Tag Archive - Harvest

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5 Articles that will Help Your Church Make Vision Real

Thank you for making May an incredible month here at Helping Churches Make Vision Real! It’s great staying connected with you through social media and hearing that these articles have been helpful. 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 New Staff Search: A Large Church in Phoenix is looking for a new Lead Pastor

I’m pleased to announce a new Staff Search! I’m helping Harvest Community Church as they begin the search for their new Lead Pastor. Harvest was planted in August of 2009 and originally met in a movie theater. They later moved to Skyline High School for a period of time before settling into a permanent facility in 2012. Today, just 5 years in existence, they average more than 650 people in weekend attendance! Located just one mile north of a new large residential community and a mile off of the 202 highway, Harvest is positioned for growth!

#2 The 5 Most Important Indicators of a Healthy Church

Numbers can be overwhelming. I’ve seen churches keep numbers and measure all kinds of things. First time guests, returning guests, empty parking stalls during services, kids attendance, student attendance, short-term mission trip participation, first time givers, on and on the list goes…literally. None of these (or other categories not listed) are necessarily bad things to measure. In fact in totality they can help you gain understanding as to which direction things are moving at your church. The thing is, there are a lot of things you could measure, a lot of things you could pay attention to. But what are the most important things to pay attention to? I know some people will disagree with me, but based on my experience working with churches around the country, and being a guy that’s in the trenches day to day at a local church, the 5 most important numbers to keep a pulse on are the following.

#3 Why Volunteering is the Biggest Issue Facing the Church

I’ve never coached a church leader or consulted with a church that said they had enough volunteers. In fact, most church leaders I speak with identify a shortage of volunteers and volunteer leaders as one of the top 5 issues holding their church back from reaching the vision that Jesus has given them. But contrary to the popular belief among many church staff, the issue isn’t a poor talent pool. Your church is full of talented volunteers. In fact the people who attend your church are so talented that companies actually hire them to do jobs everyday and they actually get paid for it (sarcasm indented). The real issue is that the church needs to change the scorecard. We need to shift the focus of paid-staff from ministry production and execution to volunteer and leadership development. The churches that do this understand the following 5 principles and the incredible results that accompany applying them.

#4 Building an Effective Central Services Team in a Multisite Church Model

If you’re leading in a multisite church or if you’re thinking about becoming a multisite church, at some point you’re going to have to make some big decisions about the role of your Central Service Team. Somewhere along the way you’re going to be faced with building a Central Service Team, Ministry Development Team or All Campus Staff Team…different churches attach a different label to it. But essentially it’s a centralized team of people tasked with supporting decentralized campuses that are geographically separated. Think of it as a matrix leadership model. The Central Service Team influences each campus while the Campus Pastors are responsible for the ministry on each of their respective campuses. Through learning from other great friends in the multisite world and facing this personally in the context I lead in, there are four (4) healthy perspectives of a great Central Services Team that I’ve discovered.

#5 3 Organizational Changes that Multisite Churches Experience

Multisite changes everything. If you’re leading in a multisite church you know this first hand. The way decisions are made, how the Staff are structured, how resource are utilized, how budgets are created and managed, and more all change along the way. It all changes. But knowing how things change can help you prepare for the next step. Here are three phases of change I’ve seen in multisite churches around the country.

Photo Credit: justin fain via Compfight cc


Posted in Leadership

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New Staff Search: A Large Church in Phoenix is looking for a new Lead Pastor

I’m pleased to announce a new Staff Search! I’m helping Harvest Community Church as they begin the search for their new Lead Pastor. Harvest was planted in August of 2009 and originally met in a movie theater. They later moved to Skyline High School for a period of time before settling into a permanent facility in 2012. Today, just 5 years in existence, they average more than 650 people in weekend attendance! Located just one mile north of a new large residential community and a mile off of the 202 highway, Harvest is positioned for growth!

Harvest Community Church sincerely desires to be a Biblical community of people that seeks God’s leading for their lives. They believe this happens best when we connect ourselves to God, His purpose, and others. Harvest exists to connect people to God and to give them an increasingly accurate view of God while moving them to be wholehearted followers of Jesus Christ. Simply put, Harvest wants to help people connect with Jesus, grow in Jesus, and go for Jesus.

Lee Stephenson, the founding pastor, is leaving Harvest Community Church in a place of health as he has transitioned to be the next Executive Director of Church Planting for Converge Worldwide. The location, finances, growth, mission, and staff team are all great reasons that make this a very attractive opportunity for interested candidates. Harvest is affiliated with Converge Worldwide, “A movement of churches working together to start and strengthen more churches.”

Located in Southeast Mesa, a suburb of Phoenix, AZ, Harvest is set against the beautiful backdrop of the Superstition Mountains. The facility is located in a new and growing community. The area boasts beautiful outdoor living including biking, hiking, equestrian trails and other recreational activities. The community is also convenient to shopping, golfing, and resorts. With its proximity to Phoenix, this opportunity provides all the benefits of small town living with the appeal and amenities that come from being close to a major city.

The next Lead Pastor at Harvest Community Church will be a gifted and dynamic communicator of God’s Word. They will highly value both strong biblical exposition as well as practical application in their teaching. They will have a passion and ability to make the truths of the scripture relevant to those exploring the faith, as well as challenging devoted followers of Jesus, leading people to experience and follow Jesus. They will have received a formal biblical education that has prepared them for pastoral ministry (seminary is preferred), have a clear spiritual calling to the role of Lead Pastor, and meet the biblical qualification for eldership expressed in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9. Multi-site and/or church-planting experience is a plus. In addition, they will have had 10+ years of church leadership experience with relevant experience in a large church (1,000+). The next Lead Pastor at Harvest will not only be an excellent communicator of God’s Word but also pastor the congregation and cast inspirational and actionable vision for the future. They will be a high capacity leader with a proven track record of developing others and have the ability to work with the high capacity lay and staff leaders on the team.

