All Posts By

Pete Heiniger

You Belong Here

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Discovery Students are revolutionaries. They are starting an Uprising, stirring Mayhem, and beginning The Rebellion. They are stirring the water in Colorado Springs and far beyond. They are putting their feet to the ground and putting actions to their words. Their mission is simple: hope to the hopeless, freedom to the captives, and rescue to the brokenhearted.

We are continuing the rebellion that Jesus started when he came back. Our student environments at Discovery are an intentional place where your story is safe and welcome. We are here to walk into every messy, difficult part and we want to celebrate with you when life is going really well.

This Website

We’ve created this place for you to encounter who we are: our staff, our volunteers, and our students. Check out our Environments and see where you can come hang out, or look at our Next Steps, where there are some awesome ways for you dive deeper!

We’ll be updating this space to introduce you to some awesome leaders and provide snippets from the series we’re in each month. You’ll also get a chance to read some great blog posts from different people on our team.

There’s a lot to check out on our site, please take a look around!

Join Us

We’d love to have you serve alongside us as well. Our students need vulnerable, authentic adults like you to walk through life with. When teens are pushed, believed in, and loved, they have the ability to change the world. If nothing else, they’ll certainly change yours.

If you’re in 5th-12th grade- we’re so excited that you have considered joining us at one of our weekly services. You belong here, and we already see you as another member of of our wild family. If you want to know what it means to love others with no strings attached, you have come to the right place.

How to Talk to Your Kids About Faith

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I remember having a lot of questions about faith as a kid. I mean a lot. I didn’t always feel comfortable asking my parents or my pastor about them, so I wrote them down in a journal. There were endless questions from the meaning of life and the existence of God to if it was okay to listen to New Kids on the Block.

One of the biggest questions I had was, “What is faith?” The biblical answer I heard from the pulpit – “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen” (Hebrews 11:1) – felt so ethereal it was of no earthly good to me – until I really needed it.

I remember the day I found out something I had been praying for was not going to happen. My faith was crushed to the core. For the first time in my short life I thought I had really believed and prayed with faith, so when faith failed me, I questioned myself and God. I thought maybe there was something faulty with the way I prayed, or faulty with faith itself. My faith was negatively impacted because I didn’t understand its nature.

As a mom, I want my girls to grow up feeling comfortable asking questions, and sometimes that means facilitating the conversation. Here are a few points I shared with my 6 year old that perhaps you could use to talk to your kids about faith as well.

1. Faith has more than one meaning.

Faith can mean the act of believing or the belief itself. Sometimes when people say “faith” they mean it like “what you believe in” (We are Christians and believe Jesus loves us, died for our sins and wants us to live our lives in ways that help other people see His love through us), and sometimes they mean it like how we believe for something to happen because we pray (The Bible says faith is what helps us believe and pray for something although we’re not sure it will). That’s the kind of faith we’re talking about here.

2. Faith and doubt go hand-in-hand.

Faith and doubt (which means when you don’t believe in or aren’t sure about something) are related. If you had no doubts you’d have no reason to have faith. Faith is what helps you believe in God, and His goodness, even when bad things happen. Some people say you should feed your faith and not your fears. By thinking about things that help our faith grow and get stronger, we think less about things we’re scared or worried about.

3. Questions are okay, even good.

Don’t be afraid of having questions, especially about things that you don’t understand. Asking questions helps you learn and helps you feel more confident about what you believe in. But sometimes questions are hard even for adults to answer, and when you don’t get the answers you need, faith really comes in handy.

4. Faith is always there for you, like a good friend, your mom or dad, or favorite stuffed animal.

Faith is what you can use when you’re not sure things are going to turn out the way you think they should. You can pray and say, Jesus, I don’t know or understand why this is happening, but I’m going to use my faith in You and trust that everything’s going to be all right.

Follow up conversations about faith in little ways that will reinforce the concept. I like to write paraphrased scriptures on craft sticks and include them in my first-grader’s lunch box. You could also write them on napkins or sticky notes and leave them in conspicuous places for them to discover. My daughter suggests hiding them and making it a game to find them throughout the house.

