Mission Valley Church: A church on mission in the community
By Kimberly McMahon | Sep 20, 2022
Mission Valley Church is a church on mission to see the Valley transformed by the Gospel. This mission is not just a phrase arbitrarily chosen. Pastor Mike Lee and his staff truly believe in this mission and have woven it into the DNA of this young church.
This effort is led largely by Jeanine Johnson, director of community engagement and connections. Her role at Mission Valley is to focus on those who are not yet a part of the church by meeting needs in the community. She spends her time looking for opportunities to partner with community programs and members.
Looking for Outreach in the Summer
When school is in session, Mission Valley partners with and supports teachers at a local elementary school. However, during the summer, Johnson said, “we have to be creative about where we can meet members of our community.”
The local school has a summer program — KidSpace. Mission Valley delivered themed snacks and gifts to KidSpace teachers on a weekly basis, along with invitations to church and regular thank you notes. One week, they had a fruit theme where the snacks included lemonade, sparkling water and fresh fruit. Another week, they brought self-care gift bags filled with chocolates, face masks and other pampering items.
Local pools also held one of the summer-specific ministry opportunities. Mission Valley brought snacks and Gatorade to the lifeguards on a weekly basis.
Multiplying Efforts with GenSend
This summer, Mission Valley was blessed to partner not only with a group of GenSend students but also a student intern who returned to them after serving with GenSend in 2021. Through the North American Mission Board’s GenSend Summer, students have an opportunity to work with a church plant and engage in the community.
The GenSend students chose various places they explored each week with the intention of meeting people in the community and inviting them to Mission Valley Church.
“They spent time in third spaces around the city, such as coffee shops, game stores and one student attended open mic comedy nights to share his talents of clean stand-up comedy,” Johnson said.
Mission Valley also serves year round at House of Refuge in Sunnyslope. Service here includes cooking in the kitchen, accepting food donations, as well as cleaning and organizing projects. The GenSend students amplified efforts by working extra days at House of Refuge.
Back to School
Now that school is back in session, Mission Valley is back serving their local schools. They have already held a drive for Moon Mountain Elementary, donating school supplies. They also treat teachers and staff with occasional appreciation days, bringing coffee and breakfast or snacks and drinks.
“I am a part of the site council at our nearby elementary school, Moon Mountain Elementary, where I learn about opportunities to support the school that I would otherwise not be aware of,” Johnson said. “We also meet at Thunderbird High School for church each week, and with the school’s choir teacher being a part of our church’s worship team, we are always aware of ways we can support Thunderbird’s community.”
Looking to the Future
Mission Valley members are always on the look for more opportunities, leveraging their lives to minister to their community. “As I am in the community and meeting new people throughout the week, I look for ways that we can be supportive and share the love of Jesus with our surrounding community,” Jeanine said. “By meeting needs in our community, we will hopefully earn the opportunity to share the truth of Christ’s love and redemption with our community members.”
Kimberly McMahon, a freelance writer living in Phoenix, is a member of Mission Valley Church in Phoenix.