Our Community

 

The Mission Alive community is made up of the Mission Alive team, board, network and ministry partners.  Each one contributes to the mission in critical ways.

Our Team

This team handles the daily operations of Mission Alive and keeps our eyes focused on the vision God has given us. Meet the team!

Executive Director

Tod K. Vogt

Director of Coaching and Discipleship

Steve Shaffer

Mission Consultant

Gailyn Van Rheenen

Coordinator of Residency Programs

Roy Rhodes

Executive Director

Tod K. Vogt

Tod has served as Mission Alive’s Executive Director since January 2015.  Prior to working as Mission Alive’s Executive Director he served as our Director of Equipping.  Tod joined the Mission Alive team in 2007 after several years in local church ministry.  Tod began his full-time ministry as a church planting missionary among the Fon people of Benin, West Africa.

In his role, he works with the board of directors and the Mission Alive team to form the vision and ministry strategy to help Mission Alive accomplish its mission.  He works with church planters and church leaders to develop disciple-making churches. Tod specializes in leadership coaching, spiritual formation and leadership dynamics and development.

He is married to Candace and they have two children.

Home Church: Greenville Oaks Church of Christ, Allen, Texas

Education and Certifications:
B.A. in Speech and Drama, Northeastern State University, Tahlequah, Oklahoma
M.A. in Human Communication, Abilene Christian University, Abilene, Texas
MMiss in Missions, Abilene Christian University, Abilene, Texas
Prepare/Enrich Marriage Level II Certification
CoachNet Coaching Certification
Leading From Your Strengths, Level & II Certification
Spiritual Guidance, Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation
Core Values Index
Core Coaching
Cerny Smith Stress Assessment
GripBirkman Coach

Year Joined Team: 2007

Favorite Bible Verse:
Ezekiel 12:8-9
He said to me, “This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah, where it enters the Dead Sea. When it empties into the sea, the salty water there becomes fresh.Swarms of living creatures will live wherever the river flows. There will be large numbers of fish, because this water flows there and makes the salt water fresh; so where the river flows everything will live. 

Director of Coaching and Discipleship

Steve Shaffer

Steve oversees Discipleship Cohorts (DC), Renew church leader training, and Catalyze coach training. DC’s train leaders who pursue intentional discipling in small groups. Renew coaches church leaders in discipleship and leading missional change. Catalyze trains professional coaches and leaders who want to use coaching to accelerate growth in their organizations.

He is married to Becky and they have five children.

Home Church: Lee Acres Church of Christ, Tupelo, Mississippi

Education and Certifications:
MS, Optics, University of Rochester
MS, Marriage and Family Therapy, Amridge University
MDiv, ACU
DMin, ACU
International Coach Federation PCC coach

Year Joined Team: 2009

Favorite Bible Verse:

Colossians 1:28
We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ.  To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me.

Mission Consultant

Gailyn Van Rheenen

Gailyn launched Mission Alive in 2004 with a vision for planting churches in North America.  Now in retirement, he continues to partner with Mission Alive to cultivate leaders, lead Discipleship Cohorts, and write.  Before beginning Mission Alive, Gailyn taught Bible and Missions at ACU for 18 years after serving as a church-planting missionary in Uganda and Kenya for 14 years. He speaks two African languages. His book Missions: Biblical Foundations and Contemporary Strategies (Zondervan/Harper Collins) equips for church planting and renewal.

He is married to Becky and they have four children and six grandchildren.

Home Church: North Atlanta Church of Christ, Atlanta, Georgia

Education:
BA in Bible, Harding University, 1968
MA in Missions, Abilene Christian University, 1972
DMIS, Trinity Evangelical Seminary, 1988

Year Joined Team: 2004

Favorite Bible Verse: “Who among the gods is like you, Lord?  Who is like you—majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders?” (Ex. 11:15)

Coordinator of Residency Programs

Roy Rhodes

Employment: Pastor at Impact Temple Church, Temple TX

Education: English BA – Oklahoma Christian; MDiv – Abilene Christian University

What year did you join the Mission Alive Team? 2020

Why do you serve on the Mission Alive Team?
God is using Mission Alive to call and equipping leaders to make disciples, plant churches, and serve his kingdom in the margins. Through our residency and internship programs, we aim to cultivate such leaders by providing opportunities to serve in existing church plants. The Outfitters Residency was an instrumental part of my own journey, and I am excited to connect new leaders to the frontiers and walk alongside planters, residents, and interns for the sake of launching new communities and making new disciples.