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Faith is being sure what we hope for will happen. (Hebrews 11:1)
  • Listening to stories about Jesus can help our faith grow. (Romans 10:17)
  • Jesus says even a little bit of faith is strong enough to make big things happen. (Matthew 17:20)
  • When we have faith and believe in God, it pleases Him. (Hebrews 11:6)
  • God has given everyone a little bit of faith. (Romans 12:3)
  • Every child of God can use faith to overcome bad things. (1 John 5:4)
  • God rewards us when we use faith. (1 Samuel 26:23)
  • When we believe in Jesus, invite Him to erase our sins and live the way He asks us to, we are called children of God. (John 1:12)
  • We use faith to believe for and help good things to happen to others. (2 Corinthians 5:7)

Everyone struggles to “keep the faith.” As parents, you shouldn’t shy away from talking about faith with your kids just because you have doubts and questions of your own. Being transparent about how you felt as a child, or even now, reassures them their feelings are normal. Faith is what stabilizes our belief and anchors us to truth. Join your kids in the journey toward nurturing a childlike faith. It’s a powerful thing indeed.

-Cara Davis

Passing Down Patience

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Let’s begin with a confession; patience is a virtue I aspire to, not one I’ve mastered. I hate to wait, I hate to wait in line, I hate to wait for people, and I hate to wait for a surprise. When I was a child I became a master at poking undetectable holes in my Christmas presents so I wouldn’t have to wait to find out what was inside. (Many years later I discovered my mom knew I poked holes in the presents, she just gave up caring.) This reluctance to wait has never worked out well for me; I didn’t want to wait on marriage, so I talked my fiancé into getting hitched when we were 19 and 20; I didn’t want to wait for graduation, so I dropped out of college after my sophomore year; (I eventually earned my undergraduate degree almost 15 after high school.) I didn’t want to wait on technology, so I bought a computer that became obsolete on the drive home from the store. If there was a prize for impatience I would be the first in line because I just don’t have time to wait around.

As a grandfather, however, I am learning the value of waiting. Playing board games, it can take the five-year-old five minutes to count the spaces to move her token. When the seven-year-old “helps” with the dishes it often takes twice as long to get the table cleared and everything in the dishwasher. Small nations can rise and fall in the time it takes to put the baby down for his nap. But it is in these small moments, these moments spent waiting on the big moments, that I truly see God at work. I see the neurons firing as the five-year-old perfects her counting, I hear the beginnings of leadership as the seven-year-old shares her day while almost rinsing the dishes, and I feel my heart being knit together with my grandson as I feed him his bottle before he goes to bed. I am learning patience in the forced pauses of caring for the grandkids. I am learning to look for God in a broken schedule.

How can we help our children to learn this lesson of the beauty of waiting before they are in their fifties like me? I think it might be in pointing out the beauty we find while we wait. I question the value of trying to convince a child the value of delayed gratification, but I wonder what he could learn if we helped him experience the tingle of anticipation. Rather than constantly distracting our children with devices and entertainment I wonder if we can help them find meaning in the mundane, satisfaction in the torture we call waiting.

I suspect the key to helping our children learn the value of patience is we have to first learn the lesson ourselves. What if this week, instead of sighing and tapping and muttering and pacing while we wait, we sit and listen and look for God at work in the cracks that appear in our schedule? What if we recognize that it is almost always in the waiting that we discover the true value of the gift of time? The write Ann Voskamp says it like this:

“What if I laid down efforts and expectations, perfectionism and performance?

What if I breathed deep and simply waited with arms and heart and eyes wide open?”

Think about it for a while, I’ll wait right here.

-Geoff Surratt

What I’ve Learned from Working in Children’s Ministry

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Kids. Wow. Those are some amazing little creatures. One of my greatest joys on Saturday evenings, and Sunday mornings is to watch those little faces light up when the doors to Discovery Kids are pushed open. As I wander the halls during service, I get the privilege of looking into classrooms and observing what is going on. While the Chaos room (2nd-4th grade), may have the reputation of having the most substantial curriculum and hearty teachings, there is not one classroom that comes in second place.

