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4 Reasons Why People Don’t Change

Change1

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.

Biting off More Than You Can Chew

The key to lasting change isn’t to work up an overly sophisticated development plan but simply make a few decisions and manage them daily. After all it was legendary coach John Wooden that said, “You make the choice and then the choice makes you.”

Waiting for a Mentor

Leaders aren’t going around looking for someone to mentor, they’re too busy leading. If you want a mentor then you’ve got to chase after someone who has something you want until you catch them. Leaders press into people who press into them.

Hoping for a Miracle

Many people make the mistake of sitting around hoping for their “ship to come in,” some pivotal magic moment that’s going to change everything. What’s missed in all of this waiting and hoping is that the secret of growing and changing is doing a little every day. The change in your life is determined by your daily agenda.

Abdication of Responsibility

People don’t change because they mistakenly think that change is something that happens to them instead of something that happens in them. The change in your life is no one’s responsibility but your own. You get to choose if you are going to grow and change or not.


Posted in Leadership, Spiritual Formation

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How to Convice Your Sr. Pastor to Join a Small Group

empty chairs

One of the most common points of frustration I hear from church leaders around the country is, “My Senior Pastor wants Small Groups to be a big deal at our church, but they won’t be in a Small Group themselves.” And the natural follow up question that’s asked right after that statement, “How do I get my Senior Pastor to be in a Small Group?” In an attempt to answer that question, here are a couple of steps you can take to help convince your Sr. Pastor that they need to be in a Small Group.

#1 Have a Plan

Don’t pester or nag your Sr. Pastor, this won’t get you anywhere. Come up with a clear plan, presentation, or pitch. Get on their calendar (schedule an appointment) and walk into that meeting with a plan. Don’t take more than 30 minutes. If you can’t cover it in 30 minutes, you’re not ready to cover it at all.

#2 Moral Authority

“Join Me” is always a better motivator than “You Should.” Help your Sr. Pastor understand that people in the church will more readily follow their example than their prescription. If the Sr. Pastor wants to have a church of Small Groups then they need to be in one. The church will always end up taking on the personality of the Sr. Leader.

#3 Let them Hand Pick the Group

Many Sr. Pastors are truly fearful of being vulnerable, and many of them are fearful for good reason. At the first sign of a crack in the armor or that they’re actually human many churchgoers call foul. So let them hand pick their group that they’re going to be in so they feel safe.

#4 Try Before You Buy

Challenge them to try it for one semester (the start of the school year to Christmas break or January to the end of the school year). At the end of that semester if they still think it’s a waste of time, no worries. At least they’ll have first-hand experience to be able to speak about it in a personal manner.

#5 Give them Good Reasons to Join a Group

There is a whole list of good reasons your Sr. Pastor should be in a Small Group. Make a list and talk to them about it. Here are a few examples:

  • They’ll grow in their relationship with Jesus (life change happens best in circles not rows)
  • They’ll make new friends that will care and encourage them (What Sr. Pastor couldn’t use more of that?)
  • It gives them moral authority (see point #2 above) and hence leadership credits with the church as a whole – it makes them a better leader
  • It’s something they can do with their spouse (score more brownie points)
  • Tell them they don’t have to lead it…just participate in it (you’re not adding more work for them to do)
  • It provides a personal accountability structure (it’s easier to stand for Jesus when you’re standing with friends)
  • Heck, Jesus was in a “Small Group” right? (Think the 12 Disciples)
  • You can probably think of more…but this should get you started

Posted in Leadership, Spiritual Formation, Staffing

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Why the Church Wins When the Church Staff are in a Small Group

spiritual growth

I talk to church leaders all the time who bring up how lonely they feel in leadership. My response? You’re as lonely as you want to be. Yes, relationships are risky. Any time you entrust your heart with others there’s a chance that it won’t be handled well. And I understand that church leaders often feel pressure to perform and live up to unrealistic expectations of perfection. But if the church staff chooses to shrink back from vulnerability and authenticity in relationship with others then you’ll build a culture of superficial pretending in your church. That’s why when the church staff takes the risk and jumps into a small group bible study the whole church wins!

