Tag Archive - sun valley community church


Leading Your Church Staff Team Through the COVID-19 Disruption

The first couple weeks of leading through the COVID-19 crisis the staff team at Sun Valley Community Church (the church I have the honor of serving at) has been fantastic! I’m so proud of how hard they’ve been working, how quickly they’ve been able to pivot, and how well they’ve been pastoring people through this. Like every church staff team around the country we’re dealing with a level of disruption that we’ve never experienced before. We’re leading in a new normal, and I’m not sure anyone really has a great handle on what things are going to look like for the church in North America on the other side of this…but we know it’s going to be different.

In an effort to support and encourage out team through this time I sat down and recorded a conversation with Dr. Ray Branton. Dr. Branton is the founder and Clinical Director of Arizona Psychology Consultants, as well as the founder and Clinical Director of Professional Counseling Associates. He’s been a part of Sun Valley for years, and I trust him. I was hoping to simply provide a resource to our team. Some way to encourage them through the chaos they are leading through. The conversation was really well received and I received some requests by the team to share it. Typically I don’t share resources like this that are intended for the team at Sun Valley on my blog. Simply because it’s designed for this team, for who they are and for what they’re leading through. But at their request, with Dr. Branton’s permission, and in the hope that this may be helpful for other church staff team members out there I’m sharing this resource with you. Understand that this was designed for our team here, so there’s going to be some “insider” moments that may not make sense for everyone viewing.

My concern is that if we don’t somehow figure out how to do the “both-and” of leading through crisis while paying attention to our own soul we could get ourselves into trouble. And all of that is coming from a guy (me) that likes to get things done and take new ground. But my friend Lance Witt at the Unstuck Group has challenged me by telling me, “Following Jesus cannot be done at a sprint. You can’t live life at warp speed without warping your soul.” I’m trying to listen.

Posted in Leadership, Staffing, Testimonial


A Large Multisite Church in Phoenix is Hiring a Small Group 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 Small Group 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 mult-site church in the Phoenix area. Currently there are three campuses located in Gilbert, Tempe and Casa Grande with a total weekend attendance of 5,000 people. 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 1,000 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:

Continue Reading…

Posted in Staffing


Chick-fil-A Leadercast 2013

I’m excited to announce that Sun Valley Community Church is hosting the Chick-fil-A Leadercast for the third straight year! It’s going to be an incredible one day leadership event broadcast LIVE from Atlanta, Georgia to hundreds of locations around the world.

Chick-fil-A has put together an incredible lineup of speakers including Jack Welch, Former Chairman & CEO of General Electric | Andy Stanley, Best-selling leadership author & communicator| Mike Krzyzweski, Head men’s basketball coach, Duke University and Team USA | John Maxwell, Best-selling author and leadership expert | Dr. Henry Cloudl, Best-selling author and leadership consultant | LCDR Rorke Denver, Navy SEAL and star of the 2012 movie Act of Valor | Sanya Richards-Ross, 2012 London Olympic gold medalist, track & field | David Allen, Best-selling author of Getting Things Done and productivity expert | Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of State (2005-2009) Exclusive Simply Lead video interview with John C. Maxwell

Date: Friday, May 10, 2013

Time: Registration & Breakfast begin at 7:00am | The conference begins at 8:00am & concludes at 4:00pm

Location: Sun Valley Community Church, Gilbert, AZ

Cost: $79.00 per person and includes breakfast, lunch, and your conference workbook. There is special pricing discounts for groups.

Registration: To register you and your team click here! I look forward to seeing you there!

Posted in Leadership


My Interview with 2 Women about their Choice to have an Abortion

I don’t typically post talks that I give, but every once in a while there’s one worth sharing. This weekend I had the incredible opportunity to interview two very courageous women about their choice to have an abortion, their experience with “church people,” their journey towards healing, and the grace and forgiveness they’ve experienced in Jesus. It will definitely go down as a high water mark in my ministry experience. If we’re honest about it, the Church hasn’t always handled this dialogue very well. We’ve historically postured ourselves in such a manner that we come off as not only anti-abortion, but anti-people who have an abortion. The in-congruency shows up when we take a look at the Scriptures and realize that Jesus isn’t anti-anybody. So here’s hoping that this talk inspires you, challenges you, crushes your heart for what crushes God’s, and perhaps challenges your thinking a bit on this emotionally and politically charged topic of abortion. If nothing else fast forward to the 12:21 minute mark to check out the interview segment.

Posted in Creative Arts, Spiritual Formation


Top 5 Posts from February

February was a big month on Helping Churches Make Vision Real! Thank you for making these the top 5 Posts from this last month. If you missed out on any of them, here they are all in one nice tidy little spot!

#1 Why Nice People Kill Churches

This post may quickly become one of the most popular articles I’ve ever written. For the last 12 years I’ve had the incredible opportunity to serve on the Sr. Leadership Teams of some of the nations fastest growing and leading churches. Over that time I’ve observed time and time again one of the most destructive inclinations to church growth and the advancement of the Gospel is the simple fact that people on staff at most churches are simply too nice to each other. In this post I share 5 ways I’ve seen nice people hurt this mission of the church. Continue Reading…

#2 A Large Multisite Church in Phoenix is Hiring a High School 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 High School Pastor to serve on our Gilbert Campus. Sun Valley began as a church plant in 1990 in Chandler, Arizona. Over the years Sun Valley has grown into a large mult-site church in the Phoenix metro area. Currently there are three campuses located in Gilbert, Tempe and Casa Grande with a total weekend attendance of over 5,000 people. Sun Valley was recently named by Outreach Magazine as one of the top 10 fastest growing churches in America. Continue Reading…

#3 Does Your Team Need to Change?

Churches get stuck for all kinds of reasons. But a common reason Churches get stuck is that the Sr. Leadership Team gets stuck. Last week I had the opportunity to sit in the room with Sr. Leaders from some of the nations leading mega-churches and talk through this issue. Here are a couple of the thoughts I captured about Sr. Leadership Teams from that conversation. Continue Reading…

#4 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. Continue Reading…

#5 Overcoming the Fear of a Personality Driven Ministry

In church-world I frequently hear conversations surrounding the idea of “personality driven churches.” That is to say churches that are built around a dynamic communicator and leader. At best I’ll usually hear a criticism of its ineffectiveness and at worst statements about how shallow, wrong, and harmful it is to the church and the advancement of the Gospel. In this post I unpack 4 big questions you should be asking about personality driven ministries. Continue Reading…

Posted in Leadership
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