If I have learned anything from working in children’s ministry, it is that every single room, child, and volunteer are extremely special and vital to our program. Just a few weeks ago, I was in the one year old room, when a precious little boy had a cup of Goldfish that he decided to share with every single child. He walked around, with a giant grin on his face, passing out a single Goldfish to each kid. While that may seem minute, it made me take a step back and realize why we do what we do every week. While this little one year old may not be reciting Bible verses yet, he is learning to love and care for others, just as Jesus did, and nothing could be more fulfilling to me.

On another note, there is so much more to learn from working in children’s ministry. For instance, you have to learn to expect the unexpected moments. There will be countless loose cannons throughout your volunteering- and I don’t just mean the children. You will not always be able to control how the class with shape up, who will attend, or how the students will respond.  You can always aim high by preparing well, but the end result is always up to God. As the old saying goes, the farmer sows his seed and waters his plants, and then he leaves the rest to God. That’s pretty much how working with kids goes.

One thing to look forward to, and keep an open mind to, is that YOU can always learn something from THEM. We come into this thinking that we are the teachers- and we are- but there has not been a single week that I have not taken something away from working with these kids. From sharing, or being nice to someone who may not seem like they deserve it- keep your eyes, and heart open- kids have a way of teaching you things that you never knew.

So, I have come to the conclusion that children’s ministry is not second-rate ministry. We are bringing up the next generation, in hopes that they will be strong, caring, compassionate, Jesus-loving people. We get trusted with God’s precious children each weekend, and I think that is pretty special! Whether it is the third grader that we get to walk beside in making a decision to follow Jesus, or the 7-month-old baby that we just get to hold and love on for an hour, it is all valued and wonderful in the eyes of God.  



The Ultimate Sacrifice

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Around Easter every year, we start to think about how we’re going to talk to our kids about Jesus’ death – which can be a tricky topic for little kids that most people like to skirt around. I get it; it is not an easy one. Who wants to talk to kids about torture or gruesome death?

Talking about Jesus’ death isn’t really all that bad, I actually invite the conversation. That may seem crazy, but Jesus’ death was a gift. His death was the fulfillment of a before-time-began plan and it wasn’t scary or gross, it was beautiful.

It was a perfect example of love and sacrifice, but how do we explain that to our preschoolers and elementary school kids? How do we tell them that there is more to it than the Easter Bunny and basketball full of goodies. I think there are two important things to focus on when you approach Jesus’ death with kids.


Kids might not understand death but they get sacrifice. For kids, giving up a favorite toy is as hard as anything they’ve ever done. Sharing, stopping, or slowing down can be a complete act of will and self-control.

Talk to your kids about the hard things they’ve had to do, the times it’s been difficult for them to obey. Jesus was quick to obey His Father, to empty himself of all his rights and die for us.

In Philippians 2, Paul tells us that Jesus emptied Himself out to become a man and obey His father. 

To help your kids understand sacrifice here is a fun and unique activity:

Get two glasses, and put about a ½ cup of water in each. Add about a tablespoon of bleach in one of them (don’t show your kids). Get some food coloring, and let your kids put a few drops in the cup without bleach. Explain that our sins get into everything and cover ALL of us (we are the water). But with Jesus all of that has been removed, because of His sacrifice, only He can clean away our sin. Explain that Jesus is the clean and clear water. Now pour the (bleach) water into the colored water cup. The bleach will clear it up and remove the color. Use this to talk about how the demonstration shows us that Jesus took away all of our sin because of his sacrifice.


The best part about the story of Jesus’ death is not that He died, but that He came back to life!

When you’re talking to your kids about Jesus’ death, stay on it for a brief amount of time, then move onto another topic. We see this death-to-life all around us so it’s easy to make comparisons like seeds which are buried in the ground to bring new fruit, dead trees that sprout beautiful blooms, and winter’s cold which leads to fresh spring! 

