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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Facing Three Common Ministry Fears

Facing Three Common Ministry Fears

At one time or another, God has said to most of his leaders, “Fear not.” God called them, inspired them, gave them a vision, filled them with his Spirit, performed untold miracles, and fought untold battles for them. We have good reasons to believe. But, often we don’t. Why? Why does a seasoned pastor fear … 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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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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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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Our Top 5 Posts So Far

Our Top 5 Posts So Far

As we close out our first five months of writing about making disciples and planting churches, I thought it would be only fitting to revisit the top five posts we have had so far. If you haven’t read them yet, by all means, take the opportunity to do so now. If you’ve already read them once … Continued

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