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How Churches Communicate in 2014

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At the Unstuck Group we work with all kinds of churches across America, and one of the common trends we’ve observed is that increasingly church leaders feel stuck when it comes to communicating beyond the pulpit. The options have increased significantly in recent years, giving us both more effective possibilities and more overwhelming decisions. Websites, social media and smartphones have transformed the ways we interact. With these new opportunities, we know it’s tough to stay on top of what your church should be doing to effectively communicate to people.

We want church communications to get unstuck, and we need your help!

Today, we’re asking you to take a short survey–just 7 minutes–that will help us compile communications data from churches across the country. Our team will analyze it to find clear benchmarks for what your digital and print media should actually look like to be most effective.

Every church, every size–your input is valuable to us. The more diversity we have in responses, the more useful our data will be to the Church.

Please consider participating in this brief survey. If you take the time, we’ll send you a free copy of our findings before we make them available to everyone else. We thank you in advance and we look forward to sharing the insights with you to help your church get unstuck!

Church Communications Survey


Posted in Creative Arts

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4 Reasons Why People Don’t Change

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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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5 Differences Between a Multisite and Church Plant

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In the past 24 years of existence Sun Valley (the church I get to serve at) has been a part of planting more than 25 churches and in the past 2 years has gone multisite moving from 1 campus to three, with more coming in the future. One of the things we’ve discovered along the way is that there are significant differences between church planting and going multisite. Here’s just a few…

1. Location

For a lot of reasons multisite typically works best inside a 30-minute radius of the original campus. Church planting typically takes place outside of a 30-minute radius of the sending church.

2. Leadership

The best Campus Pastors are great implementers, embrace an existing vision, and are great at coaching the team. Click here to learn more about Campus Pastors. The prototypical Church Planter is entrepreneurial, sets the vision, and acts as the team owner.

3. Financial Model

Often times in a church plant staff raise financial support to fund their salary and to fund the public launch of the ministry. In a multisite setting the original campus or existing campuses fund the new campus including salaries, facilities, and start up costs (usually with more significant funds than a church plant setting). By the way that new campus typically helps fund central services with a fixed percentage of its budget.

4. Starting Point

In a church plant everything is starting at the beginning. Everything is new and is being created. In a multisite setting things aren’t being created as so much as they are being replicated. After all one of the reasons you’re going multisite in the first place is because you feel you have a culture worth replicating.

5. Governance

This one may be a no-brainer but church plants are typically self-governed and have their own board. Multisite campuses, on the other hand, are governed by a central board of elders that influence every campus.


Posted in Leadership

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Multisite Campus Constants

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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!

1. Mission:“We exist to help people meet, know, and follow Jesus.”

2. Vision: To reach as many people as we possibly can with the Gospel by growing a movement of healthy reproducing Campuses and Churches.

3. Strategy: This strategy serves as the foundation for spiritual growth.

  • Meet: We help people meet Jesus through Weekend Services.
  • Know: We help people know Jesus through Small Groups.
  • Follow: We help people follow Jesus through opportunities to Give and Serve.

4. Cultural Values: These values are what keep us on target as we move towards our vision.

  • Authenticity: Trusting Jesus and others with the real me.
  • Community: Learning from Jesus through strong friendships centered around God’s Word.
  • Generosity: Living like Jesus through giving and serving.

5. Leadership Distinctives: This is what we expect from those in leadership and what makes the Sun Valley Staff Culture so unique. If you’re interested in learning more about our 7 unique leadership distinctives you can follow this link.

6. Leadership Structure: At Sun Valley vision is global and leadership is local. Leadership authority and responsibility flows through the Campus Pastors and influence flows through the Ministry Champions. Every ministry of the Church at each Campus operates under one leadership structure that ultimately comes under the authority of the Board of Servant Leaders and the Lead Pastors.

7. Weekend Teaching: The Teaching Team sets the teaching schedule and serves as the primary communicators either in person or by video.

8. One Church: We choose to align the ministries on each of our Campuses, including Children’s, Students, Groups, Care, Missions, Guest Services, and Weekend Services.

9. Corporate Branding: Every Campus operates under the same branding and communication strategy including a centralized website for the Church representing all Campuses.

10. Financial Model: Every Campus shares these financial goals:

  • Within 12 months, offerings from the Campus cover its ongoing ministry expenses including staffing costs.
  • Within 24 months, the Campus also contributes its prorated portion of central service expenses.
  • Within 36 months, the Campus also contributes towards expansion endeavors.

11. Central Services: There is one centralized process or system for administrative services including banking, budgeting, staffing, payroll, benefits, capital expenditures, I.T., facility management, lease agreements, etc.


Posted in Leadership

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Breaking Through Your Leadership Lid

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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.

You know you’ve hit a leadership lid when…

  • The ministry you’re leading has stagnated or is declining.
  • The other ministries in the church are growing at a faster pace than the area you are responsible for.
  • You’re experiencing a marked increase in conflict.
  • Protecting the past trumps creating the future
  • There is a revolving door of participants or volunteers in your ministry
  • You’re experiencing long-term personal spiritual stagnation
  • You’re experiencing mission creep and redefining success as you go

This week at our monthly staff leadership gathering at Sun Valley Scott Ridout, one of the Lead Pastors at Sun Valley, walked the staff from all three of our campuses through 9 Common Leadership Lids that Ministry Leaders face. Here are some of my notes from that conversation:

Continue Reading…


Posted in Leadership
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