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

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. 

Steve Liebzeit


After a decade living and serving in the Rocky Mountain region, (Colorado and Wyoming), Steve and Leslie have relocated to Arizona for the express purpose of expanding God’s Kingdom through church planting.  With hearts fixed on ministering to both young families and an aging population, they are excited at the prospect of having a significant impact in a rapidly growing metro area.  Both were born and raised in Southern California.  They met when they were 16 years old and have been married for 36 years.  Their daughter, Faith, (22) has just returned from student teaching in New Zealand and is finishing up her M.S. in Education at the University of Wyoming.  Steve is currently a student at Moody Theological Seminary and has served in various church ministry and leadership roles.  Over the years, he has been elected to Executive Boards with national, state and local non-profit organizations.  Steve is hoping to help expand the EFCA footprint by utilizing his business experience and education in the areas of finance, insurance, securities, real estate, and law.  Leslie is a public elementary school educator and has helped implement modern math and language immersion programs.  She views her position as an important ministry role, striving to love and be a light to children in our public-school systems.  Steve retired from off-road racing some years ago and now enjoys adventuring in the back country on a mountain bike.  Leslie and Steve enjoy attending sporting events and the theater, also exploring and traveling together, especially when their daughter can take a break to join them.  

Joseph Brock


Joseph and Leah Brock married each other in 2012. Since their wedding they have pursued Gods church with passion. In 2014 they joined the EFCA as church planters, and planted a church in Chichiltah, New Mexico. After turning the church to local leadership they moved to Lander Wyoming and took a staff position at a local EFCA church. After a few years, God renewed the passion for church planting in their hearts and directed them to plant a church in the Phoenix metro area. Joseph loves discipleship and starting new things. Leah is a personal trainer, and is passionate about fitness. In March 2019 Leah gave birth to their first child Ava James. They are both enjoying being new parents and are excited for what God has next for them and His church.  

Join our team of church planters