Visionary Leadership :: Day 1

Wow! Where to start!

It’s been a great day. The weather was great even though we spent much of the day indoors. And although a cold front moved in for the week, the 60 degrees (not to mention the sunshine!) we had today was a lot higher than the 37 degrees back in PA! (Each day is to be a bit warmer than the previous day, according to the forecast).

This was the day I knew the least about. While I am familiar with the people lined up to speak on Wednesday and Thursday, I was not familiar with the host church, Christ’s Church of the Valley (CCV), or their leaders (including Don Wilson, the senior pastor). But we have been so impressed with this place and Don Wilson (introduced as one of the most visionary leaders); in fact, we have decided to attend one of their services this weekend in addition to one or two at Community Church of Joy.

This is indeed an amazing place, with Incredible (and expanding) facilities located on 100 acres of desert. We took some photos and will try to post some of them when we return home next week (since we did not bring our USB cable with us). In the meantime, check out Google’s Satellite Image of the church here (this photo seems to have been taken before some of the construction, including road construction, was completed).

Here are some of the more impacting quotes and/or thoughts that I jotted down from today’s presentations/discussions …


The problem with facilities is convincing people that they are the church on Monday through Saturday and not just on Sunday. IOW, ministry can and must happen anywhere, not just on church property.

Most new churches build their building too soon and too small.

Two essentials: "critical mass" and "momentum."

Lead by example.

Big vision attracts people with big vision.

Every time we go through building programs, we suffer big Satanic attacks.

Don’t plan too far out. No 5-year (or longer) plans.

Need to work on core values. Difference between successful churches and successful corporations — successful churches tend to be personality driven and successful corporations tends to be core values driven. We need to determine our core values!

Do more with less. CCV plans to cut out 1/3 of their ministries in the next year!

You are your greatest leadership challenge.

Your leadership style has to change at every level.

Old Proverb: "An army of sheep led by a lion will always defeat an army of lions led by a sheep." That’s a great statement about the importance of good leadership!

Sacrifice was a real focus today, and Don Wilson asked, how do you get people who don’t tithe to understand the concept of sacrifice?

90% of the things we pray about in our churches are things that Jesus never prayed about. Jesus prayed about kingdom issues.

CCV’s vision is to WIN, TRAIN, and SEND, and their priority is on the winning part.

Instead of the old "here’s the church, here’s the steeple, open the doors and here are the people," it should be "here’s the church, here’s the steeple, open the doors and release all the people."


There are many people from around the nation (and world) who attend these Beeson seminars. Twelve of us are attending the seminar for course credit. During the seminar, attendees are assigned to "processing groups," and we break into those groups a few times during the event. Our class serves as a processing group. We’ve  had some good discussion in our group, so far.

We spent part of our break times today walking around the campus here — awesome place and location. At the end of the day we ate dinner at Abuelo’s, an upscale Mexican restaurant with four others, including our professor (who is a pastor from Oregon).

It’s been a good day. Now, I am going to get back to my reading. I still have one book to finish (then two papers to write), hopefully by Thursday morning.

Tomorrow we head back to CCV where we’ll listen to two main speakers. The morning presenter will be Ed Young, Jr. from Fellowship Church in Dallas/Fort Worth, TX. I am really looking forward to his presentation where he’ll tell Fellowship’s story and talk about creativity. His book, The Creative Leader, was published recently. It’s the next book I want to buy and read!

The afternoon speaker will be Kirbyjon Caldwell from Windsor Village UMC in Houston, TX. I’ve been looking forward to his presentation ever since I heard he was going to be at this event.

Until tomorrow night, thanks for reading!

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