Your Favorite Bible Verse:
Jeremiah 17:7-8

Training Team

The Training Team oversees and conducts in-person and online training for church planters, paid ministry staff, and church lay leaders.  Each one is licensed to train church planters by The Send Network.  In addition to training church planters, they also conduct a variety of other training for church leaders.

Paul Day

Wes Gunn

Director of Church Planting

Charles Kiser

Director of Coaching and Discipleship

Steve Shaffer

Kevin Vance

Executive Director

Tod K. Vogt

Paul Day

Home Church: Oak Gardens Church, Dallas, Texas

Employment: Pastor

Education: Bachelor’s in Christian Leadership – Dallas Christian College; M.A. In Christian Leadership – Criswell College; D. Th. Andersonville Seminary N.C.

Year Joined Board: 2018

Why serve on the Mission Alive Board?
I serve on this board because of Mission Alive’s commitment to underserved communities.

Favorite Bible Verse:
Romans 8:28

Wes Gunn

Director of Church Planting

Charles Kiser

Charles Kiser is the Director of Church Planting for Mission Alive.  In this role Charles works primarily to recruit, assess and train church planters.  He also leads Mission Alive’s Outfitters Residency, a ministry that recruits interns and apprentices for Mission Alive church plants.

He is married to Julie and they have three children.

Home Church: Storyline Christian Community, Dallas, Texas

Education and Certification:
B.A. in Bible & Religion, Harding University
M.Div. in Theology, Harding School of Theology
D.Min. in Contextual Theology (candidate), Northern Seminary
CoachNet Coaching Certification
Leading From Your Strengths, Level & II Certification

Year Joined Team: 2010

Favorite Bible Verse:
Matthew 6:33
Seek first God’s kingdom and his justice, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Director of Coaching and Discipleship

Steve Shaffer

Steve oversees Discipleship Cohorts (DC), Renew church leader training, and Catalyze coach training. DC’s train leaders who pursue intentional discipling in small groups. Renew coaches church leaders in discipleship and leading missional change. Catalyze trains professional coaches and leaders who want to use coaching to accelerate growth in their organizations.

He is married to Becky and they have five children.

Home Church: Lee Acres Church of Christ, Tupelo, Mississippi

Education and Certifications:
MS, Optics, University of Rochester
MS, Marriage and Family Therapy, Amridge University
MDiv, ACU
DMin, ACU
International Coach Federation PCC coach

Year Joined Team: 2009

Favorite Bible Verse:

Colossians 1:28
We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ.  To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me.

Kevin Vance

Home Church: Gentle Road Church of Christ, Regina, SK, Canada

Employment: Church Planter

Education: Bachelors in Theology, Western Christian College; Masters of Divinity Canadian Theological Seminary

What year did you join the Mission Alive Team? 2010

What is your favorite Bible verse? John 10:10

Why serve on the Mission Alive team?
Because of the spiritual transformation that MA helped me with when I first came into the network. Because of the vision to plant churches and foster the transformation of marginalized communities across North America.

 

Executive Director

Tod K. Vogt

Tod has served as Mission Alive’s Executive Director since January 2015.  Prior to working as Mission Alive’s Executive Director he served as our Director of Equipping.  Tod joined the Mission Alive team in 2007 after several years in local church ministry.  Tod began his full-time ministry as a church planting missionary among the Fon people of Benin, West Africa.

In his role, he works with the board of directors and the Mission Alive team to form the vision and ministry strategy to help Mission Alive accomplish its mission.  He works with church planters and church leaders to develop disciple-making churches. Tod specializes in leadership coaching, spiritual formation and leadership dynamics and development.

He is married to Candace and they have two children.

Home Church: Greenville Oaks Church of Christ, Allen, Texas

Education and Certifications:
B.A. in Speech and Drama, Northeastern State University, Tahlequah, Oklahoma
M.A. in Human Communication, Abilene Christian University, Abilene, Texas
MMiss in Missions, Abilene Christian University, Abilene, Texas
Prepare/Enrich Marriage Level II Certification
CoachNet Coaching Certification
Leading From Your Strengths, Level & II Certification
Spiritual Guidance, Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation
Core Values Index
Core Coaching
Cerny Smith Stress Assessment
GripBirkman Coach

Year Joined Team: 2007

Favorite Bible Verse:
Ezekiel 12:8-9
He said to me, “This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah, where it enters the Dead Sea. When it empties into the sea, the salty water there becomes fresh.Swarms of living creatures will live wherever the river flows. There will be large numbers of fish, because this water flows there and makes the salt water fresh; so where the river flows everything will live. 

