Tag Archive - celebrate


Why I Love Working at Sun Valley Community Church

When I was a freshman in High School I prayed a prayer, begging God to let me to be a part of helping thousands of people meet Him. It’s crazy to think that all of these years later God is answering those prayers.

Every year at Sun Valley Community Church we share wins from the previous year of ministry and I thought I’d share them with you. I hope this is encouraging to you, inspires you, and prompts you to pray for the ministry of Sun Valley.

Ministry isn’t all about the numbers, it’s about life change. That’s why I’m excited about these numbers, because they represent lives that are being changed.  These numbers below represent stories of people who Sun Valley has helped meet, know and follow Jesus.

  • 1,034 people said yes to following Jesus
  • 799 people were baptized
  • 506 people strengthened their marriage through our marriage ministry
  • More than 3,800 people attended a Sun Valley Campus for the first time
  • More than 2,000 people are a part of a volunteer team
  • More than 3,300 people are a part of a small group where they’re building great friendships centered around Gods’ Word
  • We’ve ministered to more than 1,600 kids and students every week
  • More than 300 people went on a short-term mission trip
  • 76 families paid off more than $750,000 of debt through our financial ministry
  • More than 1.6 Million Dollars went outside the 4-walls of Sun Valley Community Church to help people all over the world meet, know and follow Jesus
  • We opened our 5th Campus on Christmas Eve with more than 1,900 people in attendance and 30 people said yes to following Jesus!

You’re allowed to celebrate right along with us. The Kingdom of God is taking ground through the ministry of Sun Valley! It’s humbling and exciting to see prayers I prayed years ago as a freshman in High School answered all of these years later. So pray big prayers and take big risks, because we have a big God, and He still does big things! I’d encourage you, if the Lord brings us to your mind, pray for us as we continue to help the thousands who don’t yet know Jesus meet, know, and follow Him.

Posted in Leadership, Spiritual Formation


Celebrating Wins from 2016

Every year at this time it’s common to look back and review the wins from the previous year. This is particularly timely as the leadership team for The Unstuck Group gathers in the coming days to refresh our vision and action plan for 2017 and beyond.

Here’s what we discovered in looking back at 2016. There’s a lot to celebrate and thank God for here:

  • We had the opportunity to serve over 75 churches by helping them through a health assessment, development of an action plan and reviewing their staffing and structure.
  • We added Blake Stanley, Lee Button, Gabe Kolstad and Jacinta Livingston to our team. That now helps position us to serve churches in the United Kingdom and the Northwest here in the United States.
  • We traveled to 30 states, Canada and the Costa Rica to help churches get unstuck.
  • The churches we served ranged in size from 65 to over 8,500 in attendance. In case you’re curious, the average size church we serve is 1,082 people.
  • We worked in 18 different denominations. That included extending our initiative supporting denominations that want to resource their healthiest churches.
  • We engaged 64 leaders in coaching networks to help them take their next steps in their leadership.
  • We rolled out a new multisite service to help churches that are “MultiStuck.” The service is designed to help these churches clarify their ministry model and their multisite strategy to effectively lead one church in multiple locations.
  • We launched The Leadership Unstuck Podcast where we share relatable stories to inspire hope and give practical steps to get your church unstuck.
  • We released a new edition of Vital Signs: Why Church Health Matters and 14 Ways to Measure It. This resource now includes benchmarks from the analysis of over 200 churches.

You are allowed to cheer along with the Unstuck team as we celebrate these wins. In addition to that, though, we would appreciate your prayers as we continue our mission to help churches experience health and growth. We continue to strive to help more churches get unstuck.

I encourage you to take some time yourself to thank God and celebrate the wins of the last year before you dive headfirst into everything ahead.

Posted in Leadership, Staffing


4 Steps to Building an Intentional Culture in your Church in 2016

Building an intentional “culture” at your church is something a lot of people are talking these days but few people are actually doing. Truth is every church already has a culture, but most of them are built on accident.

