In this season of quarantine and subsequent lockdown, we’ve discussed many tools and tactics. As we re-emerge into this new season post-lockdown churches and church planters are faced with even more new issues. This conversation with Amos and Alison Groenendyk is helpful in a number of ways. Their inspirational origin story as church planters in Michigan begins our conversation followed by their journey with the Chester Springs Vineyard taking over the church from the founding pastor. They done many creative things vitally connected to the mission of their church in this season of COVID-19 but there are many more things to be gleaned from their story.
Amos and Alison Groenendyk
Amos is passionate about making disciples for Jesus. Following Jesus has been the great adventure of his life that has taken him through Michigan, Iowa, Ohio, Montana, Uganda, Jerusalem and now to Pennsylvania! After Amos graduated from Calvin College and then Calvin Seminary, God called them to plant Revive Vineyard Church in Grand Rapids, MI. During that time, God awakened a new hunger and thirst in him for experiencing the joy of God’s presence.
Amos and his wife, Alison, share almost all their passions, likes and hobbies. Their favorite pastime is watching football. Alison roots for the Packers and Amos for the 49ers. They enjoy hot tubs, hiking, hosting and eating tasty food. Their favorite shows are Mad Men, Grey’s Anatomy, Downtown Abbey and The Americans. They listen to Mumford & Sons, John Mayer, and All Sons & Daughters. While Amos had a strict “no cat” policy when they first got married, he softened and now they have two Ragdoll cats named Mika and Ruki.
Amos values spiritual depth, emotional health, and an engaged mind. He elevates theology that is in line with historic Christian orthodoxy, alongside and experience and expression of God’s kingdom that transforms lives. He believes that God’s word and God’s Spirit are equally vital to stay in step with His will. This striving for the “radical middle” is why he is in the Vineyard Movement.
Amos wants to help grow a community of people who are hungry for God coming together to worship with complete surrender and sacrificial obedience to Jesus. He wants to inspire people to do things that require faith and be released in the power of the Holy Spirit. He looks forward to pastoring a church that lays hands on the sick, cares for the poor, worships passionately, proclaims the gospel and exalts Jesus.
Alison loves learning about communication, relationships, psychology, and the human body, and she found a career in medical speech pathology to be the perfect blend of these passions! Alison worked as a brain injury specialist for 8 years across many hospital and rehab settings, and was a clinical instructor at her alma mater, the University of Northern Iowa!
Alison has been a part of the Vineyard movement since 2004, when she began searching for a church that valued equally the Bible and God’s Spirit! Her first time in a Vineyard church, she knew she was “home”. She loves the authenticity and radical welcome of the Vineyard, and that we get to live life together in response to simply being loved perfectly by Jesus! Alison has served in many leadership roles in adult groups, youth ministry, worship, outreach, and young adult ministry. Amos and Alison planted and pastored a Vineyard Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan soon after they were married in 2010.
A trained spiritual director through Sustainable Faith, Alison is at her best when helping individuals and small groups experience the healing and wholeness Jesus offers. Her pastoral roles include overseeing Life Group leadership, Sunday Serve Teams, Care and Financial Assistance Systems and Events planning. She also helps to set the strategic vision of the church and staff, and to grow our culture of spiritual formation and emotional health!
Alison loves to geek out about neuroscience and new medical procedures, and still reads medical journals for fun! 😉 In her free time, you’ll find her painting landscapes, listening to good music-all kinds, hiking mountains, cheering (loudly) for the Green Bay Packers, perfecting her homemade coffee syrups and lattes, and cuddling her sweet Ragdoll cats, Mika and Ruki!
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