Tag Archive - children’s ministry

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A Large Multisite Church in Phoenix is Hiring a Children’s Pastor

I’m pleased to announce a new Staff Search. Sun Valley Community Church, the church I have the honor of serving at, is beginning a national search for a Children’s 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 multi-site church in the Phoenix area. Currently there are three campuses located in Casa Grande, Gilbert, and Tempe with a total weekend attendance of nearly 6,000 people and in recent years was named by Outreach Magazine as one of the top 10 fastest growing churches in America. The Tempe Campus was the result of a merger in October 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. At present, the campus attendance is 1,200 people but when fully utilized, the campus capacity will accommodate more than 6,000 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.

Interested in learning more? Continue reading below…

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Posted in Staffing

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5 Articles to Help Your Church Make Vision Real

Thank you for helping make October 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. 6 Children’s Ministry Trends

I was recently at a Vision Arizona Network meeting where two very successful Children’s Ministry Directors were interviewed about recent trends in Children’s Ministry. Brett Humprhey from Sun Valley Community Church and Michell Loyd who serves at Harvest Community Church shared some great thoughts that I wanted to pass along to you. And for those of you who were wondering, Vision Arizona is Church Planting Network that I’m a part of. Thinking about planting a church in Arizona? You should check these guys out!

2. 5 Reasons People Don’t Volunteer at Your Church

Do you need more preschool workers to serve children? Do you need more greeters to greet? Do you need more ushers to…ush? If so, you’re in familiar territory. I’ve never met a church that said, “You know…when it comes to volunteers, we’re good. We’ve got plenty. In fact, there’s a waiting list for the nursery.” Churches everywhere need to mobilize more volunteers to get ministry done. But before you start signing people up and filling slots, it might be helpful to take a look at why people are NOT volunteering.

3. What the Church Can Learn from U.S. Airways About Fun

When you put the word “fun” and “airline” together in the same sentence what usually comes to mind for people who regularly fly is Southwest Airlines. They’re known for their comical antics and exceptional guest experience. But I can honestly say that I recently had one of the best flying experiences of my life, and shockingly it was with U.S. Airways! All of the credit is due to the lead Flight Attendant, a young lady by the name of Florence, who made the experience hilariously fun. Sadly most organizations miss out on what a powerful driver fun can be in the workplace.

4. 10 Indispensable Practices of the 2-Minute Leader

I’m excited about my friend Brian Dodd’s new book and accompanying study guide 10 Indispensable Practices Of The 2-Minute Leader.  Brian has over 25 years of experience in church leadership and his site Brian Dodd On Leadership is one of the most popular Christian blogs for Church Leaders. I recently had the opportunity to talk with Brian about his new book. Here are some of the highlights and thoughts that stood out to me from the conversation:

5. The Difference Between a Shepherd and a Leader

I love helping churches and leaders get unstuck and make vision real. In fact out of all the stuff I get to do with churches and leaders one of the things I enjoy the most is Leadership Coaching. Recently I had the incredible opportunity to spend a day coaching a group of Pastors and Church Leaders from Australia (unfortunately their cool accent didn’t rub off). One of the topics we spent time digging into was the difference between shepherding and leading in relation to why some churches are stuck while others move forward. Here are couple of thoughts from the conversation.


Posted in Leadership

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Top Posts of 2012 #2: An Interview with the National Preteen Pastor of the Year

I was particularly excited to write this post. One reason is because the first opportunity I was ever given in ministry was when I was a freshman in college and my pastor believed in me enough to give me a shot at leading a Jr. High Sunday School Class (trust me, it was a big risk on his behalf). Another reason is that Mike Branton happens to be on my team at Sun Valley and I’m just super proud of him!

 


 

During the last couple of years there has been a slowly growing trend in churches across America. Churches are pulling their preteens out of children’s and student ministries and ministering to this demographic uniquely. Fueled by kids “growing up too quick,” the age of adolescents dropping, and ministries and organizations like FourFiveSix, Orange, preteenministry.net, and Christ in Youth hitting the scene, this preteen movement is gaining traction in the church. If you’re not thinking Preteen Ministry at your church, you need to be.

Last week I had the unique opportunity to sit down with Mike Branton, the Preteen Pastor at Sun Valley Community Church and Christ in Youth National Preteen Pastor of the Year, to talk about this emerging ministry. The interview is below:

Paul: What does the label “Preteen Ministry” mean and why is this something that churches should be paying attention to?

Mike: Fundamentally Preteen Ministry is ministry to students who are moving through the transition from childhood to adolescence. You’re typically talking about students who are between 8 and 12 years old and in 4th – 6th grade. During the preteen years human beings develop physically and mentally faster than at any other stage of life other than the infant and toddler phase. Preteens are moving from concrete to abstract thinking. They are thinking less about the faith of their family and more about their own faith and figuring out what they believe.  They are at a time in their lives where their identity is being formed; they’re less inhibited and as a result are more open to inviting friends, sharing the Gospel, and combating injustice in the world. Their ability to understand and respond to the Gospel provides us with a unique opportunity that few Churches are taking advantage of.

Paul: What are some of the unique dynamics of preteen ministry?

Mike: Preteen students are beginning to experiment and explore with their identity both socially and sexually. They are often prematurely exposure to adult ideas and concepts without having a developed faculty to truly handle it. Some still believe in Santa Clause and have teddy bears and some of them are sleeping with their boyfriends. And some are doing both of those. Finally, increased specialization at an early age regarding extracurricular activities such as the arts and sports are limiting healthy experimentation and growth.

Paul: The reality is that the majority of churches can’t afford to hire someone to specifically minister to preteens. What can churches do?

Mike: Every healthy church has preteens in it. They may be a part of the Children’s Ministry or a part of the Student Ministry, or simply in a Sunday School Class. But whatever the form, churches can take the step to have a couple of volunteers focus specifically on this group of students. Churches can partner with parents by helping to equip them to know what to expect during the preteen years. We’re talking about kids who are challenged to succeed in every other area of their lives. Churches need to shift their thinking and stop viewing these students as “just kids” so that they’ll begin to expect more from them in their journey with Christ. Finally if they can, churches can give them their own space, even a simple classroom. These students want their door locked and decorated at home so why not appropriately support that at church. Space matters. It shows value, and helps build identity and connection.

Mike Branton is the Preteen Pastor at Sun Valley Community Church Gilbert Campus, a contributing writer for K-magazine, part of the FourFiveSix Team, and the Christ in Youth National Preteen Pastor of the year.

You can connect with Mike on Facebook


Posted in Family, Leadership, Spiritual Formation

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an interview with the national preteen pastor of the year

During the last couple of years there has been a slowly growing trend in churches across America. Churches are pulling their preteens out of children’s and student ministries and ministering to this demographic uniquely. Fueled by kids “growing up too quick,” the age of adolescents dropping, and ministries and organizations like FourFiveSix, Orange, preteenministry.net, and Christ in Youth hitting the scene, this preteen movement is gaining traction in the church. If you’re not thinking Preteen Ministry at your church, you need to be.

Last week I had the unique opportunity to sit down with Mike Branton, the Preteen Pastor at Sun Valley Community Church and Christ in Youth National Preteen Pastor of the Year, to talk about this emerging ministry. The interview is below:

Continue Reading…


Posted in Family, Leadership, Spiritual Formation