Tag Archive - top 5

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5 Articles to Help You Make Vision Real

Thank you for helping make December 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 “5 Self-Inflicted Wounds That Keep Churches Stuck”

Churches get stuck for all kinds of reasons. And while no church I’ve ever worked with has ever set out with the goal of being stuck, most eventually become stuck at some point along the way. Unfortunately the majority of churches that are stuck get that way not because of some insurmountable obstacle that is put in place by the enemy, but rather they become stuck due to self-inflicted wounds.  Bad decisions that seem right in the moment, but lead to the church being stuck. Here are a few common self-inflicted wounds I’ve seen happen to churches:

#2 “Multisite Church Fast Facts”

This past week Jim Tomberlin the founder of MultiSite Solutions stopped by my current Coaching Network to spend some time talking all things Multisite and Mergers. He shared about how the multisite movement that originally began as a “band-aid” solution for megachurches that were out of space has quickly turned into a growth strategy for all kinds and sizes of churches. Below are 15 incredible facts that Jim in partnership with Leadership Network have discovered about the multisite church movement:

#3 “Top Posts of 2013: #1 10 Insider Focused Ministry Names”

This post generated the most traffic on Helping Churches Make Vision Real this year. Mainly because church-people did a Google search for ministry names and stumbled across this post. I sure bet they were surprised. The language we choose to use is important because it both reflects and builds culture at the same time.  And one of the most obvious ways to tell if a church is insider focused or outsider focused is the language that they choose to use. It either says that the church is “inclusive” or “exclusive.” In helping churches get unstuck and make vision real I’ve run across a number of insider focused ministry names. In fact here’s a link to a post with a free tool that you can use as you begin to evaluate your own ministry names and language you’re using in your church. Remember it’s always more important to be clear than clever. Here’s a quick list of 10 insider focused ministry names to give you an idea of what I’m talking about.

#4 “7 Traits of Churches That Experience Repeat Success”

It’s one thing to experience success; it’s another thing altogether to repeat success over, and over, and over again. Many churches experience moments of success, but few experience repeat success. Fewer still, understand why they were successful in the first place and intentionally create behaviors in the organization of the church to make success become the norm. Below are 7 traits of churches that experience repeat success:

#5 “How to Keep Your Team When the Game is Changing”

In any growing church or organization there are going to be moments where the team that got you where you are, will not have the ability to get you where you need to go. This usually becomes an incredibly painful and difficult moment. In fact many churches get stuck here because they refuse to address the issue in an appropriate manner. What do you do when staff members begin to hit a leadership lid? Do you have any other course of action to take besides replacing them? How do you navigate these moments? The options below should help:


Posted in Leadership

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Top 5 Posts from June

Thank you for making the month of June an incredible month on Helping Churches Make Vision Real! It’s so encouraging to read the comments and see the interaction through social media about the content and articles that are posted here! It’s encouraging to hear stories about how different posts 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 Defining the Leadership Culture at Your Church

Peter Drucker is credited with saying, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” Every organization has a culture – attitudes they want adopted, values they want championed, beliefs they want instilled and behaviors they want reproduced. Leaders are the cultural architects of any organization.  Eventually every organization takes on the character and priorities of its leaders.  As a result, leaders need to become intentional in creating culture.

#2 The Dark Side of Vision

Many tout the most important aspect of a leader is the ability to paint a clear vision of the future. If you’ve been around church-world for any length of time you’ve probably even heard a sermon or two about it, after all “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Prov. 29:18) right?  What many leaders often fail to realize is that there is another side to vision, a downside, that if not understood and artfully led through can derail the vision before it begins.

#3 The Baby Elephant Principle

How do churches get stuck? Churches are stuck because they’ve been conditioned to be stuck. Here are 3 critical questions you should be asking about why your church is stuck in the past. And how you can get unstuck.

#4 6 Reasons Your Church Should Use a Search Firm to Make Your Next Hire

Hiring a new team member can be exciting because it means there is going to be fresh eyes on old problems and status quo ministry, new ideas, and a new well of experiences to go to. If you’ve read much of my blog you know that I enjoy the hiring process and helping churches recruit and hire great teams. In fact you can check out this series of posts on “Recruiting and Hiring Teams that Make Vision Real” or take a look at how I help churches build a staffing and hiring strategy. But sometimes the best move that you can make is to enlist the help of an Executive Search Firm. Here are 6 reasons you should consider using an Executive Search Firm when you make your next hire.

#5 New Leadership Coaching Network Opening Up

A couple of weeks ago, we opened applications for the new leadership coaching networks that will begin early this fall through TonyMorganLive. The deadline for applications is July 31, but applications have already been coming in and these new coaching networks will probably fill up before then. Over half of the spots are already spoken for in my Network so get your application in soon to secure your spot!

Posted in Leadership

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Top 5 Posts from May

Thank you for making the month of May an incredible month on Helping Churches Make Vision Real! It’s so encouraging to read the comments and see the interaction through social media about the content and articles that are posted here! It’s encouraging to hear stories about how different posts 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 “5 Reasons it’s Good When People Leave Your Church”

What if I told you that people leaving your church can actually be a good thing? Maybe even the best thing? In this post I share 5 reasons it’s actually good when people leave your Church.

#2 “Church Boards Gone Wild”

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. In this post I share the 4 stages of growth that a Board goes through and what they should be doing at different stages of church growth.

#3 “Chick-fil-A Leadercast: Andy Stanley”

If you missed the Chick-fil-A Leadercast then you missed out on some great content! But no worries you can catch up quick. I posted my notes and thoughts from each of the sessions! In this session Andy Stanley shared 3 questions that bring simplicity and clarity to leadership.

#4 “Do Denominational Labels Matter Anymore?”

It used to be that whatever denominational label you wore provided some clear context as to who you were and where you were coming from. Not so much anymore. In this guest post by my friend Matt Willmington we take an honest look at this tough question.

#5 “Avoiding the Multisite Mothership Syndrome”

Originally written as a guest post on TonyMorganLive, I share 5 key things I’ve learned about leading in a multisite church environment.

As a bonus check out “10 Questions to Answer Before You Begin a Building Campaign at Your Church”  a guest post by my friend Luke Simmons that got a lot of traffic this past month as well!


Posted in Leadership

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Top 5 Posts from March

Thank you for making the month of March a great month on Helping Churches Make Vision Real! 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 nice tidy little spot for your convenience!

#1 3 Reasons People don’t Give to Your Church

A few months back I did a series of posts on 6 big ideas about “Engaging the Givers in your Church.” And just like there are real actionable steps that churches can take to engage givers, there are also things that churches do to repel givers. More often than not they’re doing these things and they don’t even know it. In this post I walked through three guaranteed generosity killers that are running rampant in churches today.

#2 6 Indicators You’re Leading an Insider Focused Church

How do you know if you’re leading an insider-focused church? In this article I shared 6 indicators that you and your team can use to evaluate your church and discover if you’re leading an insider-focused church.

#3 My Interview with Two 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. In this post I share a recent incredible opportunity that I had 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.

#4 4 Leadership Lessons I was Reminded of by the Birth of my 4th Child

Lisa and I were blessed in March with the addition of our 4th child! And I’m not biased or anything, but he’s absolutely incredible! While we’ve gone through this a time or three before I’m still surprised by the depth of amazement, excitement, awe, fear, and loss of control that all collide in my heart at the birth of each of my children. And while we’re playing zone defense and filling up the minivan there are four distinct leadership lessons that this experience has reminded me of…I share those in this post.

#5 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. In this post I share four steps you can begin to implement this week to start building the desired culture in your church or organization.


Posted in Leadership

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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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