Coaching Team

The Coaching Team is comprised of certified ministry coaches.  Having been trained in various professionally accepted coaching methods, this team is prepared to walk alongside you to accomplish your personal goals, as well as the mission of your ministry or church.

Lantz Howard

Jeremy Hoover

Director of Coaching and Discipleship

Steve Shaffer

Executive Director

Tod K. Vogt

Lantz Howard

Home Church: Park Avenue Church of Christ

Employment: Discipleship Minister and Life Coach

Education: M.A. Lubbock Christian University – MMFT University of Phoenix Las Vegas

Year joined the board: 2018

What is your favorite Bible verse? “What is that to you? You must follow me.” John 21:22

Why do you serve on the Mission Alive team?
To equip and lead disciple-makers.

Jeremy Hoover

Home Church: Love First Sarnia, Ontario, Canada

Employment: Church Planter and Coach

Education: Bachelors in Religious Education, Rochester University

What year did you join the Mission Alive Team? 2015

Favorite Bible Verse: Psalm 1

Why do you serve on the Mission Alive Team?
I enjoy helping lead Discipleship Cohorts on behalf of Mission Alive. I enjoy leading others to grow in discipleship and become empowered for mission.

 

Director of Coaching and Discipleship

Steve Shaffer

Steve oversees Discipleship Cohorts (DC), Renew church leader training, and Catalyze coach training. DC’s train leaders who pursue intentional discipling in small groups. Renew coaches church leaders in discipleship and leading missional change. Catalyze trains professional coaches and leaders who want to use coaching to accelerate growth in their organizations.

He is married to Becky and they have five children.

Home Church: Lee Acres Church of Christ, Tupelo, Mississippi

Education and Certifications:
MS, Optics, University of Rochester
MS, Marriage and Family Therapy, Amridge University
MDiv, ACU
DMin, ACU
International Coach Federation PCC coach

Year Joined Team: 2009

Favorite Bible Verse:

Colossians 1:28
We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ.  To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me.

Executive Director

Tod K. Vogt

Tod has served as Mission Alive’s Executive Director since January 2015.  Prior to working as Mission Alive’s Executive Director he served as our Director of Equipping.  Tod joined the Mission Alive team in 2007 after several years in local church ministry.  Tod began his full-time ministry as a church planting missionary among the Fon people of Benin, West Africa.

In his role, he works with the board of directors and the Mission Alive team to form the vision and ministry strategy to help Mission Alive accomplish its mission.  He works with church planters and church leaders to develop disciple-making churches. Tod specializes in leadership coaching, spiritual formation and leadership dynamics and development.

He is married to Candace and they have two children.

Home Church: Greenville Oaks Church of Christ, Allen, Texas

Education and Certifications:
B.A. in Speech and Drama, Northeastern State University, Tahlequah, Oklahoma
M.A. in Human Communication, Abilene Christian University, Abilene, Texas
MMiss in Missions, Abilene Christian University, Abilene, Texas
Prepare/Enrich Marriage Level II Certification
CoachNet Coaching Certification
Leading From Your Strengths, Level & II Certification
Spiritual Guidance, Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation
Core Values Index
Core Coaching
Cerny Smith Stress Assessment
GripBirkman Coach

Year Joined Team: 2007

Favorite Bible Verse:
Ezekiel 12:8-9
He said to me, “This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah, where it enters the Dead Sea. When it empties into the sea, the salty water there becomes fresh.Swarms of living creatures will live wherever the river flows. There will be large numbers of fish, because this water flows there and makes the salt water fresh; so where the river flows everything will live. 

Discipleship Team

The Discipling Team are experienced disciple-makers. Each one has successfully developed reproducing discipling movements in their respective ministries.  In addition to participating in and leading discipleship cohorts, they are trained to guide your church in the development of a discipling movement.

Steven Carrizal

Jeremy Hoover

Director of Coaching and Discipleship

Steve Shaffer

Executive Director

Tod K. Vogt

Steven Carrizal

Home Church: Altamesa Church of Christ, Fort Worth, TX

Employment: Minister

Education: B.S. Youth & Family Ministry – ACU; M.A. Christian Ministry – ACU

What year did you join the Mission Alive Team: 2019

Favorite Bible Verse: Phillippians 2:1-10

Why you serve on the Mission Alive Team:  I have benefited personally and professionally from Mission Alive people and training and I’m eager to pass that experience along.

