Tag Archive - community


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


Why Most Churches are Successful Failures

Successful failure is when you successfully execute a plan that doesn’t work. You’ve planed your work and worked your plan. You’ve completed the task on time and on budget. You successfully executed the plan. The only problem is the plan didn’t work. The outcome was just wrong.

Many churches all across America are successful failures. They’re putting a lot of time and effort into doing church they way they do church only to see little to no fruit. Most churches are building something that nobody wants to be a part of. And the proof is in the fact that 80% of the nearly 400,000 churches in America are plateaued or declining.

People don’t want a class they want community

Most churches still offer classes as the primary way for people to get connected to their church. Most guests still attend a church for the first time at a weekend worship service and then they’re invited to attend a class. No matter how’s it’s branded it’s usually some form of membership or orientation class where they are provided content. Then they’re invited to another class (usually in the form of some kind of bible study) where they can get more content. People are looking for connection and community not classes or content. If people were really looking for another class to be a part of then Community Colleges across America would be overrun with a deluge of applicants.

People don’t want to be lectured they want to be changed

There are few settings outside of academia where people receive information in a lecture format anymore. People aren’t looking for another lecture. They’re looking for something real, tangible, and powerful. Does your God really have the power to change my most meaningful relationships? Can I experience real peace in life? Can my life really be different than it is today? Is there something truly spiritual about Christianity or is it just another self-help book to make my life “better?”

People don’t want to feel guilty they want to feel inspired

People are tired of coming to church and feeling guilty, shamed, preached at, spoken down to, and judged. Who would want to be a part of something like that? People want to be inspired. They want to know that there is hope. And while the Church has the most hope to offer the World, the average person in the world typically doesn’t associate “hope” and “church.” The Gospel is the most inspiring message in the history of the planet and somehow we’ve made it very unattractive.

People don’t want to be a part of something built for insiders

Let’s face it, most churches are designed by and for people who are already a part of the church. And by churches I mean the physical buildings and programs. Yes I know the church is not a building that you come to but a movement you’re a part of…but for the purpose of this conversation we’re talking about what outsiders view as the church – which are the buildings and programs. Most churches don’t match the architecture of other public space that people go to. And who wants to be a part of something where you feel like an outsider the moment you walk through the door because you don’t know the lingo, the songs (who sings songs other than happy birthday any ways), or the customs.

Don’t hear what I’m not saying. I love the Church, I’m a part of the Church, and I’m even on staff at a church. But I don’t think most churches are experiencing much success (success = life change), they’re actually failing. And what’s worse is that most churches are successful failures.

Posted in Leadership, Spiritual Formation


How your Church can Reach more Millennials

There’s a lot of angst in the North American Church about Millennials walking away from Church. The Millennial generation is typically considered as born somewhere in the early 80’s – 2000 or so. Instead of fretting about it, the other day I sat down with some millennials to actually talk to them about their views of Church. These were some of the take aways from the conversation.

Invite Millennials to Community not Church

Millennials want community. They’re not as interested in being invited to the “weekend event” that we call a worship service as much as they are being invited into a real community where they can know others, be known, and have shared experiences together.

Hire Someone to Wake up everyday Thinking about Millennials

Who on staff at your church is paid to wake up every day to think about millennials? A lot of churches pay a lot of people to do a lot of different things. Is your church willing to put its money where its mouth is and actually put money into this?

Don’t Silo Millennials

Don’t start a new ministry designed to reach millennials. We’re not talking about doing youth group for young adults and segmenting them out apart from the rest of the church. Instead invite and involve them in the church. Listen to them and their ideas. Give them real responsibility, give them real opportunity to lead and influence the church.

Address their Unique Needs

Research shows that millennials are most interested in marriage, parenting, and social causes (in that order). What is your church doing to help them navigate these issues and find real answers that will help them have a fulfilling marriage, become a better parent, and engage in real social causes?

Is your church finding success reaching millennials? What are you doing that we all could learn from? Leave a comment!

Interested in learning more about reaching millennials? Pick up the eBook “Reaching and Leading Millennials” by Tony Morgan and the Unstuck Group.

Photo Credit: hahn.elizabeth34 Flickr via Compfight cc

Posted in Leadership, Spiritual Formation, Staffing, Testimonial


5 Essential Tests for Churches who want to Grow

You may have heard that 90% of the 300,000 churches in America run 350 or fewer in attendance and that the average church size is 75 attendees (from Duke University’s National Congregations Study).

We know that thousands of pastors who want to reach more people with the love of Jesus can’t pinpoint exactly what’s holding their churches back. We’ve found that small and rural churches face some specific challenges for growth, and we want to start a conversation with you about those challenges and how to overcome them.

So, The Unstuck Group is partnering up with Church Community Builder to offer a free webinar to help you figure out why your church isn’t growing.

On Wednesday, May 13 at 1 p.m. EST, Tony Morgan, Mark Meyer, Steve Caton and Ty Bean will share some of the essentials to church growth they’ve witnessed firsthand while working with small and rural churches across the nation. There will even be time allotted for Q&A.

Follow this link to register and save your spot. Space is limited

Posted in Leadership


Your Church Can be Both Missional and Attractional this Christmas


This year Sun Valley Community Church is partnering with Albertsons Grocery Store to provide more than 10,000 boxes of food to local families in need through local food banks like the Salvation Army. Through the public nature of the Out of the Box 2.0 campaign Sun Valley has intentionally chosen to be both misssional and attractional at the same time. Yes, it’s possible to be both. The power of this partnership has made it easy for people to be involved. People can pick up a box to fill and bring back to any Sun Valley Campus during normal weekend worship services. They can stop any Albertsons store and scan the UPC code on the flyer they receive at church and the food will be delivered directly to the food banks. Anyone from the community who stops by an Albertsons with an Out of the Box 2.0 display in it can participate as well. Finally Albertsons is staying open late on Sunday evening the 22nd and we’re encouraging everyone from Sun Valley to go and do their shopping for Out of the Box 2.0 that evening as the Salvation Army Trucks will be there ready to load up!

The hungry are all around us:

  • 82,000 Phoenix Valley households don’t know where their next meal is coming from.
  • That’s enough refrigerators to reach rim to rim and back again at the Grand Canyon!
  • It’s enough dinner tables to reach the top of Camelback Mountain 130 times!
  • According to the 2010 US Census Bureau the average household in Arizona has 2.63 occupants. We’re talking about 215,660 hungry people!
  • That’s enough people to fill a city almost the size of Scottsdale!

If you live in the Phoenix Valley I’d like to invite you to be a part of Out of the Box 2.0 and make a real difference by changing these statistics. Follow this link to discover how you can join the movement! It’s our community…it’s our responsibility!

Want more? Check out this story below…

Posted in Leadership, Spiritual Formation
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