Three Roadblocks to Following Jesus

Three Roadblocks to Following Jesus

Most people that I encounter really like Jesus, or at least their concept of him. They see Jesus as loving, gracious, forgiving, and anti-establishment. That concept is not entirely wrong. It is difficult for them to imagine Jesus promoting any type of exclusivity. But, he is the one who erected certain discipleship roadblocks. In Luke … Continued

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Relationship-Based Discipleship

Relationship-Based Discipleship

There wasn’t a Bible study, or Scripture memory, or even prayer. There were barbells on the floor, reps to be done, and a lot of sweat. Some would say it wasn’t discipleship. I would disagree. I believe discipleship is simple: do what you do and do it with others. Or, do what they do and … Continued

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Engaging Emotions Without Manipulating Them

Engaging Emotions Without Manipulating Them

As I write this I’m listening to U2’s seminal album, The Joshua Tree, and I hear Bono singing about how he still hasn’t found what he’s looking for. After that album was released, the band did a documentary called Rattle and Hum, in which they traveled to Harlem and sang the song with a gospel … Continued

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Motivation and Acknowledgment

The Link Between Motivation and Acknowledgment

In his book Payoff, behavioral economist Dan Ariely recounts an experiment involving motivation. In short, participants were asked to perform a meaningless task, circling pairs of matched letters on randomly generated sheets of paper. When they were finished, they returned their paper and were given 55 cents. Each time, they were offered a smaller amount … Continued

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Good Leaders Can’t Be Bottlenecks

Good Leaders Can’t Be Bottlenecks

In Exodus 18, right before God summons Moses and gives him the 10 Commandments, Moses gets a visit from his father-in-law, Jethro. Jethro observes Moses dealing with everyone’s problems “from morning until evening” (v.13). Being a good father-in-law, he peppers Moses with questions and cuts to the heart of the issue when he asks, “Why … Continued

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Why We Write Our Own Children's Curriculum

Why We Write Our Own Children’s Curriculum

Our family started attending Valley Life almost a year and a half ago. On our first Sunday, we were greeted with a warm hello as we dropped off our daughter Kate in the nursery. We knew she was safe and taken care of. For the first time in 11 months, we heard a sermon—like the … Continued

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3 Ways to Help Your Community Group Thrive

3 Ways to Help Your Community Group Thrive

Twice a month I meet with a group of guys. These young men are leading community groups, some for the very first time. We recently covered some nuts and bolts of leading a group I think you may find helpful. Why People Come to Your Group What you do outside of your group is what … Continued

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Who Should You Allow to Join Your Worship Team?

I love investing in leaders. It’s one reason I was drawn to the Valley Life Network and what God is doing through Valley Life churches. One of our churches, Valley Life Camelback, is on campus at Grand Canyon University. That school has a fantastic Worship Arts program, and several of the leaders at Camelback are … Continued

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Say Thanks

3 Ways to Build Intentional Gratitude in Your Church

Church plants live and die on volunteer leaders. I am constantly amazed at the faithfulness and effectiveness of our volunteers. Unfortunately, our people don’t always realize how thankful I am because I only think it instead of saying it. While gratitude itself is a matter of attitude and heart, communication of gratitude is a matter … Continued

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Using Words

Using Good Words and Bad Words

I recently lead worship for an event at a different church. I gave them the set I planned to sing ahead of time to prepare their tech team and band. Everything looked good until about a week before the event was scheduled. At that point, I got a call from the young lady organizing everything. … Continued

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