Arizona Here We Come

Nearly seven years ago my wife and I packed our cars with everything we owned and drove from Vancouver, British Columbia to Tustin, California. Like the Gold Rushers of the 1800’s we scrambled to get to California as quickly as we could. But this was no search for gold. In fact, we were leaving the gold! The reason was simple: prosperity gospel theology and the lifestyle we were immersed in had left us spiritually and emotionally bankrupt. No matter what the money provided, we couldn’t shake the conviction that had taken hold of our hearts.

During the years that followed, God did extraordinary things that were beyond anything we’d ever imagined.

There was my true conversion. There was a church-wide transformation from the seeker-driven model to a “Bible Church” model; complete with expository preaching and a joint effort with other leaders towards biblical ecclesiology. Three name changes and a whole lot of other changes later took us from being “Moment Church” to “Mission Bible Church.” There was the loss of my title as “pastor” and the whole-hearted embrace of seminary classes and re-training for biblical ministry. There was the bond of new relationships and friends who became family. There was discipleship that impacted us eternally. And there was four years of silence and supervised ministry before beginning to push back against the prosperity gospel and word of faith heresies that I’d taken part in. Perhaps the best summary would be to say that the grace of God overflowed and saturated every area of our lives and we came under the oversight of Christ’s Church. We were part of the true Church for the first time in our lives.

Now, a time of transition has come. In June I’ll be joining the team of elders at Redeemer Bible Church in Gilbert, Arizona.

The Spirit-Led Process

One of the biggest blessings in the process thus far is that every step has been led by the Holy Spirit through prayer. Elders on both sides of the process have continued to be floored by how the Holy Spirit orchestrated every step. The process has been very simple and very spiritual.

Last fall I had the privilege of preaching at Redeemer Bible Church in Gilbert, AZ during a two-day conference. We enjoyed fellowship and the word during a brief 36 hours together. It was exciting to hear about their ministry and what was a powerful story of revitalization. The church had gone from around 90 to 900 in four years and was doing nothing uniquely innovative. They were simply preaching the Bible and shepherding the people. In similar fashion to what we witnessed at Mission Bible Church, they’d seen the Lord bless their work as they determined to be faithful in what mattered most.

Around that same time two of the elders from Redeemer were praying for the Lord to add to the team of elders because of the growing needs within the church and the region. Shortly after my visit they reached out and we began having friendly discussions about life, ministry philosophy, preaching, and training. After developing a friendship with these men, we stayed in touch and soon reconnected at another conference. That’s when the Lord made it very clear that there was a door opening for ministry in Arizona. After spending some weeks in prayer and talking with my wife, I knew it was serious enough to take to my current elders.

Upon conferring with the elders at Mission Bible Church, the affirmation of this call was unanimous and we began to make plans for a smooth and God-honoring transition.

The Spiritual Need

During the process my intrigue (and excitement) grew as I studied the region I’d be moving to if I accepted the call. Gilbert is a suburb in the Phoenix/Scottsdale region and if you know that area, you know the harvest there is plentiful! That area consistently ranks as one of the fastest growing regions in the nation, and is top three on the list of highest Mormon populations in the nation. When we visited last week, we were blown away by the amount of Mormon wards either already built or being built within the burgeoning suburban developments. Equally as encouraging as the opportunity for ministry to lost souls was the unity amongst local pastors. We’ve heard story after story of how many of them help each other, meet together, pray for one another, and encourage one another. Personally, this was refreshing. Like many other Christians, I loathe cutthroat and competitive attitudes between pastors. There’s so little time to waste and souls to be won.

In the region we’ll be moving to there is a huge spiritual need and I am thankful that God called us to join the army of Christian workers already laboring there.

The Superior Replacement

What few will realize at this stage in the transition is what a superior replacement the new executive pastor at Mission Bible Church is. Simply put: he is far better than me in that role! I know this because not only is he a very dear friend, but I’ve watched him faithfully shepherd the local church and prove to be an administrative mastermind. As much as I feel like God opened a door for me to step deeper into my calling as a preacher and a shepherd, I can’t help but simultaneously think that He moved me out-of-the-way in order to take Mission Bible into the future under a better leader. Only God can make all the pieces fit so perfectly. The new XP is a gift to MBC and the best is yet to come because of his God-given talents. I’m excited to shift roles from pastor to cheerleader for the amazing leaders and people who’ve been our family for these past several years.

Like any transition, there is a mix of emotions. God has allowed us to foster relationships that will impact us for the rest of our lives. As Pastor Tony described it in his announcement to the congregation at MBC on Sunday, “It’s a time of both tears and cheers because of how much we all love each other. But remember, this is not a loss. This is simply our Father moving one of His children from one room in His house to another. We’re all still part of the same family.”

There will undoubtedly be many new challenges and many joyous victories ahead. No matter what, Jesus is building His church and we’re honored to be laboring to that end at Redeemer Bible Church.

