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A Leadership Conversation with an Executive Pastor at a church of 20,000+

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One of the most incredible and successful churches in America is one you’ve probably never heard of. Like many churches Christ’s Church of the Valley started in the living room of the founding pastor, in this case Don Wilson. Now over 30 years later CCV has a weekly attendance of more than 20,000 people located across 6 campuses. Recently I had the opportunity to sit down with Ashley Wooldridge who serves as the Executive Pastor at CCV and talk leadership and multisite. Here are a few of the highlights from the conversation.

  • If you want to be a church of 10 campuses, then start thinking like a church with 10 campuses now…
    • What would have to change? Begin changing it now!
    • What best practices are working right now? Go replicate it!
  • How consistent do you want all of your campuses to be? Have a “Consistency Continuum Conversation” with your Sr. Leadership Team about ministries and practices. On a scale of 1-10 (1 = variation) (10 = consistent)
    • You can start as a 10 and move towards a 1. But you can’t start as a 1 and move towards a 10.
    • You can give someone rope, but pulling on the rope is painful
  • The big difference between a Central Services Team and a Campus Team
    • Central Services Team: Content, Consistency, Communication
    • Campus Team: Execution
  • Breaking through Organizational Structural Lids:
    • This is primarily about control. High control leads to structural lids
    • It shows up in the pace of decision making…you know you’ve got a problem when decision making gets bogged down or when low level decisions get pushed to a high level in the organization
    • A high level of delegation needs to take place
    • Your organizational IQ goes down the higher you go
  • Sanctioned Incompetence:
    • If someone on the team is incompetent and everyone knows it and you don’t do anything about it…
    • It’s your fault as the leader. You are sanctioning their incompetence.
    • You as the leader lose credibility with the team because you refuse to act.
  • The best and fastest way to improve guest services at your church is have a staff that invite their friends to church. They’ll begin to look at everything through the eyes of their lost friends.

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Posted in Leadership

2 Responses to “A Leadership Conversation with an Executive Pastor at a church of 20,000+”

  1. Justin Dela Cruz November 7, 2014 at 6:47 pm #

    I’m interested to find out what questions you asked. Can you send me a list?

    • Paul Alexander November 9, 2014 at 3:59 pm #

      Justin, thanks for the comment. Ashley actually came in to spend the day with the Campus Pastors at Sun Valley, the church I serve at. These thoughts I posted were a small sampling from a full-day conversation that focused primarily on multisite, church leadership, and structures & strategies.

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