One church. Multiple locations. Multiple pastors.
Christ’s Greenfield has been a church since the early 1980s with just a dozen people worshipping out of Falconer Funeral home in downtown Gilbert. Today, we have a school with just under 400 students in preschool through eighth grade and worship more than 1,100 weekly between all our services on Sunday and Tuesday at La Mesa (“the table”). We are launching a new generosity campaign called “Live the Journey” that will move us towards expanding God’s Kingdom even more by paying down debt, building a multi-purpose facility with a gym, hospitality cafe, and a Unite Center for theological and operational development of leaders. It has been amazing to see God at work to reach the community in love and deed. God has been good to us!
One church. We are one church among many churches in the East Valley, incorporated into God’s “one holy Christian and apostolic church” (Nicene Creed). And into the near future, the vision is to reach out into the state of Arizona, starting in the East Valley, to replicate the culture, systems and Christ-centered strategy of reaching the local community that is woven into the Christ’s Greenfield DNA. In order to do this, we are going to be starting new campuses in various locations throughout the next few years. Our space is limited on our original campus and there is growth in the East Valley, communities that need to be reached, and we are positioned as a church to send people to start new campus locations. More people...all people need a chance to receive the Gospel of Jesus. “How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in Him of Whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?” (Romans 10:14)
We would be one church with multiple locations and multiple pastors.
Multiple locations. At this point, you might be thinking, “How can we afford a new campus?” Don’t think about being campus-centric but rather people-centric. Rather than campuses, it would start with new portable locations. Most locations will be portable church. These locations would allow for everything to “run worship” to fit in a trailer or two after events and worship. Most locations will be rental spaces out of schools or community centers. This will allow us to enter into the community by renting space at a lower cost and focusing more on “going” to reach the people in the community rather than the community coming to us at a permanent location. This was the way of the early church in Acts and for the first few hundred years of Christianity as the world was “pre-Christianized.” We are living in that same climate today. We also promise you that we will not take on any new debt...in fact we desire to see the debt eliminated in a decade and we’ll be good stewards of all that God is gifting us with.
The first location will be focused on the farthest east part of Mesa. This location will be called the “East Mesa” location (the current campus would then be the “Gilbert” campus). The target community is around Ellsworth and Ray in the Eastmark subdivision. Our church has at least a dozen members that live in that neighborhood as well as 50 plus families that live closer to that area than to our current location in Gilbert.
We are praying about partnering with the soon to be completed Eastmark High School in order to serve that school community as an outreach and use their space for worship. Our core East Mesa campus team believes that this would be a wonderful partnership. We have met with the principal, Paul Gagnon, who is a wonderful leader and also a Christian disciple of Jesus. Please join us in praying for that community to prosper, bless others and be a safe place for Jr High and High School students and their families. Nothing is set yet, but this is definitely a time to pray for God to continue to open doors for partnership with Eastmark High and the other churches that we are meeting with in the area. There are thousands of people moving to this area and not many churches to reach them. Learn more about the future of the Eastmark community as you join us in prayer.
The launch strategy is to create a core launch team with these positions: campus pastor, campus director, volunteer and hospitality director, journey group director, next generation director, and worship director. Many of these positions are being filled with volunteers who are feeling called and equipped to serve.
The idea is for those interested in being a part of this church location, to be part of new journey groups in the area as well as serve the community in tangible ways. A strong focus will also be on ministering to the children and youth in that area. As this picks up missional steam, the goal would be to launch the worship community in early 2020.
If you are interested in serving and being sent to be a part of this new location because you live in that area or have a strong sense that God is moving you to reach this community, please email Pastor Jake to set up a conversation over coffee.
Multiple pastors. It’s not just about having multiple pastors, but men and women leaders at all levels filling the roles needed in the body of Christ. We need YOU! We have been praying to the Lord of the Harvest to raise up and send workers into the harvest fields. And God is doing so! Let’s continue to pray and send and pray and send. James Bozarth is headed to Concordia Seminary, St. Louis this Fall to study to be a pastor. Rachell Highley has opened our eyes to the gift of the role of Deaconess in a local congregation. Pastor Bill Hartley is deployed to Shepherd of the Desert in Scottsdale to help them during a transitional time. He is doing a great job. A few high school and college youth are exploring being Directors of Christian Education (DCE) or pastors. Hannah Drager is praying about being either a teacher or a missionary. Brian Kobel, who co-leads our high school leadership team (“the rock”), is also praying about becoming a DCE.
As we go to a multisite approach, each location will have at least their own “campus pastor” but also multiple pastors sharing the responsibilities of leadership, preaching and Word/Sacrament. Jeff Sutherlin is almost halfway through his Specific Ministry Pastor Program and will be ordained in January 2020. He will be going to the East Mesa location as a pastor right alongside me. This is an exciting time! If you would like to explore what it would look like to be a Director of Christian Education, Teacher, Deaconess or Pastor to serve the church, please reach out to us. We also have a scholarship fund to help support you towards this ministry adventure.
Imagine if we had locations to reach every college youth in every college town of Arizona, from Flagstaff to Tempe to Tucson. Imagine if someone moved into the Eastmark community and they received a flier to go to our church so they could receive the free gift of God’s grace along with community life to strengthen their life. Imagine if each of us woke up each morning with the perspective that the Apostle Paul had so often, “be all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some” (1 Corinthians 9:22). We can’t be all things to all people all the time but we can surely focus on one person at a time by inviting them into a relationship with Jesus and His one true Christian church body, which we all are a part of.
God can make our imaginations His reality! One church. Multiple locations. Multiple pastors. Multiple Christ-like Servant Leaders. All for the sake of making disciples of Jesus!