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From Near Closure to Missional Growth

Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Scottsdale, AZ

Holy Cross Lutheran in Scottsdale, Arizona, was a church on the verge of closing four years ago that has found a new identity in missional work. From worshipping barely 50 people a week and tithing $10,000 below the needed amount a month compared to expenses, it is now a church currently worshiping around 250 a week in live worship. Holy Cross is now financially strong and growing in ministry and mission. This has happened by adding missional worship services. In 2023, Holy Cross began worship, Bible study, and ministry in two local retirement centers, with more than 40 people attending each week. It has been refreshing to hear the residents tell us how happy they are to have a church environment on their campuses. After being locked in by COVID-19 for nearly three years, they are excited to worship, be in Bible study, and know they are a part of a church. 

A Celebrate Recovery ministry that involves a full meal, worship, and Bible study breakout sessions has also begun. Nearly 100 people attend weekly and 20 adult Baptisms took place last year. Many suffering from addiction find freedom from their addictions in Jesus Christ who sets them free now and eternally. God also provided the resources necessary to purchase two 15-passenger vans that transport over 50 people each week to Holy Cross from their treatment facilities. Even as a smaller church, members have stepped up in a powerful way to enable these missions to happen. We have also been able to add more staff to expand the scope of our ministry and mission. It seems that the more that is done to serve God outside ourselves, the more God provides and blesses. 

Holy Cross plans to serve another retirement center this year and start worship services and Bible studies in prisons. Holy Cross also serves people experiencing homelessness in their community by providing food and needed supplies. Several local and international missions are also supported, with nearly 20 percent of resources received going toward mission work. The Holy Spirit has led Holy Cross to focus outward and in the process God is blessing the church with internal growth and blessings.

Most importantly, many more lives are being changed forever by the power of God’s Word. Jesus commands us to “go and make disciples of all nations.” The people of Holy Cross are taking this to heart, and the Holy Spirit is doing rest. God is at work!!


Enable more stories of transformed lives through Jesus

Untold thousands are still in darkness, lost like “sheep that have gone astray”. But this is exactly the mission our Lord has created His Church for – reaching the lost for Jesus’ sake in as many ways as necessary. This is the purpose for which our 300 churches and 150 schools were founded in their many contexts. And “the fields are ripe for the harvest” right now!

Your gifts are critical and enable us to continue and expand our shared work together, fulfilling the PSD mission of effectively resourcing congregations and schools for transforming lives and making the Great Commission REAL!


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We love sharing the work God is doing in our district and would love to share what He is doing in your ministry!


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