cities that had always been on our hearts but we had absolutely no peace whatsoever. That is, until we came to Broomfield in northwest Denver. This place, these people, it was so clear—this was it!

Several months later, I reached out to Carrie to update her. I told her that God had led us to a suburb in northwest Denver called Broomfield. There was silence for a moment and then she said, “You’ve got to be kidding me! Broomfield is where I was born and raised!” Speechless, I knew God was weaving together an incredible story that we might’ve missed had we not taken the risk to follow Jesus’ calling on our lives. It was truly a special day when we launched the church, Carrie was in attendance and it just so happened to be the second anniversary of her family’s death. What was once a dark and dismal day had been redeemed for the glory of God!

Prestonwood Network: Looking back at your first year after planting The Living Stone Church, what was the greatest thing that God taught you?

Keith Baldridge: I learned that spiritual warfare is not only real; it is certain for those who choose to step out in faith. On the other hand, I’m also learning about the power of prayer. A few months after we launched the church, I found my 6-year-old daughter having a grand mal seizure. Her lips and face were blue and she wasn’t breathing. Naturally, I assumed she was dying in my arms. I laid her out on the dining room table and was about to begin CPR when I saw that glorious first shallow breath. The paramedics came and whisked her away in the ambulance.

Until that point, I’d told God that I’d follow Him at any cost—no matter what the Enemy threw our way. However, as I followed the ambulance through the snow that morning, I couldn’t truthfully say that I was still in this, not at this cost.

Later that night, still with no answers, I had a moment that almost resembled Peter’s words to Jesus in John 6:68. I said, “God, where else would I go?” I knew God was in this fight with us; I knew He wouldn’t leave us here either. What in the world did I have to fear?

In the months to follow, I reached out to everyone I knew, asking them to pray for my daughter. She was diagnosed with epilepsy and was actually having dozens of seizures every day. Fast forward to last month, when we had her tested again—she is 100% seizure free, exactly what we’ve been praying for!

Prestonwood Network: How do you personally prioritize and protect time with your family?

Keith Baldridge: Family should always be my primary ministry. I’ve found the best way for me to protect time with family is to block off certain days or evenings as “family time.” Barring some sort of an emergency, these times and days are sacred and non-negotiable. Recently, I was able to spend quite a bit of one-on-one time with Jim Cymbala, Pastor of The Brooklyn Tabernacle and author of Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire. He encouraged me to invest time every week in Sabbath, allowing God to pour into me through His Word or through other authors, since I’m constantly pouring myself out. This has been very transformational for me lately.

Prestonwood Network: As a church planter, why is partnership with other churches and mission groups so important?

Keith Baldridge: For me personally, partner churches and mission teams are essential to our mission. They pray for and with us, serve alongside us, support us financially and encourage us tremendously. We are much further along because of the time, money and energy they invest through The Living Stone to further the kingdom.

Prestonwood Network: What happened this past Easter that The Living Stone is celebrating?

Keith Baldridge: This Easter, we had the largest attendance to date! With 350+ people in attendance, we had 20 confirmed salvations and five baptisms, with another round coming soon!

Prestonwood Network: How do you practice personal evangelism, and how do you equip your church to do the same?

Keith Baldridge: Each year we host several major outreach events such as a free Fall Festival, free Photos with Santa and free swimming at our city’s aquatic center, just to name a few. These events have allowed us to engage our community on neutral ground, plus give us an opportunity to form relationships that lead to deeper conversations about the Gospel. Most of our people have become really good at connecting with people at these events, and it’s beautiful to watch people grow as they connect with people and point them to Jesus!

Prestonwood Network: What are a few ministries that you are most excited about this summer?

Keith Baldridge: VBS, hands down! Last summer we had 175 kids at our VBS, and we presented the Gospel every single night. As a result, many kids prayed to receive Christ, which led to further conversations with parents. We’ve actually seen whole families come to know Christ through last year’s VBS, so as you can imagine, I’m really pumped for VBS this year!

I’m also pretty pumped about some of the other outreach events we host. For example, we rent out Broomfield Bay, our city’s aquatic center, for free swimming for the whole family. We typically see anywhere from 400 to 500 people attend large outreach events such as this.

Prestonwood Network: How can the Prestonwood Network pray for you?

Keith Baldridge: Church planting is a grind on every level imaginable. Aside from the daily tasks, there’s the emotional and spiritual drain that, if left unchecked, can become catastrophic. However, I’m learning from Jesus’ ministry. He actually walked away from crowds at times to pursue intimacy with His Father. Through that example, I have a clear understanding that my primary calling isn’t ministry; it’s intimacy with the Father. Please pray that I’d be able to live and lead this way for my wife, kids, staff, leadership and church.

Prestonwood Network: Thank you for your time, Keith. We are grateful for your commitment to the work of the Gospel and to advancing God’s kingdom. You and your family have our prayers.

Keith Baldridge serves as Pastor of Teaching and Vision at The Living Stone Church in Broomfield, Colorado.

More information on The Living Stone Church can be found at thelivingstone.church. Please feel free to share a word of encouragement or prayer with Pastor Keith at keith@thelivingstone.church.