Before we admire daffodils and lilies bloom, we have to go through winter and before we celebrate Easter Sunday, we have to get to Good Friday first.

Children don’t need all the gory details about death. The Bible doesn’t even spend very long on the crucifixion because the purpose of talking about Jesus’ death is so that we can see the miracle of new life.

Jesus’ death was a pre-planned act of love and sacrifice, one that would end in life so surprising and amazing that it overshadows the gruesomeness of death–and even defeats death itself. Let’s point our kids to Jesus’ loving sacrifice and His amazing resurrection life this Easter!

-Christy King

What My 5-Year-Old Taught Me in My Darkest Moment

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Recently, my husband and I welcomed our third daughter, Sailor. I can’t tell you how excited I was to be pregnant—and even more excited to have another girl! (One day I’ll write a blog post about people who say, ‘Oh, I’m so sorry you didn’t get your boy!’)

My pregnancy wasn’t easy. I was sick, renovating a house, had a new job, and had abnormal test results early on. I saw a specialist my entire pregnancy, and we weren’t sure Sailor would be completely healthy until she was born.

But she was! She was perfect!

There’s so much I want to share about the weeks leading up to and following Sailor’s birth, but for now I’ll just say that after she was born, I experienced anxiety on levels that I had never experienced.

Cue the point of this blog: If you’ve read anything I’ve written about our second daughter, Ezzy, you know that while she’s 1/3 of our children, she’s always required 2/3 of our attention.

Homegirl is sky high maintenance.

But she’s also incredibly special. Recently, she taught me a lesson so powerful, I had to write about it.

One thing I did after I had each of my children was to create email addresses for them. I send them random emails and pictures periodically, and plan to give them access to their accounts at some point when they’re older. (Please don’t be impressed by this practice. This is the lazy parent’s version of scrapbooking.)

Here’s the email I sent Ezzy. I hope it encourages you, if you’re struggling with anxiety or depression—or just the day-to-day demands of parenting that can be so tough.


Hey, sweet girl. I wanted to tell you about something incredible that happened today.

You won your first ever spelling bee! You’re only in pre-k! My little genius!

But the part I’m most proud of, is that you were TERRIFIED to do it. You didn’t want to. You were anxious all night. And this morning you even cried about it. I told you that you didn’t have to do it. Every kid had a choice. But you said, “I wanna twy.”

(You still can’t pronounce your “Rs” – and I honestly hope you never do. Okay. Maybe when you’re like, 10. But until then …)

I won’t lie – I was nervous. We had practiced the night before, and when I asked you to spell ‘cat,’ you looked at me like I was speaking Latin.

But Ezzy, you were so brave. I watched in complete awe (and nausea) as you made it through 6 long rounds. You walked up to that microphone with your side ponytail, your high-tops, and school uniform, and you spelled each word carefully and thoughtfully like you’d been doing spelling bees your whole dang life.


You are amazing. I learn from you every day. Today I learned that you can win, even when you’re terrified.

But more importantly, I learned that failure is not nearly as scary as not trying.

There’s another thing.

I also wanted you to know what today did for me. (Selfishly.) You see, Mama has been going through a really hard time. The only way to describe it is to say that every second of every day feels like a chore. It feels like being the only person on a ship lost at sea. It feels like every step you take is uphill. One day, I’ll tell you more about it.

When you won that spelling bee today, it was one of the first purely joyful moments I’ve had in a while. It was like stepping into the sunshine after being in the shade far too long.

Thank you for trying even when you were scared. If you can try when you’re terrified, so can I. And I will try every day because of you – because staying anxious and worried and tired is a far scarier prospect than trying to fight for joy.
I learned that from you.

Thank you.

And please, please, please, never lose the courage to ‘twy.’


So, parents. What are you struggling to try? Trying to …

Be vulnerable?
Let your kids grow up?
Take care of yourself?
Lower your expectations?

