Pastors, churches flourish while sharing office space

By Johanna Willett, Photos by Nancy Patton | May 23, 2024

Asante Church Pastor Alex Dennis (left to right), Asante Associate Pastor Jacob Stephenson and Mathew Mueller, pastor of Community Life Church, work in offices provided by Discovery Pointe Church.

In the early years of launching Asante Church, a desk and computer lined every corner of Pastor Alex Dennis’ living room.

That’s what it looks like when several members of a church plant staff “office” together — a reality many church planters know well.

Pastor Mathew Mueller of Community Life Church can certainly relate. Until February 2023, his home doubled as his church’s office space.

“As a church planter, so much is done out of your house,” he said. “Half of your garage is storage, and your dining room table is where you have volunteer meetings.”

That’s why both pastors jumped at the chance when Discovery Pointe Church in Peoria, a church more than 20 years old, invited them to use office space in a newly purchased building at no cost.
“It saved our church …” Dennis said. “(Our staff) was together five days a week and then on Sundays … and that can turn the best of friends into acquaintances.”

Recently, Dennis, Mueller and their staff used several offices at Discovery Pointe in a space that once housed a title company.

Although Discovery Pointe has plans to turn the office space into an area for student ministry, both church plants have been welcome to use the space in the interim, said Greg Salyer, Discovery Pointe’s lead pastor.

When Discovery Pointe purchased an additional building, Pastor Greg Salyer (right), invited church planters Mathew Mueller (left) and Alex Dennis (center) to use office space at no cost.

Salyer said when Monty Patton, associate executive director of the Arizona Mission Network of Southern Baptists, approached him with the idea, it was an easy yes. Discovery Pointe had hosted Community Life Church’s Sunday night services in the church’s early days, but Salyer also knew the challenges that come with a lack of office space. It’s only been recently that Discovery Pointe acquired its own office, he said.

“Even things like using a copier, in church planting, that’s gold,” he said.

Having a dedicated office space also creates better boundaries between work and home, while providing a professional place for meetings.

“Some conversations that pastors have to have, such as addressing sin in a person’s life, are not ones that can take place at a public Starbucks,” Mueller said. “Having office space means we can do it privately and discreetly.”

The weekday proximity has also led to idea-sharing and encouragement among the pastors.

“Outside eyes that know us and care for our church have been really good for us,” Dennis said. “They can speak into areas [of need].”

Working alongside Mueller led to an organizational restructure of Asante Church, spurring growth and an increase in volunteers, Dennis said. And the relationship goes both ways as Asante Church financially supports Community Life Church.

Pastor Greg Salyer works in his office at Discovery Pointe Church in Peoria.

“Our church culture is healthier, and our organizational structure is stronger,” Dennis said. “We’re also healthier spiritually as pastors because we’re not isolated.”
Salyer said the proximity has encouraged him, too.

“These churches are fairly new and fresh, and they have energy and fresh ideas, so that helps us to stay young,” Salyer said. “We’ll pop into each other’s offices to check on one another and encourage one another.”

He adds that in 2023, Discovery Pointe and Community Life shared VBS decorations, while Mueller jokes about lending Salyer pipe and drape (set-up materials for a church meeting in a school).
“That’s a church planter’s specialty,” Mueller said, adding that he was able to give Discovery Pointe his church’s excess.

The three pastors agree that serving alongside each other only increases the influence of the gospel locally.
“With how fast Phoenix is growing, I want Discovery Pointe to reach 2,000 people and Asante Church to reach 3,000 people,” Mueller said. “And we would only be scratching the surface.”

Next Steps

  • Pray for church planters in your city to have the resources they need to lead well.
  • Salyer encourages established churches to consider creative ways to support nearby church plants — and this doesn’t always mean financially.
  • Mueller suggests that church planters connect with established pastors to “pick their brains” to “prepare and equip themselves for what’s ahead in the next stage.”

Johanna Willett, a freelance writer living in Tucson, is a member of Mountain View Baptist Church, Tucson.

Nancy Patton, a freelance photographer living in Peoria, is a member of Mountain Ridge Church, Glendale.

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