CHICAGO, IL (April 27, 2015) — Michelle Sanchez, assistant pastor of Christian formation and mission at Highrock Covenant Church in Arlington, Massachusetts, has been nominated to serve as the executive director of the Make and Deepen Disciples priority, it was announced today.
“This position truly exemplifies my core passion and calling in life—helping people to go both deeper in Christ and further in mission,” Sanchez said. “This is what I have devoted myself to at Highrock, and now I am thrilled and deeply honored for the opportunity to pursue this priority for the entire Covenant family. I look forward to the great adventure that lies ahead!”
President Gary Walter said today, “Michelle personally embodies the priorities of making and deepening disciples as someone who herself is so personally engaged in evangelism and spiritual formation. Her core leadership strengths and enthusiasm will mean great effectiveness for our mission.”
Sanchez has a history of professional and academic success.
At Highrock, she launched a church-based spiritual direction ministry by the name of Highrock Spiritual Guides. The ministry has been so well received that the church received a major grant from the Imago Dei Fund to expand the program.
In a 2012 Boston Globe article, Sanchez spoke about the program, saying, “So many religious traditions end up feeling quite divorced from your everyday life and experience, so it’s essentially irrelevant. I think people are tired of that, and I think they hunger for a God they can experience, that is relevant, and close, and that can actually transform them.’’
She spoke of her own transformation in a Word of Witness at the 2012 Midwinter Conference. She also presented on “The Secret of Missions Is Abiding in Christ” at the Torrey Conference held at Biola University in 2012.
Over the past year, she has led Highrock in a major initiative called DiscipleShift with the goal of becoming a church of disciples that makes disciples.
Sanchez has attended several major Lausanne gatherings around the world including the 2006 Lausanne Younger Leaders Gathering in Malaysia and the Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization, which was held in Cape Town, South Africa, in 2010. She also has served within leadership for the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization.
She helped organize the East Coast Conference gathering “Exploring Pathways to Growth: a Christian Formation Conference,” and she served on the development team for the “Journeying Together” prayer experience.
Sanchez earned M.Div. and Th.M. degrees from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Prior to entering seminary she worked as an investment banker with Goldman Sachs. She graduated from New York University, where she was named one of the Top Ten College Women in America by Glamour magazine. She co-authored Routes and Radishes: And Other Things to Talk about at the Evangelical Crossroads.
She is married to Mickey Sanchez, an InterVarsity staff member working with graduate students at Harvard and Tufts. They have two young children, Seth and Hope.
Members of the search committee were Jeff Houston, who served as chair, Art Greco, Jenell Pluim, Michael Jordan, Michael Wilson, Jonathan Ro, Stacey Heimkes, Mary Cunningham, John Stewart, Rebecca Gonzalez, Dick Lucco, and Gary Walter.