 

Jeremy Hoover

Home Church: Love First Sarnia, Ontario, Canada

Employment: Church Planter and Coach

Education: Bachelors in Religious Education, Rochester University

What year did you join the Mission Alive Team? 2015

Favorite Bible Verse: Psalm 1

Why do you serve on the Mission Alive Team?
I enjoy helping lead Discipleship Cohorts on behalf of Mission Alive. I enjoy leading others to grow in discipleship and become empowered for mission.

 

Director of Coaching and Discipleship

Steve Shaffer

Steve oversees Discipleship Cohorts (DC), Renew church leader training, and Catalyze coach training. DC’s train leaders who pursue intentional discipling in small groups. Renew coaches church leaders in discipleship and leading missional change. Catalyze trains professional coaches and leaders who want to use coaching to accelerate growth in their organizations.

He is married to Becky and they have five children.

Home Church: Lee Acres Church of Christ, Tupelo, Mississippi

Education and Certifications:
MS, Optics, University of Rochester
MS, Marriage and Family Therapy, Amridge University
MDiv, ACU
DMin, ACU
International Coach Federation PCC coach

Year Joined Team: 2009

Favorite Bible Verse:

Colossians 1:28
We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ.  To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me.

Executive Director

Tod K. Vogt

Tod has served as Mission Alive’s Executive Director since January 2015.  Prior to working as Mission Alive’s Executive Director he served as our Director of Equipping.  Tod joined the Mission Alive team in 2007 after several years in local church ministry.  Tod began his full-time ministry as a church planting missionary among the Fon people of Benin, West Africa.

In his role, he works with the board of directors and the Mission Alive team to form the vision and ministry strategy to help Mission Alive accomplish its mission.  He works with church planters and church leaders to develop disciple-making churches. Tod specializes in leadership coaching, spiritual formation and leadership dynamics and development.

He is married to Candace and they have two children.

Home Church: Greenville Oaks Church of Christ, Allen, Texas

Education and Certifications:
B.A. in Speech and Drama, Northeastern State University, Tahlequah, Oklahoma
M.A. in Human Communication, Abilene Christian University, Abilene, Texas
MMiss in Missions, Abilene Christian University, Abilene, Texas
Prepare/Enrich Marriage Level II Certification
CoachNet Coaching Certification
Leading From Your Strengths, Level & II Certification
Spiritual Guidance, Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation
Core Values Index
Core Coaching
Cerny Smith Stress Assessment
GripBirkman Coach

Year Joined Team: 2007

Favorite Bible Verse:
Ezekiel 12:8-9
He said to me, “This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah, where it enters the Dead Sea. When it empties into the sea, the salty water there becomes fresh.Swarms of living creatures will live wherever the river flows. There will be large numbers of fish, because this water flows there and makes the salt water fresh; so where the river flows everything will live. 

Our Board of Directors

Our board of directors is the backbone of our mission.  They prayerfully guide the mission.  Our board is made up of men and women from around North America who come from a variety of backgrounds and experiences.

Melinda Ballard

Tommy Ballard

Jerry Browder

Allen Close

Paul Day

Scott Ferguson

Ben Langford

Charles Pierson

Stephen Johnson

Mike Chase

Melinda Ballard

Home Church: Storyline Christian Community, Dallas, Texas (Mission Alive church plant)

Employment:

Although I worked as a Speech Pathologist for a few years after graduation, the last 26 years my “employment” has been at home as a wife and mother.

Education:

Abilene Christian University- Bachelor of Science in Speech Language Pathology

Year Joined Board: 2013

Favorite Bible Verse:

Romans 8:38 “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Tommy Ballard

Home Church:  Storyline Christian Community, Dallas, Texas (Mission Alive church plant)

Employment:

First Eye Care Dallas, Owner, Optometrist

Education:
Abilene Christian University
University of Houston—Doctor of Optometry

Year Joined Board: 2013

Jerry Browder

Home Church:  Singing Oaks Church of Christ, Denton, Texas

Employment:

Signet Health Corporation, President and CEO.

Mr. Browder has over 34 years experience in mental health and acute rehab management. He was trained as a CPA and is recognized nationally for his expertise in distinct part unit reimbursement. He has managed over 100 different inpatient mental health or rehab units in 24 states.

