Tag Archive - model


Campus Constants for Multisite Churches

Last week the Unstuck Group hosted a successful webinar, “Making Multisite Work” with Tony Morgan, Warren Bird and members of the Unstuck Group. During that webinar I mentioned a “Campus Constant” document that we use at Sun Valley, a large multisite church in the Phoenix Metro area that I have the privilege of serving at, that helps us remain clear on our multisite model. During the live chat on the webinar we received multiple requests for me to share that document. So to make it easy I figured I’d just share it here for you. Feel free to learn from this and adapt it for your context. We’ve found that this document along with our leadership distinctives and “playbooks” developed by each Ministry Development Team member for each of their ministry areas has really helped us define, stay on track, and provide clarity to our multisite model.

Make sure you scroll to the bottom of this post to find the link to the replay of the webinar if you missed it and other multisite resources!

Mission:   Helping people meet, know, and follow Jesus.

Vision:   To help as many people meet, know and follow Jesus as we possibly can by growing a movement of reproducing Campuses and Churches.

By 2020, we believe God is leading us to:
– Experience 3,000 baptisms
– Expand to 7 campuses
– Start 7 new churches
– Start Residency Program
– Grow to 10,000 people in attendance

Strategy:   This strategy serves as the foundation for spiritual growth.

  • Meet: We help people meet Jesus through Weekend Services.
  • Know: We help people know Jesus through Small Groups.
  • Follow: We help people follow Jesus through opportunities to Give, Serve and Share

Cultural Values:   These values are what keep us on target as we move towards our vision.

  • Authenticity: Trusting Jesus and others with the real me.
  • Community: Learning from Jesus through strong friendships centered around God’s Word.
  • Generosity: Living like Jesus through giving, serving and sharing.

Leadership Distinctives:   This is what we expect from those in leadership and what makes the Sun Valley Staff Culture so unique. Follow this link if you’re interested in seeing these distinctives written out.

Leadership Structure:   At Sun Valley vision is global and leadership is local. Leadership authority and responsibility flows through the Campus Pastors and influence flows through Central Services and the Ministry Development Team. Every ministry of the Church at each Campus will operate under one leadership structure that ultimately comes under the authority of the Board of Servant Leaders and the Lead Pastor.

Campus Pastor Team:   Campus Pastors are responsible for executing the Sun Valley Mission, Vision, Strategy, Values and Leadership Distinctives on their respective campus. The Campus Pastor role is a Management and Shepherding role at Sun Valley. They manage SV Kids, SV Students, SV Groups and Guest Service ministries on their campus. They also shepherd the staff, volunteers, and congregants at their campus.

Ministry Development Team:   The Ministry Development Team influences the ministries on each Sun Valley Campus. They help to ensure that the following takes place on each Sun Valley Campus:

  • Content: Curriculum and teaching in each sub-ministry environment is the same on each campus.
  • Consistent: Ministry practices, behaviors, and experiences are consistent on each campus.
  • Communication: Clear lines of communication exist between ministry counterparts on each campus as well as between the Ministry Development Team and the Campus Pastors.
  • Coach: Observe sub-ministries and staff members on campuses and coach them towards effectiveness and Sun Valley cultural consistency.

Weekend Teaching:   The Teaching Team will set the teaching schedule and will serve as the primary communicators either in person or by video.

Branding:   Every Campus will operate under the same branding and communication strategy including a centralized website for the church representing all Campuses.

Financial Model:   Every Campus will share these financial goals:

  • Within 12 months, offerings from the Campus will cover its ongoing ministry expenses including staffing costs.
  • Within 24 months, the Campus will also contribute its prorated portion of central service expenses.
  • Within 36 months, the Campus will also contribute towards expansion endeavors.

Alignment:   We choose to align the best practices, behaviors, and experiences on each of our Campuses, including SV Kids, SV Students, Groups, Missions, Guest Services, Weekend Services and Business Services.

SV Kids:   We create safe environments for kids to experience fun and exciting ministry programming, create trust and partnership with parents, and provide a great guest experience to everyone.

  • Early Childhood: Birth-Pre-K
  • Elementary: K-4

SV Students:   We create safe environments for students to experience fun and exciting relationally based ministry, create trust and partnerships with parents, and provide a great guest experience to everyone.

  • Preteen: 5-6 Grade
  • High: 7-8 Grade
  • High School: 9-12 Grade

SV Groups:   We help people get to know Jesus through strong friendship centered around God’s Word because we believe that life-change takes place best in the context of community. SV Groups provides leadership to move people through the spiritual formation pathway at Sun Valley including Yes Weekends, Starting Point, Baptisms, Bridge Groups, Small Groups, Recovery & Support Groups, and Local Outreach.

Guest Services:   We provide an exceptional experience to every guest who attends a Sun Valley Campus every time. Each Campus builds and utilizes the following strategies and teams:

  • Parking Team & New Here Park Here
  • New Here Start Here
  • Greeters
  • Ushers
  • Info Center
  • Coffee Shop / Refreshments
  • Campus Safety

Missions:   Our strategic passions are 1) Church Planting 2) Leadership Development 3) Social Justice. Every mission partner we support and each short-term project we participate in will pass the filter of our strategic passions. Each Campus will participate in the same short-term projects and support the same partners. Each Campus will also participate in the generosity offerings annually.

Weekend Services:   There is one centralized process to build the weekend worship experience from concept to completion and then deliver it to each campus. Beginning with biblical content, including creativity, and resulting in an exceptional and engaging Christ-centered experience.

