Tag Archive - training


Meet my New Coaching Network

I’m excited about my next Leadership Coaching Network beginning in a couple of weeks. These are the incredible people that I’ll be sharing life with over the next six months with links to their churches and Twitter or Facebook accounts so you can connect with them.

1. Mat Balagaard, Executive Pastor from Church of Celebration located in Maricopa, AZ

2. Caleb Campbell, Executive Pastor from Desert Springs Bible Church located in Phoenix, AZ

3. Ryan Delviken, Student Ministry Administrative Pastor from Sun Valley Community Church located in Gilbert, AZ

4. David Gantenbein, Student Ministry Pastor from Foothills Baptist Church located in Phoenix, AZ

5. Brett Humphrey, Children’s Ministry Pastor from Sun Valley Community Church located in Gilbert, AZ

6. Rick Millikin, Executive Pastor from Eastridge Church located in Clackamas, OR

7. Dan O’ Donnell, Lead Pastor from Sunrise Chapel of the East Valley located in Gilbert, AZ

Although this coaching network is closed, it’s not too early to apply for the next round. Here are the coaching network details including a link to the application.

In the mean time, say hello to my new friends, check out their church websites and connect with them on Twitter or Facebook!

Posted in Leadership


What the Church can Learn from Southwest Airlines about Volunteers

I was recently on a Southwest Airlines flight and witnessed one of the most amazing volunteer moments I’ve ever seen. When it came time for the midflight snack of pretzels and peanuts a woman on the flight stepped up and volunteered to pass out the snack. And here’s the amazing thing…they let her! No application, no waiver, and no complex training classes. They simply handed over the basket of snacks and said go for it! Watching this whole thing go down I couldn’t help but think about how difficult we make it for people in the church to volunteer. Here are a couple of observations from that moment that I think are worth the church considering.

1. Create Entry Level Volunteer Opportunities

Handing out snacks isn’t the most complicated job on the planet. Just about anyone can do it, right? That’s kinda the point. Creating simple opportunities for people to jump in on allows them to safely test the waters and take another step at their own pace. Don’t worry; leaders will always rise to the top. And it’s important to keep in mind that volunteering is different than leading. Who knows, that woman may end up as the next great flight attendant at Southwest Airlines.

2. On the Job Training

It took very little to no training for this woman to perform the role of handing out snacks on that flight. Realistically she’s probably seen it done a hundred times before. Modeling and coaching in real time is a great way to train, and it doesn’t take hours of time out of the lives of your volunteers and take them away from their families.

3. Throw Away your Complex Volunteer Application

The flight crew didn’t make this woman fill out an application to work at Southwest prior to letting her hand out snacks. I know you think that having a multipage thorough application is responsible, places a high value on volunteering and is helpful. But it’s actually creating an obstacle to people volunteering in your church. While there may be a few volunteer roles that require a background check, for example working with minors. In actuality there’s only a very limited amount of information that you need from potential volunteers, which can be quickly collected in the on ramping process. Especially if you’re intentional about creating easy access entry level volunteer opportunities (like handing out snacks).

4. Make it Fun

Southwest is notorious for being a fun place to work. And when the Staff has fun the people on the flight will have fun too. And hint, hint…they’ll want to join in. If your Church isn’t a fun place to work and your Staff isn’t having fun, chances are you’re going to have a difficult time attracting volunteers.


Dear Southwest Airlines,

If you’re out there and reading this, and I just got the flight crew who allowed this woman the opportunity to volunteer in trouble by outing them, I apologize. Really I guess I should apologize to the flight crew. But I think what they did was stellar!

Posted in Volunteers


Apply Today! Deadline Approaching for Fall Leadership Coaching Networks

We’re very excited about the response to the new coaching networks that are launching this fall at TonyMorganLive. We are offering three different coaching networks in Atlanta, Phoenix and online.

This experience will provide you with focused training on a variety of ministry strategy topics including staffing, leadership development, communications, financial stewardship, volunteer team development, weekend services, ministry structure, discipleship, multi-site and much more.

In case you’re curious, the applicants include leaders from places like Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, and Virginia. They include senior pastors, executive pastors and ministry directors representing churches from a few hundred to a few thousand.

Leadership Coaching Network Details

Locations — Atlanta, Phoenix and Online

Dates — Phoenix starts in September; Atlanta and online start in October

Cost — $1,500

Application Deadline — Wednesday, July 31

Here are the full details including the exact dates of the coaching network gatherings.

If you’re interested in participating… APPLY NOW!

