About Harvest

It has been one of my greatest privileges in life to walk with pastors and church leaders towards greater impact. I understand from several unique points of view the challenge and loneliness that can accompany the ministry. When I planted a church in 2009, there began some of my most challenging years of leadership. Some of the darkest moments I have ever encountered in life was while I was planting a church. Through my hardship and growth in that season, I became passionate about walking alongside leaders by equipping and helping them grow in their own journeys.

Most pastors I come across are busy, overwhelmed with ideas and wrestling with more questions than answers. As a result, progress can slow, people get restless, and the future becomes fuzzy. Many wrestle with feeling alone, overwhelmed, stuck, or on the brink of something new, but all have something in common: they would all benefit from outside help.

That is where I can help. As a coach, I bring an unbiased outside perspective, objective viewpoint, and past experience—which can be extremely profitable to your church or organization.

Lee Stephenson  Coach, business owner, church planter and speaker

Lee Stephenson
Coach, business owner, church planter and speaker

My story

I began in pastoral ministry in 1998 as a youth pastor in South Bend, IN. Shortly after getting married, God began to stir in my heart the idea of church planting. In 2004, I took a job as an associate pastor at Red Mountain Community Church (a large church in the Phoenix Metro area) that shared my heart and vision to plant more healthy churches. After serving five years on staff, it was time to fulfill this vision; my wife and I, along with a group of risk takers from Red Mountain, launched Harvest Community Church.

With a strong foundation from Red Mountain and Converge’s Vision Arizona church planting network, Harvest opened its doors for the first time on August 23, 2009, in a Mesa movie theater with 356 people in attendance. Over the next five years, I led Harvest through two local moves, the acquisition of land and a building, and to over 1000 people in attendance. During this season, I along with my team at Harvest were significant players in the Vision Arizona church planting network where I served on the leadership team, as God continued to fan the flame of his passion for church planting. While leading Harvest, we helped launch several churches in Arizona, and coached many local church planters and pastors in the process.

In March of 2015, my family was once again moved to a new and exciting ministry opportunity. I became the Executive Director of Church Planting for Converge, a leader among church planting movements. Despite a heart wrenching decision to leave Harvest, we knew God was calling us to focus on church planting at the national level for Converge. Over the years, despite changing ministry roles, hardships and moves, my heart continues to beat strongly for the local church, pastors and church planting.

Lee’s practical, next step kind of coaching helped me put what was in my head and heart into reality. Since he started coaching me our church has flourished to a new level of fruitfulness. We broke the 125 barrier, and 150, 200 and 300 with his help. Lee is a top level leader!
— Ryan Rice, Lead Pastor of North Valley Community Church, Phoenix, AZ