Doing Theology Together

Doing Theology Together

Valley Life Churches are essentially a network of churches that choose to cooperate together. We believe that we can do more together than we can do apart. Of the things that make up our connection to each other like common vision and sharing of staff members, none are as important to who we are as … Continued

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Dating Your Spouse

“Did you date your spouse?” This question stares back at me each week as I fill out my staff meeting agenda. We have decided as a church staff that it is a priority. We know we should not sacrifice our marriages on the altar of ministry, work, or anything else. So, did my wife and … Continued

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4 Things I Learned About Shepherding Core Team Members

It snowed in Phoenix, Arizona, on January 1, 2011. It was the only snow we have seen since we moved here from Oklahoma that same day seven years ago. That first year in Phoenix was completely devoted to identifying and building a core team that would help me launch Valley Life Church 53 weeks after … Continued

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Developing A Church Planting Timeline

I was terrified to plant a church. Part of that fear was not knowing how to do it. I had a myriad of unanswered questions. One of those questions was two-fold: “When to launch?” and “What needs to be in place before we launch?” Basically, “What is my timeline?” First, I picked a date. I … Continued

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Trust Leadership

3 Men You Need on Your Team

“Everything rises and falls on leadership.” — John Maxwell Everything. Especially church planting. Leadership is knowing the difference between a good idea and a great idea and the difference between staying busy and being productive. As a church planter, you should have a supervisor, a coach, and a band of brothers to help you think … Continued

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Is Your Leadership Dragging Your Church Down?

Is Your Leadership Dragging Your Church Down?

My first article here was about leadership styles described as “gas” and “brakes,” in which I identified myself as brakes. Then I wrote two articles about how the gas leaders can screw up their church. So that doesn’t seem fair. Brakes need self-awareness every bit as much as gas, and they will also drag their … Continued

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Why Cross-Generational Community Groups Are So Important

Why Cross-Generational Community Groups Are So Important

Six years ago my wife Reagan and I were living in North Carolina while I attended seminary. We were in a great church. We had good jobs (for struggling newly-weds) and loved living out on our own for the first time in our lives. But, in a matter of twenty-four hours, our joy became sorrow. … Continued

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Pursue Your Friends Intentionally

Pursue Your Friends Intentionally

Sometimes Jesus has you in the right place at the right time. Sometimes he lets you be in the delivery room, like recently at one of our Newcomers Dessert nights. A lady had expressed on her connect card that she wanted to be baptized. She inquired that night as well, and I asked if we … Continued

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What Kind of Disciples Are You Making?

What Kind of Disciples Are You Making?

I’ve been a part of the Church for as long as I have memories. I’ve been a Christian for nearly 30 years. And I’ve been a pastor for 14 years. A common thread through all of my experiences with churches is the importance of emphasis. When it comes to discipleship, I’ve noticed three types of … Continued

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3 Ways to Grow in Your Biblical Competency

3 Ways to Grow in Your Biblical Competency

One of the exciting developments at Valley Life | Tramonto is that we have leaders who aspire to be elders. Before sitting down with them, our current elders outlined three aspects of qualification that we hold to be essential in potential elders: character, compatibility, and competency. In our first informational meeting, they covered these qualifications … Continued

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