5 Articles that will Help You Make Vision Real


Thank you for making March an incredible month here at Helping Churches Make Vision Real! It’s great staying connected with you through social media and hear about how helpful these articles have been. So, thank you for connecting with me through the content on this blog! You made these the top 5 Posts from this last month. If you missed out on any of them, here they are all in one place for your convenience!

#1 When to Add Another Worship Service at Your Church

Many churches are stuck in attendance simply because they haven’t maximized their current facilities and campus. Thinking about adding another worship service at your church? Here are five strategic concepts to consider before you do. Not sure if multiple worship services are right for your church? Check out this blog on Overcoming the Fear of Moving to Multiple Worship Services.

#2 4 Reasons Why People Don’t Change

People always want to change their circumstances, but they never want to change their lives. But everything gets better when we get better. Families get better when fathers and mothers get better. Students get better when educators get better. Organizations get better when leaders get better. And churches get better when church leaders get better. But change is painful. Don’t let anyone tell you any different. It’s always easier and more comfortable to stay where you are than to change and move forward. But if you want to grow at some point you’ve got to stop doing what’s easy and start doing what’s right. Here are 4 traps that people fall into that prevent them from changing.

#3 Multisite Campus Constants

At Sun Valley we are one church family that meets in many different locations. As any church or organization grows there comes a point in time where oral tradition only goes so far. At some point, you’ve got to write things down. This helps provide clarity to everyone as to how to make decisions and what direction to go. After all lack of clarity is the greatest barrier to growth and speed in any organization. To that end we’ve adopted the following “Campus Constants” that every existing and future Sun Valley Campus will adopt. If you’re in a multisite church or thinking about going multisite I hope this serves as a resource to you and your church!

#4 5 Characteristics of Generous Churches

Generosity stands in direct opposition to our sin nature. After all most of us don’t wake up thinking about someone else’s day. But what we have to get done today sure has a tendency to consume our thoughts. Fortunately for us we have a generous God. After all “For God so loved the world that he GAVE His only Son,” Jesus gave His life, as a ransom for many, and it is the Holy Spirit who gives spiritual gifts. And God expects his church to reflect his personality and characteristics through becoming generous. To that end, here are 5 characteristics that all generous churches have in common:

#5 Breaking Through Your Leadership Lid

If you lead long enough, eventually you’re going to hit a leadership lid. It happens when you reach your capacity in a particular area, and the good news is there may be a solution. But what you do next has the potential to make or break your leadership future. Ignore it, deny it, make excuses about it, or refuse to acknowledge and deal with it and you’ll undermine your impact. Face reality and you’ll create a window of opportunity to grow.

Posted in Leadership


5 Reasons I Would Hire You

One of the most enjoyable things I get to do is to recruit and on-board new team members. Hire the right person and the whole team benefits. When you invite the right person to join your team not only is there an infusion of new talent, but also new ideas, fresh eyes, and a new well of experiences to go to. One new hire can literally improve the performance of the entire team. Below are five characteristics that I’m looking for when I’m hiring someone or helping churches make the next right hire. I’m not sure if these are what most high-powered companies, or even what most churches are looking for in their next hires. But if they’re not, they’re making a big mistake.

1. Attitude

Attitude is more valuable than aptitude every day of the week. Skills can be learned and talent can be developed, but attitude is one of those things you either have or you don’t. You can give someone all of the necessary tools to do their job, an incredible work environment and a strong organizational culture to work within. But if they don’t have the right attitude they’ll fail every time, and worse they’ll take the whole team down with them.

2. Track Record

Don’t try and impress me and sell me on what you’re going to do. Don’t start talking with me about theory and all the ideas that you learned about in the classroom. Show me what you’ve done. And while it doesn’t necessarily need to be “big,” it does needs to have been done well. Over and over and over again…all throughout the Bible when people have been faithful with a little they’re given an opportunity to be faithful with more. Real leadership is never appointed, it’s always recognized. Show me.

3. Creative Problem Solving

In church-world you’re not going to have a lot of financial, facility, or staffing resources to throw at problems. Which means you’re going to have to get creative. You’re going to have to be flexible, nimble and live on the solution side of problems. It doesn’t take a lot of talent to point out what’s wrong, just about anyone can do that. But it takes a resourceful leader to come up with creative solutions and move things forward.

4. High E.Q.

At the end of the day if you don’t like and don’t want to be around people, you’re going to have a pretty tough time in local church ministry. Relationships are both the glue and the grease that make work happen in the workplace. You’ve got to demonstrate a high level of emotional intelligence if you’re going to be very successful in ministry over the long haul. Follow this link if you’re interested in learning more about developing your E.Q.

