Day-long celebration marks Greenhouse 10th anniversary

Utah's Greenhouse Community Church celebrated its 10th anniversary in late July

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Greenhouse Community Church celebrated its 10th anniversary July 30 with a full day of events, including an evening concert and fireworks. Photo: GCC

At the end of July, Greenhouse Community Church reached a significant milestone: 10 years in Saratoga Springs, Utah. Saratoga Springs is a city that in its history hasn’t had a Christian church for more than a few years at a time. This is a humbling milestone, and the Greenhouse pastoral staff say it is an amazing honor to be a part of what God is doing in Saratoga Springs. The team provides this report on their anniversary celebration.  

As a church body and community, Greenhouse Community Church celebrated its 10-year anniversary for a full day July 30. The morning was filled with praise for what God has done and prayer for the future. We kicked off the morning with donuts and balloons as we welcomed families to church. Individuals from our original project team attended as well as past staff members who were instrumental in the last 10 years. A video reminded us of our journey over the years.

Individuals from the Greenhouse Community Church church plant project team as well as past staff members attended the morning worship service. Photo: GCC

In the evening we celebrated big with a concert at a city park featuring singer/songwriter Rachael Pankratz, who was previously part of the Greenhouse worship team and who currently lives in Kansas, followed by the Dugan Irby Band. DIB is a trio from Sheridan, Wyoming, that plays a blend of styles that is best described as Modern Americana.

Phenomenal music along with free food, games, glowsticks and “Jesus loves you” bracelets helped us all celebrate God’s faithfulness. The night ended with an incredible firework show displaying God’s goodness over the valley. The symbolism of that was deeply meaningful as we desire to display his goodness and his truth to the valley we love.

Singer/songwriter Rachael Pankratz, (second from left) who was previously part of the Greenhouse worship team and who currently lives in Kansas, and the Dugan Irby Band of Sheridan, Wyoming, performed at the Sunday evening celebration. Photo: GCC

Greenhouse Community Church didn’t follow the traditional planting model. Instead we used an organic, missionary/missional, relational approach which is a slower approach but one that has been an incredible fit for the area we serve and for the way God has wired and designed us. We funnel everything through our mission to grow disciples who love God, love people and serve the world.

We launched in 2013 with 11 people (including seven kids) and spent six months investing in our area in every way possible. Six months later we started our first missional community group that met weekly in our home. One year in we began “First Sunday Gatherings” which was a worship gathering on the first Sunday of the month. We brought in a worship leader for that monthly gathering and continued with our weekly missional community in our home.

A year later, we increased to two services a month and it wasn’t till the third year when we brought on three more staff members that we went to weekly Sunday morning gatherings. We increased our number of Missional Community groups, now called Connect Groups, and held baptism services which are always a highlight of the summer. We began Summer Bible Adventure (aka: VBS) and created a unique character-based sports camp called Game Changers.

Greenhouse Community Church was planted using an organic, missionary/missional, relational approach. Photo: GCC

For the next seven years we grew in depth and size. This has created ripple effects that spread throughout our city and surrounding areas. We focus on a balance of gathering and scattering. Gathering in our connect groups, weekly services and various men’s and women’s groups and also scattering as we each are challenged to live missionally in our neighborhoods and areas of work and play.

Over the 10 years God has opened opportunities for us to put down deep roots with the city. Laying a foundation of trust with our community and our city has been critical to the mission of Greenhouse. Having staff members be bi-vocational for many years, coaching at all levels, participating in community events and teaching and interacting with our public schools are just some of the ways we put down our roots.

Some of the unique things God has done with the relationships we have built with the city is our partnership with them for our Game Changers camp. As we created this camp, the city came to us and offered to partner with us. Our Summer Bible Adventure and Game Changers camps are attended heavily by the community. To us, these have been signs of the trust we have developed.

The Greenhouse Community Church pastoral team includes Drew and Allie Pankratz, Jason and Nicole Quiring, church planters, and Rich and Karen Smith. Photo: GCC

Along the way we have always prayed God would only grow us as fast as we are healthy, and we believe he has done just that. We currently average 120 on a Sunday morning, with special Sundays like Christmas having 200-plus. Our celebration evening had 250 to 300-plus.

Though these numbers do tell a story, even more are the numbers we can’t count who are impacted by Greenhouse and Greenhouse families in our community and surrounding area. We keep the “long haul” in mind knowing the journey is long for so many who have left a previous faith or have been burned by religion in general.

Our presence is a constant to all those he is relentlessly pursuing and a safe place for them to come and go and interact with us in our everyday lives, seeing Jesus in us, as they journey to know him. We trust his timing and are humbled he uses us. As Eugene Peterson said, “Long obedience in the same direction.” That is our prayer and our hope for Greenhouse and personally as we continue to invest in Saratoga and the surrounding areas.

Greenhouse exists because of so many continual partnerships with churches and individuals. We are thankful for each person and church that was willing to come on this journey with us and see what God could do through the Greenhouse. Words cannot express our thankfulness with those continued partners. Thank you. God has been good! This is just the beginning.

Story provided by the Greenhouse team: Jason and Nicole Quiring, church planters; Drew (associate/youth pastor) and Allie (leadership team) Pankratz; and Rich (worship leader) and Karen (leadership team) Smith

Greenhouse Community Church’s 10th anniversary celebration included fireworks. Photo: GCC

1 COMMENT

  1. Jason, Nicole and the rest of your team:
    This is an inspiring story of an organic church plant. It’s great to hear about your celebration and to be able to vicariously celebrate with you. May God continue to bless your work.

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