Posted in Leadership


training with larry osborne part-2 “why some teams win and most lose”

Yesterday I mentioned that we recently had Larry Osborne come in and spend some time with the Sun Valley Staff. In doing so we intentionally broke the time up into three focuses: time with our Executive team, time with our Elders, and time with our Staff from all 3 campuses. Below is Part-2 of some thoughts and take aways from our time together. Click here if you missed Part-1.

Why Some Teams Win and Most Lose

1. Winning Teams have Winning Players while Losing Teams have Good Players

  • The Top 2 Determining factors of people who look like they’re going to succeed but actually fail:
    • #1 Poor Relationships Skills (they don’t play well in the sandbox with others)
    • #2 Inability to adapt (they could not handle midcourse correction and change)
  • Top 2 Determining factors of successful people:
    • #1 The ability to adapt (experts at midcourse corrections)
    • #2 Strong Relationship Skills

2. Winning Teams Guard the Gate while Losing Teams let Anyone In

  • Never ignore a lack of character because of an abundance of giftedness
  • Never ignore a lack of people skills due to an abundance of bible skills
  • It is not loving to kill the flock while you’re trying to be nice to one lamb
  • Be careful of people of Christian “watch dogs”

3. Winning Teams make Unity a Priority while Losing Teams Treat it as an Afterthought

  • Winning teams deliberately work on chemistry, they don’t take it for granted or assume it will happen
  • Create fun in your team

4. Wining Teams Focus on their Mission while Losing Teams Focus on their Successes

  • Mission Creep = You started with one mission and you are slowly seduced to chase after other missions because some sub-ministries become successful.
  • When it comes to stopping ministries don’t just kill them, you go to jail for killing people. Starve them and let them die a natural death. There is an art to this.

5. Winning Teams Focus on Empowerment while Losing Teams Focus on Tenure

  • Winning teams always have a farms system
  • Losing teams chase excellence (perfectionism)
  • Don’t ask who’s the best, ask who will be the best
  • When tenure rules there’s never room for the young
  • The Freshmen Always get Smaller Principle

6. Winning Teams Adapt for the Future while Losing Teams Long for the Past

  • The good old days aren’t as good as they used to be
  • What worked in the good old days won’t work in the current reality
  • Winning teams embrace the present and pursue the future

7. Winning Teams have a Heart for the Little Guy while Losing Teams Expect Everyone to be a Leader

  • Discipling people is not about making them leaders its about making followers of Jesus
  • When you lose your hear for the little people you begin to use people
  • Jesus didn’t hang around pagans, he hung around “consumer back of the line Christians”

Posted in Leadership


training with larry osborne part-1 “leadership lids of complexity and competency”

Like most of you I’ve been a part of churches that have invested large sums of money and time to send their staff to a conference together. I love the fact that many churches are willing to invest in their staff and I love how inspiring conferences can be! In fact I usually walk away with my thinking challenged and a few new ideas to implement. However, I’ve actually found it more economical and effective to bring an expert in to spend more intimate time with our team. The training you get is more personal, customized to your situation, and conversational (you can actually get your specific questions answered). Recently we had Larry Osborne come in to spend time with the Staff at Sun Valley. We intentionally designed for him to invest in our Executive Team, our Elders, as well as a day of training with all of our staff from all three of our campuses. By the way it was great to be able to have a couple of guys from my current Coaching Network sit in on the day of training with our staff! Below are some of my thoughts and take aways from our time together:

Ceilings of Complexity and Competency

1. Every Leader and Every Organization hits a Leadership Ceiling at some point

  • We outgrow our leadership skills
  • We outgrow our organizational structures
  • We can be blindsided by a major cultural shift

2. How to Recognizing Ceilings

  • Any ministry that has stagnant or declining attendance
  • Marked increase in conflict
  • Protecting the Past trumps Creating the Future
  • Revolving Door Syndrome
  • Long term personal spiritual stagnation
  • Mission Creep

3. How to Break through Ceilings

  • These 3 things come natural and are actually a trap:
    • Effort: work harder
    • Efficiency: work smarter
    • Quality: work better
  • What happens when these 3 things don’t work?
    • New Advisors:
      • You have to get outside of your tribe
      • We first go to “me” then we go to “my team” and then we go to “my tribe”
      • All of the solutions to your biggest problems are going to be found outside of your tribe
    • New Expectations:
      • Expectations are really about 3 things you have to give up: Power, Prestige, and Position
    • New Organizational Structures:
      • Address whatever counter productive organizational structures you have (traditions, how you make decisions, etc.)

I’ll post the rest of the notes tomorrow: Part 2 “Why Some Teams Win and Most Lose”

Posted in Leadership
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