Church planting is God’s way of advancing the gospel deep into neighboring communities. It goes beyond merely sharing the gospel with others but seeing the gospel embodied in the life of a group of Christians. Many churches share the value and commitment to expansion through multiplying new churches, yet the process and cost of church planting is too difficult or daunting to accomplish on their own. Convictions don’t materialize into action and the mission of the church to multiply is left unfulfilled.
In 2019, the idea arose from among a handful of like-minded pastors: What if we worked together to see healthy churches planted in the state that we love? Several networks already exist to facilitate church planting broadly through the United States or abroad, but what about a network that would specifically target Arizona? Could we impact a state that contains the 6th largest metropolis in the country? Where we could do more than just contribute funds, but work together to assess, train, coach, and support church planters on the ground? A network where pastoral relationships and friendships could flourish in the spirit of a shared gospel cause? Especially in a time when divisions run high and unity is scarce, even among Christians?
This was the beginning of prayer, discussion, and development of what is now The Grove Church Planting Network. A grove is a collection of planted trees and, in a spiritual sense, each church in the network is planted on the centrality of the cross (tree – 1 Peter 2:24), where Christ atoned for our sins and made the way for us to be right with God. We see our churches as a part of a larger whole and we can accomplish more for God’s kingdom by working together than we could on our own.
Our vision is to see a healthy church planted within driving distance of every person in the state of Arizona. We want to strategically plant so that churches don’t sprout up and die, but take root and endure. If we plant well, our prayer is that our churches will last long. And our vision is that every new church plant will strengthen the network and contribute to the next plant. We rejoice that the gospel truly is the hope for every soul in Arizona and we have the privilege of spreading the hope of Christ together.
We hope that you will consider praying for our efforts and even about the possibility of joining with us to do this work. May the Lord bless the work of His church for the fame of His name.
On behalf of the member churches,
The Grove Church Planting Network