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A Large Multisite Church in Phoenix is Hiring a High School Pastor


I’m pleased to announce a new Staff Search. Sun Valley Community Church, is beginning a search for a High School Pastor to serve on our Tempe Campus. Sun Valley began as a church plant in 1990 in Chandler, Arizona. Over the years Sun Valley has grown into a large mult-site church in the Phoenix metro area. Currently there are three campuses located in Gilbert, Tempe and Casa Grande with a total weekend attendance of over 5,000 people. Sun Valley was recently named by Outreach Magazine as one of the top 10 fastest growing churches in America. The Tempe Campus is the result of a merger in October of 2011 with Bethany Community Church. In the merger Sun Valley acquired a 16-acre, 8 building campus with over 100,000 sq. ft. under roof. Since the merger the campus has doubled in attendance and at present attendance is over 1,000. When fully utilized the campus capacity will accommodate 7,000 people. Sun Valley was recently featured in a new book by Leadership Network about church mergers: Better Together: Making Church Mergers Work. To learn more about that story click here Part-1 and Part-2.

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Posted in Staffing


How to Develop Young Leaders

confusing sign

Volumes have been written about investing in and developing young leaders. While there are a lot of great resources out there I think often times we over-complicate what it means to develop young leaders. In fact here are four simple steps that Sr. Level Leaders can take to invest in the next generation of leaders.

Invite Them to the Big Table

Remember sitting at the kids’ table during Thanksgiving dinner growing up? A simple way to invest in young leaders is to invite them to the big table. Give them access to attend Sr. Leadership Team meetings and see how seasoned leaders work with one another and make high level leadership decisions.

Take Them With You

One of the easiest and most overlooked opportunities Sr. Leaders have to invest in the next generation of leaders is to simply take them with you. Meetings, trips, speaking engagements, training opportunities, etc. Just let them be around you and watch you do what you do, the conversations you have and the decisions you make. Then let them ask questions and debrief what they observed.

Resource Them

Resource them with books, articles, blogs, and trainings that support the thinking, behaviors, and culture your church is trying to build. But don’t leave it there. Make sure you take the time to discuss key leanings and applications.

Give Them Opportunities

The best kind of training is on the job training. And leadership isn’t learned in a classroom…it’s learned by leading. Identify, create, and give young leaders the opportunity to lead small projects.

Having Difficulty Identifying Young Leaders on Your Team? A good place to start is before every hire you make or every volunteer you place begin asking yourself, “How young can we go with this next hire or volunteer placement and still get the job done?” Questions like this will begin to shift the thinking of your Sr. Leaders. Which will result in changing the behaviors of your church or organization.

Posted in Leadership, Staffing


The Four Stages of a Church Staff Team

team huddle

If you’ve ever been a part of a growing church you know that growth changes everything. Especially the relational, organizational and working dynamics of the staff team. Larry Osborne, Lead Pastor at North Coast Church writes the following in his book Sticky Teams:

“Never forget growth changes everything. A storefront church, a midsized church, a large church, and a mega-church aren’t simply bigger versions of the same thing. They are completely different animals. They have little in common, especially relationally, organizationally, and structurally.”

Fortunately I’ve had the opportunity to sit down with Larry and hear him expound on this idea and talk about what he describes as, “The Four Stages of a Team.”

Stage 1: Track Star

The track star performs alone. They may train with others and their score may affect an overall team win, but they operate by themselves. This is the solo pastor. Typical Church Size: 0-150

Stage 2: Golfing Buddies

At this stage the church staff is highly relational. They enjoy deep relationships and doing life together outside of work. They’re doing what they love with people that they like. Typical Church Size: 150-600

Stage 3: Basketball Team

Basketball is a team sport not a friendship sport. It requires working together, trusting one another and sharing the ball. While there are still meaningful relationships, genuine camaraderie, and a shared sense of purpose; there are too many players for everyone to be best friends. On a basketball team there are star players and role players. And they’re paid differently due to the role that they play. Typical Church Size 600-2,000

