Converge pastors, planters share why we’re ‘better together’

Michael Smith

Converge Content Specialist

  • Converge vision & mission

The church is not a building you sit in; it is a movement you choose to be part of. When you join Converge, you become part of a movement of like-minded, Bible-believing churches focused on the mission of Jesus.

As partners on the same mission, we’re more effective working together to reach more people with the gospel. We are better together.

According to pastors and church planters throughout our movement, these truths play out in their ministries every day.

“The line I keep hearing around Converge is better together. And it’s true. I don’t think local churches (although autonomous) were meant to function alone. There is a notion of church competitiveness that at the root is prideful that seems to grow the more isolated you become. Being part of a larger movement of churches reminds you that we are all one church with one mission.”

Adam Groh
Berkley Community Church
Berkley, Michigan
Converge MidAmerica

“Three years ago, Branchline was an independent, nondenominational church. We joined Converge because we believe we are better together.

“Converge has helped us through a successful pastoral transition. Our leaders are being equipped and are applying what we have learned through conferences and seminars. Our pastors connect with other pastors.

“Through a connection with another church, we are working on a strategic plan to advance our mission. We are connected to missionaries across the world. And bottom line, we have greater confidence because we are connected to a movement of like-minded churches that are driven to reach more people for Jesus Christ.”

Joe Hannah
Branchline Church
Hastings, Minnesota
Converge North Central

“Converge has been a welcomed cool mist amidst the desert of unconnected local churches. Our leadership is so thankful for Converge’s passion for serving the local church and extending its impact through a dynamic church planting vision. We are blessed to be part of this unique movement of churches and look forward to growing God’s kingdom together until he returns.”

Stuart Szmaciasz
Cornerstone Community Church
Kresgeville, Pennsylvania
Converge MidAtlantic

“Converge has been very helpful from the beginning. We needed someone to help us carry and organize our vision, and Converge has been with us along the way. 

“It was hard for us to find any support that would go along with the vision that God had given to us because we didn’t want to fall into the same church system pattern.

“Converge has led us into the right path, beginning with an assessment we received that helped us understand our position and how to get to the next level. Ever since then Converge has been helping us to make sure we are still on the right path. 

“We’re very grateful for Converge Great Lakes president/executive minister Ken Nabi, who’s been helping us with our ministry and is always there when we need him. He just presented us with a $25,000 check from Converge Great Lakes and the Converge Cornerstone Church Planting Grant to help with our ministry. It was a real blessing at the right time (God’s time). 

“There’s really no words to express how honored we are to be a part of this movement. I know this is just the beginning of all the great plans God has for us, and we’ll be here to continue to expand the kingdom of heaven.”

Gabriel Vargas
El-Shaddai Community Church
Racine, Wisconsin
Converge Great Lakes

“One of the things I appreciate most about Converge is its commitment to identifying and developing leaders. I didn't come up from within the Converge tribe, but at a pivotal moment, when God was transitioning my ministry, Converge pulled me in. It gave me context and words to articulate something I felt was lacking in previous contexts. Suddenly, I was surrounded and welcomed by leaders. I watched as these men brought their strengths and gifts to the table and weren't intimidated by one another. The mission trumped everything else. 

“Some key leaders in the Pacific Northwest recognized in me the call of God to plant and pastor, welcomed it, developed it and turned me loose to follow that call. Now, four years later, I'm still circling back to those leaders, asking hard questions, seeking counsel and growing as a follower of Jesus. And I have the opportunity to lead a network of pastors and continue to identify and develop emerging leaders in my context.”

Mike Satterfield
Emmaus Road Church
Stanwood, Washington
Converge Northwest

Culture: It’s a broad tent, focusing on the main things (orthodoxy, scripture, evangelism and discipleship, church strengthening and planting). It’s diverse from an ecclesiological sense and an ethnic sense. Finding a biblically sound denomination with true ethnic diversity is rare.

Experience and expertise: There are a ton of voices and people guiding others. There is a camaraderie that is open to helping one another (both pastors and churches). I have been helped, guided, encouraged and supported since being a seminary student by simply attending a Converge church. There’s no shortage of allies in the movement, whether in the regional offices or churches around the country.

Organizational vision: It’s very clear that Converge is committed to building the church. The financial commitment to planting and strengthening is very telling. Converge cares about supporting its pastors, financially and emotionally.”

Marshall Gallagher
Hope Community Church
Nashville, Tennessee
Converge MidAmerica

“Being part of Converge has been an extraordinary experience because more than being a legal identity it is a global platform for the extension of the gospel and the use of human, ministerial and economic resources.

“Sharing information and experience facilitates the processes and evangelistic efforts. By being part of Converge, every believer experiences the meaning of what it is to belong to something greater than ourselves, which is the kingdom of God.

“This relationship clearly shows our multiethnic community that the national church has welcomed us into this great nation that we call the United States.

“We are not part of Converge for the benefits; but for the opportunities to contribute that it offers us and because we share the same values.”

Marenrri Duboy
Iglesia Evangélica Hispanoamericana
Appleton, Wisconsin
Converge Great Lakes

“I joined Converge as a church planter in 2013 because I appreciated Converge’s heart to bring the gospel to new and unengaged people. More than relying on programs or personalities, Converge trusts that the gospel of Jesus Christ has the power to save and change lives. The reason I joined Converge is the same reason I stay with Converge. Converge is committed to declaring and demonstrating the hope of the good news of Jesus Christ to a lost and broken world. 

“I continue to benefit from the relational support I receive from Converge. From coaching relationships to prayer gatherings to LEAD Teams, I have a true sense that I am a part of a movement of churches accomplishing bigger things for the kingdom together than I could ever do alone. Just as God has called every individual to be a member of a church, I believe there is great value in every church being a member of a relational network of churches.”

Derek Mueller
Northside Community Church
La Crosse, Wisconsin
Converge Great Lakes

“Converge has been a tremendous blessing to us as we have planted our church. I think what most planters are thinking about when they start a church is, “What kind of coaching will I get and is there any financial support from this network?” Those needs were part of what drove us to Converge. But what has been the real blessing is the relational support and authentic community we have found with other planters.

“Here in Texas, we have a great group of men that travel quarterly to meet together to share a meal, pray for one another and celebrate what God is doing. There is typically a teaching/coaching/training time built into these meetings as well. Often there are also meetings for the wives of lead pastors, called GraceNet, that offer the same authentic space for the ladies to connect and share the burdens of this calling.

“The coolest thing has been seeing the relationships that grow as a result. Just a few months ago most of the Vision Texas planters and wives went on a vacation together and in that time built deep, lasting relationships as we helped support one another through some real struggles. 

“Church planting can be lonely work, but Converge has offered us the community we didn’t think existed in this unique call.” 

Gavin Papit
Tribes Church
Argyle, Texas
Converge Southwest

Get connected

Imagine partnering with other like-minded churches, pastors, staff and congregations–all working together to accomplish the same goal. Your goal. Our goal. God’s goal: helping people meet, know and follow Jesus. What if you could take more ground for the kingdom, faster and better? Find out how.


Michael Smith, Converge Content Specialist

Michael Smith serves as Converge’s content specialist. He has nearly two decades in the newspaper publishing industry. Michael worked as a copy editor and designer for the Tampa Tribune for more than a dozen years, and has also been a member of the editorial staff of Florida Baptist Witness and other publications across the Southeast.

Additional articles by Michael Smith