Education:

Abilene Christian University, BS in Business Administration (Accounting)

Year Joined Board: 2004

Favorite Bible Verse:

Ephesians 3:14-21

When asked how serving with Mission Alive emanates from or fulfills his calling, Mr. Browder says, “I believe Mission Alive’s missional and incarnational models of church planting reflect who Jesus is and how he connected with people while on the earth. Our world and our community needs these kinds of opportunities to provide belonging for people who are struggling with the consequences of sin in their lives and are unlikely to seek or find community in established traditional institutional churches.”

Allen Close

Home Church:  Waynesboro Church of Christ, Waynesboro, Virginia

Employment:
Waynesboro Church of Christ, Pulpit Minister

Education:
Master of Divinity from Abilene Christian University

Year Joined Board: 2009

Why serve on the Mission Alive Board
I serve on Mission Alive’s board of directors because I believe that Mission Alive is stepping into the future where God is leading His church and I want to be part of that movement.

Favorite Bible Verse:

James 4:8
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.

Paul Day

Home Church: Oak Gardens Church, Dallas, Texas

Employment: Pastor

Education: Bachelor’s in Christian Leadership – Dallas Christian College; M.A. In Christian Leadership – Criswell College; D. Th. Andersonville Seminary N.C.

Year Joined Board: 2018

Why serve on the Mission Alive Board?
I serve on this board because of Mission Alive’s commitment to underserved communities.

Favorite Bible Verse:
Romans 8:28

Scott Ferguson

Home Church: Moreno Valley Community Church, Angel Fire, New Mexico

Employment:
Cornerstone Real Estate Advisors, Vice President (retired)

Education:
B.S. in Economics from Abilene Christian University
M.Ag in Agricultural Finance from Texas A&M University

Year Joined Board: 2010

Why serve on the Mission Alive Board:
I serve on the board for Mission Alive because Mission Alive seeks to plant churches that love people the way Christ calls us to, in neighborhoods that desperately need that love.

Favorite Bible Verse:
Ephesians 2:10
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Ben Langford

Home Church: The Springs Church of Christ

Employment:
Oklahoma Christian University, Edmond, Oklahoma, Director for the Center for Global Missions.

Education:
B.A. Bible and Ministry – Oklahoma Christian University
M.S. Ministry – Pepperdine University

Year Joined Board: 2012

Why serve on the Mission Alive Board
God has purposes for his creation and I want to be a part of those purposes. The church is people just like me who are just beginning to recognize and participate in God’s purposes for creation. Mission Alive invites people to join that journey of recognition and participation in God’s purposes and I want to be apart of that journey.

Favorite Bible Verse:
Philippians 3:10-11
I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.

Charles Pierson

Home Church: Creekside Church, Midlothian, Texas

Education:
B.S. Vanderbilt University
M.B.A. Vanderbilt University

Year Joined Board: 2018

Stephen Johnson

Mike Chase

Home Church: The Hills Church, North Richland Hills, TX

Employment: Rubber Compounding Business, Owner Next Gen Compounding

Education: Harding University  – Bachelors of Business Administration

Year Joined Board: 2020
Why do you serve on Mission Alive’s Board?
John 3:16  – To do my part in making and growing followers of Jesus Christ.
Favorite Bible verse: Philippians 4:13

Our Network

Our Network is a community of diverse churches either planted through Mission Alive or who have chosen to associate with Mission Alive and our mission.

Storyline Christian Community
Dallas, Texas
www.storylinecommunity.com

New River Church
Forney, Texas
www.newriverforney.com

Gentle Road Church of Christ
Regina, Saskatchewan
www.gentleroadchurch.wordpress.com

Hillcrest Iglesia de Christo
Arlington, Texas
www.arlingtoniglesia.org/staff

Redland Hills Church
Wetumpka, Alabama
www.redlandhills.org

River City Christian Community
Wichita, Kansas
www.Rivercitycommunity.org

Love First Sarnia
Sarnia, Ontario
www.facebook.com/groups/lovefirstsarnia/

 

 

Iglesia de Christo
Dallas, Texas

Reclaimed Church
Orlando, Florida
www.Facebook.com/reclaimedchurchorlando

Oak Gardens Church of Christ
Dallas, Texas
www.Oakgardenschurch.org

LifeSpring Church
Merced, California
lifespringchurch.net/

Common Thread Church
Maumelle, Arkansas
www.commonthread.church

Southside Church of Christ
Ft. Worth, Texas
www.sscofc.org/

Lakota Peace Initiative
Hot Springs, South Dakota
www.lakotapeace.org