LOVE | Grow | Purpose
We exist to love like Christ and grow people into their purpose
The Vision and The Dream
We want to reach Phoenix’s west valley by doing Church non-traditionally, drawing inspiration from the book of Acts. West Phoenix is unique in its location in that it’s home to a good deal of much younger people. With a median age in the lower 30’s, three major colleges in the area with a dozen less major campuses sprinkled about, the area is home to several college students and younger families.
And, in our experience, the younger generation has grown a callousness toward the name of Jesus Christ and the concept of a Church in general. This upcoming generation, unlike previous ones, are not unfamiliar with the name of Jesus Christ. They’ve heard of Jesus Christ, they’ve been told the values of the Church, and the morality that Christian’s supposedly possess, but they’ve heard it all from the wrong sources: social media, comedians, cynics, ect,.
They’re also, however, a generation that’s looking for real answers, and real connection. The younger generation has generally steered away from atheism, and moved further towards agnosticism, spiritualism, and new age ideologies. They want answers, but they don’t believe the Church has them. They also want real relationships. In a world dominated by social media, likes, dislikes, selfies, online “friends”, ect, they’re looking for someplace where they can really feel connected, involved, loved, and actually seen.
The vision of Fireside Church is to go beyond the surface and dive into the heart of the Word. We want to venture beyond the what and pursue the who and the why.
We’ve accomplished this already on the small scale for years by moving beyond telling people what to believe with a once-a-week speech, and instead diving into deep, interactive Bible studies where people are free to have questions and doubts, but then be immediately equipped with answers from the Word of God. We’ve created life groups where we’ve moved beyond a once-a-week book club, and instead create environments where people can fellowship together, know one another, know God, break bread, and use the gifts of God rather than read about them only. To be doers of the Word and not hearers only (James 1:22).
From there, the farther Fireside vision is to identify and equip new leaders who can reach even more people, and eventually to raise those leaders into Pastors who can plant even more Churches.
The concept isn’t new, rather, it’s incredibly old. This was the relational, communal, discipleship-driven Church seen in the Book of Acts. The vision of Fireside Church is to resurrect this relational and discipleship-driven model in the west valley of Phoenix, an area with a demographic that desperately needs it.
Who We Are:
Eight years ago, we felt a calling to plant a church. We heard it from God as clearly as we’ve ever heard anything from Him. He told us that we would start, own, and run a church. That message was confirmed by pastors, mentors, and friends. While we knew where God was going to take us, he also told us that it was a vision for further down the road. We didn’t fully understand why at the time, but we discovered that God would spend those next eight years growing us individually, for the purpose of planting that church down the road.
Pastor Christian worked as a youth pastor, then an associate pastor at New Creation Church in Perris, California where he met his wife, Elise. There, they enjoyed the mentorship of Pastor Joe Sabolick, and learned how to effectively run and operate an effective ministry from floor to ceiling.
Pastor Jon worked at various churches throughout Phoenix as a youth pastor and outreach pastor where he met his wife Hannah. He and Hannah found their passion in creating and building for the Kingdom. The two of them made lasting connections all throughout the valley, building bridges between multiple communities, outreaches, and ministries.
The eight years of separation were powerful in their own right. We even found our lead pastors to be similar to the other’s personality, as if God were training us to work with each other despite the distance. We kept in constant contact, collaborating on projects, sharing notes, and daily keeping up with one another, helping encourage each other in all things. Through this season, anywhere we went, people were inspired, lifted up, and raised to be leaders for Christ.
Then the COVID-19 Pandemic shut down the church.
Church as it had always been done suddenly didn’t work anymore, and every minister and ministry needed to adjust. Since no one could meet in person, Christian and his wife moved out to Arizona to join Jonathan and Hannah and we began working together to create an online program that would reach students and young adults all over the southwest. And, in a season where many others projected decrease, God increased and grew our ministry. God continued to bless us with more and more people and we continued to pursue the purpose and heart that God had given us for people.
That’s when the support came pouring in. Whether it was money, equipment, donations, or church sponsorship, we realized that it was time to see that dream through. Christian’s lead pastor in particular, from California, told us that he believed that God had put us all together, and confirmed that it was God’s call for Christian to move to Arizona to begin a new Church with Jon. With God speaking the same message to all of us, our Pastors and our wives, we knew that now was the time to pursue the vision God placed on our hearts for church planting long ago.
We began a home church that is personable, honest, and ready to walk through life with people, sharing Christ in a real, raw and powerful way, in a setting that feels less like a corporate structure and more like home. The response was incredible.
We found that even without asking, people were following us. We saw this dream begin to unfold at the right time in the right place. This would become Fireside Church, a church dedicated to Christ in authenticity, passion, and love. To be a fire in the hearts of the lost and the broken that they may see their greatest potential fulfilled in a life of following after Christ. We are currently still meeting within a home with the intention of continuing to raise funds to move us into a facility where we can continue to do the life changing work God has called us to, but on a larger scale.
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, Ephesians 3:20