Culture is that squishy stuff in an organization that’s hard to get your hands around and define. It’s reflected in the language of the organization, the way people who are a part of the organization dress, the filter they use to make decisions and so on. Culture has been defined as the sum total of the attitude, values and behaviors of an organization. And of course Peter Drucker, who is commonly referred to as the “father of modern management,” was famously quoted as saying the following about culture:

“Culture eats strategy for breakfast”

If that’s true, and if culture really is so important then how do you purposefully build culture in your church? Say you want to build a culture of volunteerism, generosity, outreach, or discipleship; what steps would you take? Building a purposeful culture in a church doesn’t have to remain a mystery you can do it by following the following steps. All four steps are equally important, but most pastors usually only think about the first two.

1. Preach = Inspiration & Motivation

This answers the question, “Why should I do it?”

Words build worlds. In other words language matters, it matters a lot. We do this with our kids at home you probably do too. Like most kids my kids fight from time to time and sometimes it gets a little carried away. When this happens I’ll ask my son, “Are you strong?” and he’ll respond by saying, “Yea Daddy, I’m strong!” I’ll then ask him, “Who made you strong?” and he’ll reply, “Jesus made me strong.” Next I ask, “Why did Jesus make you strong?” to which he says, “To take care of people.” Next comes the question of clarity, I’ll ask him if he used his strength to take care of his brother or his sisters (whoever the fight was with). This has become normal language in our home and as a result the culture of our home is teaching him that his gifts are from Jesus and they have been given to him for the purpose of helping others, not simply to be spent on himself.

Example: Do a teaching series on biblical community and groups. Demonstrate and inspire from the Bible why it’s unacceptable to do life alone.

2. Teach = Instruction & Application

This answers the question, “How should I do it?”

Teaching is all about offering and training very specific steps that you want people to take that will move them towards the activities you want them to be involved in and the attitudes and behaviors you want them to demonstrate.

Example: Create a clear step that people can take to get into a Small Group.

3. Model = Illustration & Examples

This answers the question, “Are you buying what you’re selling?”

In other words are you authentic? Do you use your own product? This is a simple issue of leading with moral authority.

Example: All of our Staff are in groups and we’re leading the way, join us and get in a group too.

4. Celebrate = Celebration & Reinforcement

This answers the question, “What do you value?”

What gets celebrated gets repeated. What you cheer on and value in your church builds culture in your church. This may sound elementary, but if you’re a parent you’ll get what I’m about to say. There’s a reason you reward a kid when you’re potty training them with an M&M and cheer them on when they use the toilet. At no other time in your life will people cheer you on when you use the toilet. But when you’re training someone to do something for the first time, what you celebrate gets repeated.

Example: Publicly make “heroes” of and celebrate stories of people who got involved in a group and how their life was impacted and changed through biblical community.

Posted in Leadership


What you Celebrate gets Repeated

The best leaders know that culture isn’t formed in a moment but a series of moments. Consistently leading and making decisions from an intentional framework that runs consistently through out the organization. One of the best tools great leaders use to do this is stories. Stories move our hearts faster than speeches, emails, or edicts from on high because art is the quickest way to our hearts. That’s why when we want to build an outsider focused culture at Sun Valley we do it through celebrating life change…people’s lives who have changed as a result of saying yes to Jesus. Because what you celebrate gets repeated. Here is a series of videos we showed in the past couple of weeks to tell stories that both reflect and build our culture of life change at the same time. Check them out!




Posted in Creative Arts, Spiritual Formation


4 Ways Leaders Build Culture

Culture is the squishy stuff in an organization that leaders talk about but usually have a hard time articulating. Even more difficult is identifying clear actionable steps to build and reinforce a desired culture. Here are four steps you can begin to implement this week to start building the desired culture in your church or organization.

Step #1 Motivate

Telling stories and tying them to wins and desired behaviors give people a picture of how to behave and what to chase after.

Step #2 Train

Help your people by giving them the abilities they need to make decisions that will reflect and advance the culture you’re trying to create.

Step #3 Model

Leaders by their very nature go first. Moral authority is a part of trusted leadership. The leader needs to be able to say “join me” not just “you should.”

Step #4 Celebrate

What gets celebrated gets repeated. Churches are notorious for talking about needs and motivating people to a cause or action but never talking about the results.

What else would you add to the list? What steps have you taken to intentionally create a desired culture in your church? Leave a comment.

Posted in Leadership
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