Interested parties should submit their resume here via email.


Posted in Staffing

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It’s Time to Join a Leadership Coaching Network

I recently caught up with Micah Hutchison who serves as the Executive Pastor at Harvest Community Church in Mesa, AZ. Harvest Community Church started in August of 2009 with a small core team and in less than five years has grown to more than 900 people in attendance. Micah participated in one of my Leadership Coaching Networks and had the following to say about the experience.

“The coaching and leadership conversations we had over six months with Paul elevated my leadership in the church as much as any experience I’ve ever had. I gained valuable tools and strategies for developing the leaders under my care. Additionally our discussions provided a strong foundation for understanding why healthy churches grow, and the time to personalize theory to our specific ministry situation. Paul’s personal ministry and leadership experience and wisdom ensured each coaching session was a valuable experience!”
Micah Hutchison, Executive Pastor at Harvest Community Church in Mesa, AZ

Interested in Joining Us?

Here are all the details about the leadership coaching network in Phoenix. My teammate at The Unstuck Group, Tony Morgan, is facilitating a similar network in Atlanta

Complete the coaching network application and pay your initial deposit to hold your space. The deposit will be your first month’s fees. The next Phoenix and Atlanta networks will start in October 2014. The deadline for your application is August 15, 2014.

Photo Credit: djwtwo via Compfight cc


Posted in Leadership

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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!

#1 Partnering with Parents: What happens in the home is more important that what happens at church. Children’s Ministries are doing a better job of partnering with parents and providing resources like family dinner time talk sheets, family devotions, and video tips to help parents continue the conversation from the weekend throughout the week.

#2 Department Integration: Churches are beginning to break down department silos and think more holistically about birth through graduation. This includes everything from curriculum, events, the way ministries approach volunteering, and more.

#3 Handoffs: In life transition points have a high potential to be make or break moments. Children’s Ministries are catching onto this and becoming more intentional with settings up children and their families for success as they transition from Children’s to Student Ministries.

#4 Security: Safety is becoming a major issue in Children’s Ministries. Once a rarity things like secure check-in and check-out processes, background checks for volunteers, security teams and secure Children’s facilities are becoming the norm.

#5 Volunteers: There is always a need when you are trying to care for and minister to children. But many Children’s Ministries are beginning to approach volunteering differently. They’re beginning to realize that “join me” is always better than “you should.” They’re building sub lists just like the local school system. They’re realizing that people want to be a part of fun winning teams. They’re spending more time setting volunteers up to succeed. And they know that (just like in the workplace) people are more likely to stay engaged over the long haul if they have a friend they’re volunteering with. Need help with volunteers? Don’t miss this FREE online seminar featuring nationally leading pastors that will help get more volunteers!

#6 Lead Pastor: Winning Children’s Ministries have Lead Pastors who don’t treat the Children’s as a “separate ministry” but rather ensures that the same mission, vision, and values are in place in the Children’s Ministry as they are in the rest of the church. These Pastors provide clarity for direction, honest feedback and coaching, they lean into their Children’s Ministry Staff as a resource and advocate publicly for the ministry.


Posted in Leadership

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Global Leadership Summit 2013: Oscar Muriu

As day 2 of Leadership Summit began wrapping up Oscar Muriu who serves as the Senior Pastor at Nairobi Chapel in Kenya gave an inspiring talk about multiplying your impact exponentially. Under Oscar’s leadership Nairobi Chapel has grown from a 40 person local church to a network of 30 churches with more than 14,000 in weekly attendance!

5 Convictions of Leadership Development

  • #1 came from Matt. 9:37-38 The size of your harvest depends on how many leaders you have.
    • The problem is not the harvest, it’s the harvesters
    • Jesus’s own strategy was to first find his leaders and invest in them not jump into the field
    • If you don’t have leaders around you, your reach will be limited by how many other leaders you raise up
    • One of the indicators of great leadership is how many leaders you raise up to continue after you
  • #2 came from Psalm 71:18 Live for the next generation
    • The problem is you are born into your own generation
    • When you grow up with, get married with, have kids with, grow old with and die with your generation your vision will die with your generation
    • The only way for your vision to live beyond you to instill it in others who will be there after you are gone
    • You know you are doing this successfully if the people you’re investing in are at least 20 years younger than yourself
    • Each of his leaders is responsible for meeting with 5 younger leaders for a year
  • #3 came from Numbers 11:10-18 Identify the budding leaders around you and take them to the Lord in prayer
    • There were already 70 1st class leaders sitting there right under Moses’ nose – in 1 day he found 70
    • Your “competition” can see them (young leaders) but sometimes you can’t see them because you’re too close to the situation…get help to identify them / remember what you were like
  • #4 came from Mark 12:30-33 Instill the 5 loves into your budding leaders
    • Love the Lord your God with all your heart: character
    • Soul: conviction
    • Mind: comprehension
    • Strength: competence
    • Neighbor as yourself: compassion
  • #5 came from Acts 4:13 Never do ministry alone, always have budding leaders around you
    • The secret of Jesus’s investment into his 12 was the scope of time
    • To be alone is to waste an opportunity to mentor a young leader
  • The more harvesters you have, the greater your harvest will be

Posted in Leadership
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