John Simon felt God call him to ministry—but he struggled to find a church community where he could explore and pursue that call. He found a home and place to grow at Mission Church, one of your Resonate Global Mission partners in Tucson, Arizona.
‘A Church for the Church Homeless’
Mission Church recently joined the Chrisitan Reformed Church. Andy Littleton, one of the pastors, serves as a Mission Network Developer with Resonate. Through your support of Resonate, you have provided grants to help strengthen Mission Church, its outreach in the community, and its capacity to equip leaders.
John always had trouble finding a church where he felt like he belonged, but Mission was different. As he talked with people, he discovered that many of them had also struggled with a sense of belonging in faith communities.
But at Mission, people found a home.
“Mission was almost like a church for the church homeless,” said John. “That really resonated with me and helped me connect with the community there. Mission has definitely given me the community that I probably only would have dreamed of before.”
Equipping leaders is an important part of Mission Church’s ministry, and it wasn’t long before Andy noticed John’s unique abilities to minister to people. He invited John and two of his friends to be part of a discipleship program.
“In that discipleship program, I noticed that John would often be the one his two friends looked to for help answering questions,” said Andy. “John was a trusted person who had a really keen insightful mind into spiritual things and into Scripture.”
During one of those meetings, John mentioned to Andy that he had a heart for talking about faith with people, especially seekers and new believers. He felt God calling him to ministry, and Andy said he could see that call on his life. The two hatched a plan, and you helped make it possible.
‘This Is What I Was Made For’
John cut his hours at his full-time job and moved in with his father. He worked part-time, interned at Mission Church, and drove 200 miles to and from the Missional Training Center each week, where he’s working toward a master’s in missional theology.
“I had to take some major steps back in my life in terms of financial security,” said John. “My savings account was basically whatever pennies I could throw there.”
But John was obedient to following God’s call to ministry, and you, Resonate, and the denomination provided support to help make it possible. Because of your support, Resonate was able to award John an Emerging Leader grant that was matched by Classis Arizona. With financial support and mentorship from Andy, John was able to step into full-time ministry at Mission church, take on more responsibility, and continue schooling.
He said it’s been stressful at times, but a “huge blessing.” He said he has grown a lot as a leader, and he’s been excited to see the community of Mission grow, too. Mission continues to be a faith community where everyone is welcomed, discipled, and encouraged to follow God’s call to live out the gospel in their life.
Thank you for strengthening and supporting Mission Church through Resonate—it’s in part because of your support that the church can be a welcoming faith community that provides an opportunity for leaders like John to grow and step into ministry!
“A huge part of me connecting with Mission was Andy recognizing my calling and giving me an opportunity to grow into that,” said John.“I really feel like this is what I was made for.”