New Church Plant that "Anyone Can Call Home"
"When God put the city of Phoenix in our hearts, we were immediately in love," says Jacob Jester, senior pastor of Compel Church (AG) in Glendale, Arizona. "Kristin and I loved this city before we lived here. To be effective where you are, you have to love where you are."
Former full-time evangelists for 10 years, Jacob and Kristin Jester left their Kansas City, Missouri, home in 2012 to move to Phoenix, Arizona, to plant a church.
Shifting their focus to pastoral ministry was "exciting because we wanted to see disciples," Jacob says. "We wanted to see people experience a new relationship with Jesus and then be able to watch them live out that newfound joy. As evangelists, we didn't get to walk the journey with them. As pastors, we have the opportunity to go on the journey with them. The journey is what church planting is all about."
When the Jesters arrived in Phoenix, they met with leadership and prayed and planned for a year. Then in January 2014, Compel Church opened its doors in the fine arts auditorium of a high school in Glendale, approximately nine miles northwest of Phoenix. Twenty-five people were in the first service.
Since the launch, the congregation has grown from 25 to 200 in attendance and witnessed more than 200 first-time or renewed decisions for Christ at Compel.
Pastor Jacob believes the Matching Funds, provided by AGTrust in partnership with Church Multiplication Network (CMN), were essential in establishing Compel Church. "We opened our doors on Day 1 with a church that had everything in order, and our Sunday morning experience was second to none because we had the finances to get us there."
Compel is focused on being "a church that anyone can call home." The Jesters feel the church's growth has greatly resulted from focused discipleship, creative community outreaches, and a biblically centered Sunday morning experience.
"We are so proud to partner with Jacob and Kristin to reach people in Phoenix with the gospel," says Chris Railey, senior director of Leadership/Church Development. "I've known Jacob for a few years, and its been fun to watch the dream God put in their heart become a reality. I have no doubt God will use them and their church in amazing ways!"
"God loves the unusual, He loves us, and He loves to surprise us with grace. That's what church is," says Pastor Jacob. "Church was meant to be a place where you can run when you can't find a home, a place where you are welcomed and never turned away, and a place where love abounds."
To date, AGTrust has partnered with Church Multiplication Network to provide 349 new churches with matching funds of up to $30,000. To learn more about this perpetual fund as well as find answers to questions, see the CMN website.