Arizona here we come!

12 replies
  1. Carol Koprowski
    Carol Koprowski says:

    I came across you when I watched American Gospel. I have since heard you in several Justin Peters videos. What you said has been very encouraging to me and God has used it to help me become more discerning. I am excited for you as you begin with this new part of your journey with God. May God continue to bless you and your family.

    Reply
  2. Karen Cote
    Karen Cote says:

    Oh Pastor Costi. God is truly amazing. As we see His work at Mission Bible, His work in Arizona is obvious by your moving. On a personal note. As Todd and I listened to Pastor Tony on your upcoming mission to Arizona, we too experienced tears and cheers but I have to admit on a more selfish nature. Tears you were leaving Mission Bible Church but cheers that we will be moving to the Phoenix area early next year. You know I have a special fondness not only from where you journeyed from but where you are journeying to. Simply put, the church needs your experience and revelation of what the true Gospel is and God has gifted you with the enlightenment, talent, and message to deliver it. We need you for the mission field as we all seek direction on navigating the chaos of the world through God’s Holy Word. You love God’s Word. You bow to our Lord. I pray our intentions strive to serve Him as your intentions so obviously do.

    Reply
    • Costi W. Hinn
      Costi W. Hinn says:

      Wonderful news, Karen! I look forward to connecting with you and Todd in the near future and am grateful for the providence of God in bringing you to Mission Bible and now Arizona! Give Todd my best. See you both soon.

      Reply
  3. Abe Mantle
    Abe Mantle says:

    Very good! Praying for God’s blessings on you and your family as you take this step. Thank you for being a powerful voice calling us to pursue the pure faith and cast aside the silliness!

    Reply
  4. Michael Ford
    Michael Ford says:

    I look forward to laboring with you. The harvest is indeed great . It is exciting and increasingly urgent times as we draw near to the return of our Lord.

    Reply
  5. Linda Villani
    Linda Villani says:

    Praise God for pastor Costi coming out of prosperity gospel to hear the truth and eventually go through reprogramming his mind and heart through the ministry of Dallas Theological Seminary Pastor-Teachers there at Mission Bible Church.✝️

    Reply
  6. bill (cycleguy)
    bill (cycleguy) says:

    Costi: I fell funny using your first name since I have never met you except through your blog and your first book (and eagerly waiting for your new one). I was intrigued to hear you were moving to Gilbert. I have a friend who lives in Gilbert (Cottonwood Dr) and I would love to send him your way. h works for the Suicide Prevention Network there but right now is doing remote in Maine. (he was tired of the heat and wanted to experience winter. I think he did). He is searching and i would love to hook him up with a Bible-believing church that preaches the Bible.

    Reply
  7. Julia Pomeroy
    Julia Pomeroy says:

    I am just another ‘groupie’ having read your book. I am not American nor do I live in America but I have actually toured Arizona and found it a beautiful place. May the Lord bless you mightily and may many more come to know Jesus because of what you preach. I am so looking forward to the release of your book but, alas, postage from the US is heavy to where I live and then I have to pay tax on it so I will have to wait until Book Depository lays its hands on it as they deliver from the UK with free postage. I live on the island of Cyprus which is where the Lord called my husband and I some seven years ago – He knew what He was doing as we are so not into sun, sea and sand. I do pray you will be able to cope with the heat of summer where you are going!

    Reply
  8. Sue
    Sue says:

    Dear Pastor Costi:
    How exciting for you and your family and Redeemer Bible Church! I actually started watching Justin Peters on YouTube after our church started having pretty major issues recently. That is how I cam to be aquatinted with your ministry. 23 years ago my husband and I left a church that we believed had turned into a cult, it was total health wealth and prosperity. We learned much from that situation. God has been taking us on His journey ever since as we trust Him. We pray for you and your family in this transition. I wish we lived closer to Gilbert as we are looking for a new place to call home over on the northwest side of the valley of the sun. Keep preaching the word!

    Reply
  9. Carol
    Carol says:

    I feel honored to have met you through the Justin Peters Ministry, and various other discernment ministries. I have the greatest respect for the courage and faithfulness to our God in leaving behind all that was a “success” to apprehend all the treasures of heaven. Few pastors have that kind of courage. If course, we know it was God’s kindness in leading you to truth. Forfeiting all to apprehend Him is true love. God will continue to guide and lead. That’s what He does for His children. I wish I lived in Arizona. But, at my age, I look forward to seeing Jesus face to face. Someday brother, we will meet.

    Reply
  10. Denise Michels
    Denise Michels says:

    We wish you all the best Costi. I can’t tell you how much my husband & I appreciate your ministry. It has been a great encouragement to us. We will be keeping you in our prayers & look forward to what the Lord will be doing in your life & ministry. God bless you & your family as you make this move.

    Reply

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