Stage 4: Football Team

This is the most drastic and difficult change. And it’s the reason why so many churches get stuck and so few ever break 2,000. Football can be a dangerous game if you think you’re still playing track, golf, or basketball. In the game of football there are highly specialized roles and team work is essential. The offense, defense and special teams all have different playbooks. Often times the offense isn’t even watching what the defense is doing while they’re on the field and visa-verse. They’re preparing for the next time they’re on the field. Everyone no longer knows what everyone else is doing. When the defense adds a new blitz package without telling the offensive line, the offensive line doesn’t care. They’re just glad someone sacked the opposing teams quarterback. And even in football there are different levels of the game. There is a big difference in talent, coaching, speed of the game, and complexity between High School, D1 College, and the NFL. Typical Church Size: 2,000+

Posted in Leadership, Staffing


New Staff Search: A Church in Phoenix is Searching for a Youth Pastor

I’m pleased to announce a new Staff Search. I’m helping Desert Springs Bible Church as they begin the search for their new Student Ministries Pastor. Desert Springs Bible Church was planted in the 1970’s to reach the growing North Phoenix community and grew to as many as 800 in regular attendance. Currently, at 600 in attendance, Desert Springs has gone through a period of renewing their mission, vision, values, and transitioning the worship style to appeal to a new demographic of 30-somethings with kids, which better reflects the personality of the community. Desert Springs has a history of a Student Ministry that “out performs” the national average of 10% of the weekend attendance! Poised to move forward, Desert Springs is looking for the right person to join the team and help lead into the future!

Desert Springs Bible Church is located in Paradise Valley Village, just northeast of Phoenix, Arizona. A middle-upper class community, the area boasts beautiful outdoor living at the Phoenix Mountain Preserve System including biking, hiking, equestrian trails and other outdoor recreational activities. The community is also convenient to shopping, golfing, and resorts. With it’s proximity to Phoenix, Paradise Valley Village provides all the benefits of small town living with the appeal and amenities that come from being close to a major city.

Position Summary:

The Student Ministry Pastor will recruit, build and empower teams of volunteers to develop intentional ministry to teens and their families. He will develop systems and structures in alignment with the church’s mission, vision, values, spiritual maturity pathway, and philosophy. He will be a team player with the rest of the Desert Springs Staff Team. He will develop a ministry that builds environments in which students who don’t know Jesus are reached with the Gospel, help them get connected in small groups and grow in their faith, and develop them to reach their peers. He will be a model of integrity, living out biblical truth and demonstrate the Core Values of Desert Springs Bible Church.

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Top Posts of 2013 #8: “What is a Campus Pastor?”


As we continue to count down the top 10 posts of the year on Helping Churches Make Vision Real, this post about defining the role of a Campus Pastor generated a lot of interest. After all this emerging role in the church is beginning to redefine the church landscape in North America.

In August, 2012, Leadership Network released a report stating that over 5,000 churches are now multi-site churches (churches that meet in more than one location for worship). It’s a growing trend that first began with mega-churches, but has now expanded to churches of all sizes. With this new trend a new staff role has emerged, that of “Campus Pastor.” While a lot churches are still trying to figure out this new role, here are 6 things that great Campus Pastors do:

1. Reproduce Culture

In a multi-site setting you’re not building culture as so much as you are reproducing it. Somewhere along the line there was a decision made that the church had a culture worth replicating. That’s a big reason you’re multi-siting in the first place. Great Campus Pastors know how to reproduce culture in the context of the community of the new campus location.

2. Build Organizational Alignment

A Campus Pastor doesn’t have to come up with the mission, vision, values, spiritual maturity pathway, leadership distinctives, campus constants, and doctrinal statement. Again, those things probably already exist. But they do need to know how to build alignment around them and through them.

3. Big “I” Implementer

A great Campus Pastor makes things happen. They know how to see ideas through from concept to completion. They know how to set the staff up to succeed in the implementation of the goals, calendars and budgets of all ministries on their Campus in a manner that moves the campus towards the vision.

4. Cooperation

Great Campus Pastors know how to work with others. They know how to work with “Central Services” such as a centralized Business or Creative Arts Department to get the right things done.

5. Build a Leadership Culture

They know how to recruit, train, coach and mentor a Staff Team. They provide leadership and oversight to the Campus Staff and in so doing create a healthy staff team environment and leadership culture.

6. Shepherd the Congregation

At the end of the day great Campus Pastors love the local church. They have a shepherding gift and care about people becoming what God has dreamed up for them to look like. They know how to problem solve and shepherd through congregational matters.

Posted in Leadership, Staffing
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