5. I Actually Like You

This may sound like the shallowest one on the list, but it may just be the most important factor in any hire. The reason why is culture. Your church has a culture and if you’ve been there for a while then chances are you are leading through the filter of you church’s culture. If you can’t see yourself getting along with the potential hire, wanting to hang out with them, if they don’t have a similar DNA to the team their joining then chances are, they don’t belong on the team.

Posted in Staffing


Leadercast 2014

I’m excited to announce that Sun Valley Community Church is hosting Leadercast  for the fourth straight year! It’s going to be an incredible one day leadership event broadcast LIVE from Atlanta, Georgia to hundreds of locations around the world.

This year’s theme — Beyond You — challenges leaders to leverage their influence for the sake of others. Join some of the nations best leaders at Leadercast Live on May 9, 2014 and discover what it means to be a leader worth following.

Date: Friday, May 9, 2014

Time: Registration & Breakfast begin at 7:00am | The conference begins at 8:00am & concludes at 4:00pm

Location: Sun Valley Community Church, Gilbert, AZ

Cost: $79.00 for Stadium Seating or $89.00 for Floor/Table Seating | Event ticket price includes continental breakfast, snacks and lunch served on site. Each table seats eight. There will be additional tables available for lunch seating. Drawing for a free stay-cation at Gilbert Hyatt Place will be held at the end of the day!

Registration: To register you and your team click here! I look forward to seeing you there!

Speakers: Check out this incredible line up of speakers! Andy Stanley | Malcolm Gladwell | Archbishop Desmond Tutu | Randall Wallace | Bill McDermott | Laura Schroff | Dr. Henry Cloud | Simon Sinek | Laura Bush


Posted in Leadership, Staffing


“The One Thing” 2014 Ministry Report

I’m pleased to announce that The One Thing 2014 Ministry Report eBook has recently been released! Not just because I wrote a chapter on “Making Vision Real,” but because Darren Herbold took the time to mine out some great insights from some of the best church leaders on the scene today.

I’d like to encourage you to go download this free eBook here to learn from these incredible church leaders:

  1. Exploring New Paradigms for Effective Evangelism | Brent Dolfo | Consultant & Leadership Network Facilitator
  2. 15 Characteristics of Today’s Unchurched Person | Carey Nieuwhof | Lead Pastor Connexus Community Church
  3. Mobilizing Student Missionaries | Jason Ballard | Youth Alpha & Campusfire Conference
  4. Sermon Series Planning | Phil Bowdle | Communications Director West Ridge Church
  5. Execution: The Secret Sauce of Every High Functioning Leader | Darren Herbold | Sr Associate Pastor Beulah Alliance Church
  6. Making Vision Real | Paul Alexander (that’s me!)
  7. Why You Need to Rethink Your Small Group Ministry | Daniel Im | Community Life Team Lead at Beulah Alliance Church
  8. How to Engage a Healthy Staff | Ron Edmondson | Lead Pastor Immanuel Baptist Church & Blogger
  9. 7 Killer Mistakes Church Leaders Make Scott Williams | Chief Solutions Officer for NXT Level Solutions
  10. Wanted: A Killer Digital Strategy | Tim Nations | Director of Facilitation for Leadership Network
  11. Why Your Vision Does Not Stick | Tim Peters | Sayge Communications

Posted in Leadership


How Fresh Eyes can Help Your Church get UnStuck

They wanted to reach people for Jesus, but they were stuck. The numbers couldn’t lie. They had been running 200-300 people for the last 10 years, but decline was settling in. Something felt off. The changes they had tried to implement–like creating a “blended” traditional/contemporary worship service–only left them more frustrated when growth did not come. They needed a fresh perspective.

In 2012 I met with Joe Stewart. Joe was the new Lead Pastor at Sabino Road Baptist Church and he was hopeful about their future. He refused to let this ministry stagnate into irrelevance. In my time with Sabino Road I walked them through a Health Assessment to lend new eyes to its strategies, systems and structure and provide a current snapshot of the ministry’s health.

“It was an incredible asset to have someone from the outside say what he saw and provide me with an ally for change,” said Pastor Joe. “The Unstuck Group has a unique way of facilitating discussion and helping staff and key leaders gain understanding of how to move forward.”

Sabino Road did not have a culture of change, which made the process move slowly. Some things were difficult, like transitioning to a new worship pastor and building a new website, but the mindset shift that occurred began to gain ground. The church realized its culture had unintentionally become insider-focused and was able to clarify its mission, vision and values to be about reaching out.

The “transition team” that Pastor Joe rallied set a goal of seeing 100 new guests visit the church between May 2013 and May 2014. As of today, they’ve already exceeded that goal, and they’ve retained 37% of the new folks.

The church has seen more growth in the last two years than it had in the previous 10.

“Through wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.” Proverbs 24:3-5 (NKJV)

Click the following links to learn more about the Unstuck Group and the Ministry Health Assessment or other services we provide to help churches get unstuck!

Posted in Leadership
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