Business Services:   There will be one centralized process or system for administrative services including banking, budgeting, staffing, payroll, benefits, capital expenditures, I.T., church management software, facility management, lease agreements, legal needs, etc.

Multisite Resources from the Unstuck Group:

  1. Download our free White Paper: “One Team. Multiple Locations. How Staff Teams at Effective Multisite Churches Overcome Distance and Lead Together.”
  2. Watch a replay of our recent webinar: Making Multisite Work, with Tony Morgan, Warren Bird, and members of The Unstuck Group team.”
  3. Multisite Consulting: If your church is thinking about going multisite, need help clarifying your multisite strategy, or stuck at a couple campuses and want to move forward we offer consulting solutions designed specifically for multisite churches!

Photo Credit: kevin dooley via Compfight cc

Posted in Leadership


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


Top Posts of 2013 #10: “Church Boards Gone Wild”

For the next couple of days I’m going to be counting down the top 10 posts from 2013 here on Helping Churches Make Vision Real. These are the posts that generated the most traffic, comments, tweets, and Facebook posts. The most popular topics this year had to do with volunteers, giving, leadership, and managing the tension of being an insider-focused or outsider-focused church. We start off with a topic that every leader in every church has had to deal with at some point or another, Church Boards.

If you’ve led in a church for any length of time you can probably tell some stories of experiences you’ve had with dysfunctional Church Boards. Church Boards become dysfunctional for a variety of reasons. But more often than not they become dysfunctional because those involved simply don’t understand their role or what the function of the Board is. What is more, those involved with the Board fail to understand what the church needs from them as a Board at the different stages of growth that the church experiences. Below are the 4 basic stages that a Board goes through as a church experiences growth.

Stage 1: Doers

Early in the life of a church and in smaller churches the Board Members are usually up to their elbows doing ministry. They are usually the ones leading ministries right along side of the Pastor. At this stage the Board is leading with the Church Staff. Church size: 0-250

Stage 2: Approvers

As the church begins to grow and change so does the role of the Board. They move from doing ministry (that’s not to say they’re not involved in ministry, it’s just no longer their primary function) to approving the decisions and direction that the church is taking. Church size: 250-800

Stage 3: Reviewers

Next the Board transitions to no longer approving every decision but rather trust the staff that is in day-to-day leadership roles to lead the church. The board is kept informed and made aware of how things are progressing. The decisions that they are involved with at this stage involve higher-level directional decisions that have a trickle down affect. Church size: 800-2,500

Stage 4: Counselors

Ultimately as the church grows into the 1,000’s the Board then moves into a role where they are taking on a 30,000-foot view and act more as wise counsel to the Staff that are leading the Church. Unable to stay completely informed of the complexities and pace of a large organization they become the keepers to the gate of the mission and vision and in so doing they begin to serve as both the brakes and the gas pedal. They are involved in very few actual organizational decisions at this stage, but those decisions they are involved with affect the entire organization. Church size: 2,500+

Often times churches get stuck and boards become dysfunctional because the board and the staff that relate to the board don’t understand these simple stages and the transitions that need to take place at each stage.


Posted in Leadership


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


Stop Paying People to Do Ministry

As they grow, many churches eagerly anticipate the moment when they’re finally big enough that they can afford to hire more staff and offer more ministry options for people. For example I’ve heard churches say they can’t wait to hire a Men’s Ministry Pastor. Nothing against Men’s Ministry per se, but that’s an expensive model. If you run it out to its logical end you’re going to have a lot of people on your payroll. Paying people to “do” ministry instead of “lead” ministry is an expensive mistake that many churches fall into. Here are 3 principles that will help you focus the Staffing & Volunteer philosophy at your church.

The Professionalism of Ministry has allowed the Church to Abdicate Responsibility

Just about every Pastor I’ve ever met generally agrees that their role is to, “equip the saints to do the work of the ministry.”  After all it’s pretty tough to disagree with the Scriptures. But unless you’re hiring through this filter of “preparing God’s people for works of service,” (Ephesians 4:11-13) every time you make a hire you’re robbing the church of the opportunity to be the church, as well as the church staff member of their God ordained role. As a Church Staff Member no job should be beneath you, but at the same time a Church Staff Member shouldn’t do every job either. Just see the conversation Jethro had with his son-in-law Moses (Exodus 18:13-26).

Remember that Volunteering is Discipleship

I’ve discovered that many churches still view volunteering as roles that need to be filled instead of people that need to be developed. I think we forget how much spiritual growth takes place in someone’s life as a result of volunteering. Instead of viewing volunteering as filling roles to run a church, volunteering should be viewed as a part of the spiritual pathway of our churches. It’s a subtle yet significant shift that needs to be made in our thinking for the sake of the spiritual formation of the people that have been entrusted to us.

Pay People to be Volunteer Specialists

If you’re going to use volunteers heavily in your church this doesn’t mean you’re not going to pay some staff. But when you do, make sure you pay for administration, mobilization, and highly skilled specialized roles. I say administration because volunteers would rather give their time to ministry that touches people’s lives than pushing paper. Those who are great at mobilization will utilize volunteers well because they know how to drive the project management of a team and think people first and roles second. Finally there are just going to be some highly skilled roles you’re going to need to pay for like the primary communicator/teacher, I.T., and so on.

Posted in Volunteers
Page 2 of 3«123»