-Holly Crawshaw

Colorado Springs’ Coffee Shop Is About More Than Coffee Pt. 3

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This is the third installment of our interview with Sean Buckles from Building 3 Coffee Roasters.

One thing is for sure, the growing coffee culture/industry in our city is doing BIG things! It is so great to see so many roasters and cafe owners not seeing each other as competition, but rather in partnership in serving up community in our city!

Please enjoy this last installment of our interview…and please be sure to go down to Building 3 and buy some of the best coffee in the city – and know that the money is going to support missional work in our city! How cool is that?

Colorado Springs’ Coffee Shop Is About More Than Coffee Pt. 2

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This is Part 2 of our interview with Sean Buckles from Building 3 Coffee Roasters. We’re excited about all the great missional work that Sean and Jenna Buckles are doing with Building 3!

Sean has a coffee roaster who a year ago was found almost dead on the ground because of a drug overdose. Who was helped by Springs Rescue Mission and is now seeing his life turn completely around by coffee and the support he receives from Springs Rescue Mission!

This is so important on so many levels, because we need more businesses to step up and invest in our city! To see life change as a result of Building 3 and Springs Rescue Mission coming together…shows how much greater the impact is together rather than going solo.

I hope you enjoy this second part of the interview. And please, if you can, make plans to drive down to Lincoln Center and go buy some coffee from Building 3 each week. When you do, you know your money is going to help others who need the help in our community!

Colorado Springs’ Coffee Shop Is About More Than Coffee

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Part 1 of 3

Colorado Springs’ coffee scene is heating up! More than just fluid that infuses energy into our bloodstreams, and more than…yawn…Starbucks, the variations to the cups of the best substance God ever created available in Colorado Springs and surrounding areas are significant. Educated customers and fanatic loyalists alike all have their favorite local coffee shops. It’s a good thing then, there is, what feels like, an ever-increasing list of local roasters, experienced shot pullers, and a parched, caffeine-crazed population that is starting to demand the best.

Options now abound for coffee shops in Colorado Springs! Where to go for the best cold brew on tap? Where to go for the largest selection in single origin pour overs? Where to go for a robust full-flavored latte? Or even where to go for a Cortado? These questions are growing harder to answer with the local bar being raised on our coffee scene.

But, that’s just flavor…roasting…and quality. The real differentiater in Colorado Springs coffee shops is mission!

This week kicks off a 3 part series on our blog where we interview Sean Buckles from Building 3 Coffee Roasters in Lincoln Center! Sean sees mission starting in the very ground the beans are grown in. He wants to make sure that the farmer in Guatemala is getting a fair price, but also that it is helping support and benefit entire extended families! This is why Sean works with importers like Onyx who work directly with farmers in Guatemala and not only see that growers, like Maria, a single mom trying to support herself and her extended family, are paid a fair price, but also that she’s able to grow some of the best quality beans in the world, putting them in high demand. More than that…Onyx growers also give back to their local communities in big ways. Partnering with great partners like Edwin Martinez of Onyx, helps Sean to know that Building 3’s coffee starts in its very beginning on mission – helping families and communities thrive in areas like Guatemala!

So, please listen Sean’s great story of moving from a member of our special forces to owning his own coffee shop in Colorado Springs!

Santa Claus Is Coming To Town!

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Merry Christmas everyone! Christmas is almost here and you know what that means? Santa Claus is coming to DCC!!! This weekend, December 16th and 17th, Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus will be taking pictures with all your kiddos at DCC on the West side of the lobby! Be sure to bring your phone or camera to get those photos! The elves will be spreading the cheer, and the gingerbread girls will help you get through the line! AND Santa will be giving out candy canes after each picture!


Letters for Santa can still be filled out and placed in his mailbox through Christmas Eve! The table with the letters and mailbox have been moved over to the center of the West side of the lobby! Get those letters in before Christmas day!


The rest of the site is being updated to January since Kids Area is closed for the rest of December, so if you click on over to Parent or Teacher Resources you’ll be looking at January ( a glimpse into the future, how exciting)! Enjoy your Christmas with your family and friends and have a Happy New Year!