An EFCA West Church Planting Network

Church Planting Residency




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What is a Church Planting Residency?

  • An opportunity for a potential church planter to gain essential skills and experience by engaging in a healthy, reproducing church environment.
  • A "deep dive" into church leadership, vision development, preaching, strategic planning, and the endless details that go into a successful church plant.
  • A season of preparation - both personally for the planter and his family, as well as organizationally as the groundwork is laid for the new church. 

 How long do Residencies last?

  • 6 months - 2 years depending on the goals of the residency.

Where do Residencies take place? 

  • There is a list of EFCA West Partner Churches  spread throughout our region that are available to provide an excellent resident experience.
  • As the candidate works through the assessment process, it will become clear which partner church will fit best for the planter's goals.



Current Residents


Byron Jung

Byron is currently the church planting resident with Nova Community Church in Torrance, California. He and his wife, Christine, have been married for 17 years and have two kids, Samantha who is 12 and Asher who is 10.

A native Northern Californian, Byron moved to the Los Angeles basin for his undergraduate degree at UCLA. There, God slowly pulled him into more opportunities to serve in the church- first in Christian Education and then in Youth Ministry. After graduating from Talbot Graduate School of Theology and serving in various pastoral roles throughout the Los Angeles South Bay area for almost 30 years, he felt God's call to plant churches in order to reach more of those unreached with the news of the Gospel. Currently, together with his church planting partner, Jody Faison, they plan to begin a movement of church multiplication starting in the South Torrance/South Redondo Beach area.

Kent Schlecht

Kent grew up in LA county and the mountains of CA. God took a hold of his heart at an early age through a camp speaker and he has sought to live for Christ ever since. He went to Moody Bible Institute, where he and his wife Danielle met and were married after graduation. Their hearts were to minister to the people of the Southwestern US. After serving in a local church in IL and graduating Trinity Evangelical Divinity School he became a youth pastor in Bakersfield, CA. Since then, they have added three daughters to their growing family. Kent has served in youth ministry for thirteen years before heeding the call to church plant. Their hope is to go back to Bakersfield and establish an outpost for kingdom engagement and advancement. 

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Mike Giesenhagen

Mike is  serving as the church planting resident with Ambassador Church in Brea, California.  He's been married to his wife, Nicole, for almost 5 years, and their daughter, Grace, is 2 years old.  They met in their home state of Minnesota and moved to southern California shortly after marrying in order to pursue a career change and a Master of Divinity degree at Talbot School of Theology.  Prior to Ambassador, he has had a variety of career opportunities ranging from youth ministry at a small church to senior ministry at a megachurch.  Before becoming a pastor, he spent 6 years working for Target Corporation as a distribution manager and process consultant, where he was using my undergraduate business degree from the University of Southern California. 

In addition to serving the Church, he loves to follow football (especially college football), baseball, and other sports.  Their family also enjoys traveling to see how people live in other areas of the world.

Join our team of church planters