Moral Authority

It’s hard to say, “Do as I say, and not as I do.” It doesn’t work in parenting and it doesn’t work in leadership. In fact it erodes trust, and trust is the fuel that leadership runs on. Being in a group provides church leadership the moral standing to make the ask for everyone else to do the same.

Culture

The church always takes on the culture of the staff. If you want to build a culture of groups in your church it starts with the staff.

Personal Growth

Just because your church staff are professional Christians doesn’t mean they’re done growing (at least I hope not). Spiritual growth always happens best in circles not rows and in the context of meaningful relationships.

Accountability

The bottom line is bad things happen when we live in isolation from others. All of us need the natural built in accountability that comes through the relationships that are found in small groups.

 


Posted in Leadership, Spiritual Formation

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Who is Resposible for the Spiritual Maturity of the Church?

cheerios

I can remember when my kids were finally old enough to go downstairs, get their own cereal, and turn on the television to watch Saturday morning cartoons. I remember because Lisa and I finally got to sleep in! Every parent understands what an incredibly glorious moment this is. And if you haven’t experienced this yet, well, you have much to look forward to.

This is kinda the whole point of parenting right? That our kids would grow up and move towards autonomy. That, among other things, they would learn how to feed themselves.

The same is true as new Christians begin to grow up and mature. The hope is that they would, among other things, learn to feed themselves.

And yet frequently I hear complaints by church attenders across North America that their church is not, “deep enough.” Essentially they’re saying that they’re hungry. And you want to know the first thought that passes through my mind when I hear comments like these? “If you’re hungry, eat. You know where the food is.”

You see at the end of the day each person is responsible for their own spiritual development, not their pastor. God is going to hold each unique individual accountable for his or her own thoughts, words, and actions. Not their pastor.

So the next time you hear someone complaining about how their church isn’t “deep enough” encourage them to take some personal ownership for their own relationship with Jesus and go get their own bowl of Cheerios.


Posted in Spiritual Formation

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Your Church Can be Both Missional and Attractional this Christmas

 

This year Sun Valley Community Church is partnering with Albertsons Grocery Store to provide more than 10,000 boxes of food to local families in need through local food banks like the Salvation Army. Through the public nature of the Out of the Box 2.0 campaign Sun Valley has intentionally chosen to be both misssional and attractional at the same time. Yes, it’s possible to be both. The power of this partnership has made it easy for people to be involved. People can pick up a box to fill and bring back to any Sun Valley Campus during normal weekend worship services. They can stop any Albertsons store and scan the UPC code on the flyer they receive at church and the food will be delivered directly to the food banks. Anyone from the community who stops by an Albertsons with an Out of the Box 2.0 display in it can participate as well. Finally Albertsons is staying open late on Sunday evening the 22nd and we’re encouraging everyone from Sun Valley to go and do their shopping for Out of the Box 2.0 that evening as the Salvation Army Trucks will be there ready to load up!

The hungry are all around us:

  • 82,000 Phoenix Valley households don’t know where their next meal is coming from.
  • That’s enough refrigerators to reach rim to rim and back again at the Grand Canyon!
  • It’s enough dinner tables to reach the top of Camelback Mountain 130 times!
  • According to the 2010 US Census Bureau the average household in Arizona has 2.63 occupants. We’re talking about 215,660 hungry people!
  • That’s enough people to fill a city almost the size of Scottsdale!

If you live in the Phoenix Valley I’d like to invite you to be a part of Out of the Box 2.0 and make a real difference by changing these statistics. Follow this link to discover how you can join the movement! It’s our community…it’s our responsibility!

Want more? Check out this story below…


Posted in Leadership, Spiritual Formation
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