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Is Your Church a World-Changing Church?

The mission of every Gospel centered church is the same right? Change the world. We don’t get to pick that one. Jesus did that for us. Remember those words in Acts 1:8, “…Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” But whose world are you trying to change?

When you take a team on a short-term mission trip, whose world are you trying to change? When you enlist, equip, and empower volunteers to do ministry in the church with guests, children, students, or small groups whose world are you trying to change?

Could it be that when you take that team on a short-term mission trip or release those volunteers that it’s not the world of the target-audience that’s changed the most but the world of the participant?

Don’t miss-hear me. I’m not saying that short-term mission trips and volunteers don’t make an impact on the world they’re trying to reach. What I am saying is that the world of the participant is changed far more than the world of the audience. Because…

“Volunteering is Discipleship”

The first time I volunteered as a Jr. High Sunday School Teacher my world was changed. The first time I went on a short-term international mission trip my world changed.

What would change if you began viewing volunteering at your church as a part of the discipleship pathway instead of roles to be filled? What would change if you began crafting the volunteer experience at your church for the volunteer instead of what you want the volunteer to do?


Posted in Leadership, Spiritual Formation

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You Are Who You Hire

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As a kid I can remember being coerced into eating my broccoli with phrases like, “you are what you eat.” Well…that and a lot of melted cheese. And while that’s true when it comes to eating healthy, the principle also holds true when it comes to who you hire. If you lead long enough and well enough than eventually you are going to have to hire and fire people on your team. Hiring a new team member is a powerful and often overlooked moment in many churches and organizations. It’s an opportunity for an infusion of new talent, new ideas, if done well it challenges the status qua, and you inherit a brand new library of experiences to learn from. A hire that’s done well raises the water line for the entire team.

The reason that a new hire is so powerful and pivotal is because people lead out of who they are and the organization or church always takes on the personality of the leader. In other words, you are who you hire. No matter what their skill set, abilities, experiences or personality is; people always lead through the filter of their unique identity. That’s why these next two statements are so important.

Hire from the inside when you like what you already have.

If you like the culture of what you already have in your church or organization, if you like the direction things are going and you want to keep going that way then hire from within. Because people who are on the inside already get your culture, the way you do things, and the direction you’re going.

Hire from the outside when you want to change what you have.

If you are ready for a change in culture, direction, way of doing things, an upgrade in talent or a new skill set is needed in your church or organization then it’s time to hire from the outside. Because if the people inside were going to lead it there they would already be doing it.

People lead out of who they are, and if they’re not who you are, or who you want to be, then don’t hire them. Because you are who you hire.


Posted in Staffing

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5 Articles that will Help You Make Vision Real

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Thank you for making February a great month here at Helping Churches Make Vision Real! It’s fun to be a part of the interaction on social media and hear about how helpful the content has 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 How 2nd Chair Leaders Lead Up

In working with leaders around the country one of the most frequently asked questions that I hear is, “How do I lead up?” In other words, second chair leaders are asking, “How do I support my leader while influencing them at the same time?” Below are six methods that the best second chair leaders I’ve met utilize to “lead up.”

#2 How to Convince Your Sr. Pastor to Join a Small Group

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.

#3 How to Lead Through Crisis

If you lead long enough eventually you’re going to find yourself leading through a crisis, and it’s at this moment that leadership is needed most. Even an average leader looks great when momentum is on their side and things are going well. But a crisis or downturn has a way of revealing the true identity of a leader. Great leaders lean into crisis because they intuitively understand that crisis is an opportunity for change and could be their greatest leadership moment. In the consulting work I do with The UnStuck Group often times it’s the pain of a crisis or downturn that helps churches realize that they’re stuck and motivates them to seek help. Pain often times can be a great motivator for change. While crisis is a window of opportunity for incredible leadership moments, the approach you take to leading through crisis matters.

#4 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.

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

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!

 


Posted in Leadership

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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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