As I prepare to move from my role as a Campus Pastor at Sun Valley Community Church to the role of Executive Pastor of Harvest Community Church, Florida, I am struck by the uniqueness of this opportunity. In 2009 I partnered with Lee Stephenson in planting Harvest Community Church in Arizona. Lee proved to be a courageous and gifted Lead Pastor. Our partnership from 2009 to 2015 lead to hundreds of people meeting Jesus and growing in him. These years were highly rewarding personally. As we prepare to start all over again in Florida this time, a few noteworthy aspects of our team get me excited.
- A national church planting leader. Lee’s reach and insight have expanded. Lee now serves as the Executive Director of Church Planting for Converge. Lee has gained a wider perspective on leading a local church and church planting over the past two and a half years.
- An assist from the President. Last time we planted Harvest as a Converge church with helpful coaching from Scott Ridout from Sun Valley Community Church. This time we plant with Scott Ridout, now the President of Converge on the team as a volunteer. I’m not sure exactly how to measure that gift, but it is unique.
- Stronger in round three? This will mark my third opportunity to help start a new church in a new community. In 2005 we helped to plant Life Point Church in San Tan Valley, AZ. Next, we planted Harvest in AZ. Since then, in my time at Sun Valley Community Church I have had the opportunity to learn from one of the fastest-growing churches in the nation with a leadership team that far surpasses any that I have had the chance to work with before. The insights gained in observing the complexities of a large multi-site church will pay dividends for this next step.
- A proven partnership. There is something powerful about a ministry partnership that just works. Lee and I developed a fruitful leadership approach over our previous six years teaming up as Lead and Executive Pastors. We saw God use our efforts to change the lives of hundreds of people in our community. What’s more, we had a lot of fun doing it! I am so thrilled that we get a chance to do it all over again and look forward to seeing how God will use this new church to change lives again!
I’m thrilled to have the chance to reach Lake Nona and the surrounding communities with the gospel! I’ve seen how God uses a healthy new church to reach a new community for Jesus in an incredible way. I can’t wait to see what God does through the launch of Harvest Community Church this fall!
If you would like to join the team there are ways you can get involved up close or from a distance. For now, please click here to stay informed if you’re interested in learning how to help make this new church a reality.