A newly-appointed assistant pastor of Calvary Chapel Pomona Valley in San Gabriel Valley, Los Angeles received a call from God one day in 2019 to start a new church in McKinney, Texas, which is more than 1,300 miles away.

According to The Christian Post, Pastor James Marini was living comfortably in California with his family when he felt instructed by God one Sunday morning three years ago to do something more by planting a church in North Texas. Marini said it was something that never crossed his mind since they are living the dream they have always wanted at Calvary Chapel Pomona Valley, being in a vocational ministry and surrounded by family.

"There was a really odd mixture of emotions. Happy to begin a new work in the Lord, sad to leave everyone and everything we knew in California, uncertain about how to even begin a church from conception, yet totally excited to see how God would bring this all together for His glory," Marini told the media outlet.

Marini, whose career began in marketing, said he obeyed and made the necessary preparations. The pastor then left California with his family for McKinney in February last year. He then established the Calvary Chapel McKinney in his new living room on February 14, 2021. At that time, he ministered to roughly four other families.

Marini shared that his first challenge was more internal. He had a big church mentality since that was where he came from. He then had to learn to adjust to a small format, which took him a month or two to figure out. He realized that a home church was more about people than it was about plans.

"It really was more of a home Bible study for the first 10 months once we figured that out," Marini revealed.

The second and greatest challenge came from financial uncertainty. Marini said he was frightened when none of the marketing jobs he applied for was coming together. He eventually picked up marketing jobs alongside working as a music lessons teacher to sustain his financial needs on top of being a pastor.

The third challenge was growing his flock. The pastor said he had to teach the Gospel of Luke verse by verse for ten months to the same handful of families before another surprise came from God. He recalled that suddenly people started coming in. He felt that people heard about what they were doing overnight and began to visit them at home.

Calvary Chapel's handful of attendees increased to 40 families come January 2022. This excluded the 25 kids who assembled in a small bedroom for their children's ministry. Marini was prompted to move his church into the Sheraton Hotel in McKinney, where they meet regularly since then. The church has a regular attendance of 100 people every Sunday.

Beyond the growth in numbers, Marini highlighted that what mattered most is walking deeper with Jesus. He pointed out that this is the mission statement of Calvary Chapel Mckinney, which is growing disciples of Jesus through the Scripture's sound teaching. The pastor said his experience is a reminder of quality over quantity.

"The Lord has reminded me in this season of the beauty of growing deep with few rather than growing wide with many. I've learned that making true disciples takes intimate fellowship and commitment to minister to individuals," Marini concluded.