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Justin Juntunen

Justin Juntunen

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Next up in our series of church planter stories: Cody Busick of the Coastlands Vineyard in Morro Bay, CA. I love how Cody boils church planting down to a simple sense of purpose: just keep making space for God and people to interact in your city.


Name: Cody Busick
Church Plant: Coastlands Vineyard Church
Location: Morro Bay, CA
Recent read: The Healing Path by Dan B. Allender
Music you are listening to right now: I am really enjoying LeCrae. There is a song called ‘Boasting’ that has so much depth to it. Good stuff.
Favorite Day-off Activity: Taking hikes or walks with my wife and three sons.
Cutest thing your kid has said recently: We were reading the story of the lepers that were healed by Jesus. I asked my boys why they thought the one leper came back and thanked Jesus. One of the boys said, “Because the leper wanted to get in the Bible.”


How did you decide where to plant your church?

My wife Michelle and I spent time listening to God and to people in San Luis Obispo County and in Morro Bay where we ended up planting. There were two things that were super important to us if we planted. One was that God wanted a Vineyard in Morro Bay and the other was that there were other people that wanted a Vineyard in Morro Bay. We found both, so we went ahead and planted there.

What’s the biggest fear you overcame when planting a church?

Planting a church was the biggest fear! I had pastored at churches that ranged from very small to very large, but I always saw planting a church as something that was not in my tool box and that I would fail at.

What’s one thing you wish you had known before planting?

I wish that I would have been able to plan for the pace of life and growth that the Lord had for the Church. I think that we underestimated the amount of resources (time, energy and money) that planting a church takes and how the pace and flow of the development of the church plant is highly unpredictable.

What’s has been the best experience of the first year?

The best experience of the first year was seeing Jesus consistently but slowly bring the people that He wanted to be a part of the church plant. It was so fun to see how Jesus orchestrated people meeting other people and inviting them to take part in this new community. It has been beautiful to see the people gathered together into a community.

Do you have a cool story of ministry or healing that you’d like to share?

The coolest thing about our ministry times has been that we set out from the beginning to have a culture and DNA where we gave space and opportunity for all to hear from God and pray for others. I think that is probably the coolest part of ministry and healings at Coastlands is that they have been done by and taken part in by the majority of the people. It’s normal and natural for the people to hear God’s voice, pray for others and see healing and people touched by God’s love.

What’s something you were told about church planting that you have found to be true?

That planting a church is different in so many ways than pastoring an existing church. Every aspect of leadership and church life is different.

What are one or two big things that you’ve learned along the way?

Decide to have fun and enjoy each stage of growth and life of the church. Sometimes you may feel like you just want to get to 50 people, or 100, or 200, or whatever, and yet many times you won’t get there until you enjoy the stage that you are at right now. That’s where Jesus is, right in the midst what is happening right now.

I think the biggest thing that I would share with other church planters is to decide that while church planting is a very complicated and crazy adventure, to keep it simple. The simplicity of church planting can be that we are creating space for God and creating space for people. Setting out each week to welcome God more in your city and to welcome people more in your city is what it’s all about.


So church planters—what have you found to be really true so far in your own endeavors? Comment below, or hop over to the forum if you want to get more in-depth. There’s nothing like talking about your church planting issues and questions with other people who are in the midst of the same things.

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