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Four Ways to Connect with Your Team

What makes a good team? What allows many unique individuals to work well together to achieve a common goal? What would you say is the most important part of building a truly successful team? How about investing in relationships? There are a lot of components that allow a team to thrive, but one of the most important aspects is connecting with each other and investing in each valuable member. Here are four simple ways to connect with others through an easy to remember acronym: T.E.A.M.:

Time Well Spent

Encouraging Others

Acts of Service

Motivational Gifts

So, what do each of these mean, and how can you apply them in the workplace with your team members? As you can guess, not everyone is made to be exactly alike; we have all been created by God to be unique, to fulfill different roles, to accomplish different goals, and yet somehow, we are all made for community, to be connected to others. So how can we achieve working on a team in harmony with people who are so different from us? It helps to know what makes people feel most appreciated and cared about. Similarly to the 5 Love Languages, the four points of T.E.A.M. work to seek out what makes people feel most valued, and how we can use that knowledge to invest in the relationships of our team.

Time Well Spent

For team members who need quality time to feel valued, activities like one-on-one get-togethers or meetings can be a very successful way to connect. Knowing that you are available to them in this way will benefit their work on your team! Make sure that when you set aside time for people who need quality time, you don’t become distracted as this may lead to hurting that person.

Encouraging Others

For your teammates who need to be encouraged to feel appreciated, words can go a long way. Making a point to shoot a word of praise over to a member who thrives on encouragement will help that person to feel confident that they are doing a good job. When you need to confront this type of team member, make sure that criticism is constructive and approached gently, as it may be perceived as an insults or personal attack.

Acts of Service

This is a tough one! As a leader of a team, it is often your job to delegate tasks to your members, giving them each different responsibilities. It can be challenging to come alongside everyone who needs acts of service to feel valued by taking on their responsibilities – so find a way to serve your team members outside of the workplace, furthering the relationship in that respect. As a teammate, connecting with people who love acts of service by helping them with a busy workload can be an effective way to grow your relationship. Make sure that if you commit to help someone who feels cared about by acts of service, you follow through on that commitment; if you don’t, it can be quite offensive.

Motivational Gifts

Most people who appreciate and connect by receiving gifts aren’t looking for a wad of cash! A token of appreciation like paid time off, or a small, meaningful gift can be an effective way to motivate your team member and show your appreciation. These types of members thrive on tangible, meaningful things to know they are doing a good job, and that their work is valued. Be sure to give credit where credit is due to these team members; if passed over for a responsibility or role they may feel they earned or deserved, it could cause some hurt feelings.

All-in-all, we know that everyone is different, and appreciates different ways of affirmation. Not all of your team members may fit into this mold of T.E.A.M. but it doesn’t hurt to try connecting in these intentional ways. So let us know how you’ve impacted your team members, or, how someone has made you feel valued and appreciated!

Dare to DREAM Big Together

Sixteen years ago the Lord put a dream in my heart for the waters of His Spirit to rise across our Network so that all ships would rise together as He worked among us.

We often think of this as our dream, but in truth this is God’s desire – His dream. A part of that dream is the sense of unity we experience when we see ourselves as a part of the team God has raised up to impact Pennsylvania and Delaware with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Indeed, none of us can change the world through our own efforts, but it is truly incredible what can occur when we join hearts and efforts to reach those God has placed around us. We experience what it means to be “Better Together.”

Marjie and I have been honored to serve you as your Superintendent these past years. Your love and support for us has created an atmosphere where God’s presence has been felt and His favor experienced. As we look to the future, it is our prayer that our future leadership will experience the same prayer, support, encouragement and love that you have afforded us. We thank you for your care for us and trust you will commit to follow those who will lead into the future.

Our gratitude goes out to our excellent staff, both departmental leaders and support personnel at the Ministry Center and the Conference Center. Their excellence, passion and loyalty have established a context where unity is evident. Our presbyters have led with great integrity and passion for your sections and churches. Their commitment to God, you and our fellowship has been a source of great encouragement to me. Our ministers, churches and followers of Jesus across our Network made serving in this capacity a joy that provides significance for all we do. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your prayers, love and passion to be people of the Spirit and of the Word as we have labored together for His Kingdom. May God continue to grace us with His presence until He comes again.

The Belle Vernon Dream

As a church rooted and planted in Fayette County, Faith Assembly has sensed a call to be a county-wide church that is aware of and addressing the major issues of our area. Through prayer and conversation with other Fayette County churches, four specific areas have been identified as strongholds over our community. Those specific strongholds are poverty, dysfunctional homes, spirit of religion and empty wells of addiction. In 2016, there was a strong desire to move beyond prayer for the stronghold of addiction and to begin “getting our hands dirty” in the matter.  As a church, we began to ask God for a piece of property that would become a home to a ministry and to a small group of men who would become discipled and changed by the Spirit of God.

When it comes to the drug epidemic in Fayette County, our desire is to see broken lives restored. The plan is to begin a discipleship home first and then establish a church in the same community. In the Recovery Phase, we would open a home to men who are willing to commit to a six-month program that would integrate discipleship classes, a work program and support group. The work program would include a cleaning service that is made available to area churches for financial support. In the Church Phase, the church would launch as an extension of Faith Assembly with a campus pastor serving on-site.

In a miraculous answer to prayer, Presbyter Tim Bunney and the Southwest Suburban Home Missions Committee offered us a recently donated property that includes a church, apartments and classrooms. We are grateful for this generous gift. Our next step is to begin the renovation on the property. We ask for your help in seeing the Dream become a Reality in Belle Vernon!

Philly Dream Center


As Urban Missionaries, we feel a strong call to one of the neediest parts of the city, North Philadelphia and Kensington. Here are some of the ministries that have been launched in our first year of ministry in these communities:

S.H.I.N.E (Spreading Hope In Neighborhoods Everywhere)  is reaching children with a sidewalk Sunday School. One of the locations is nicknamed “Needle Park” because of the notorious fame for a park where drug dealers and addicts congregate. In the midst of this, there are many unattended children playing at the park. On a weekly basis, we reach these children, as well as some guardians, with this outreach.

Mobile Food Pantry distributes free groceries to needy families and seniors. Philadelphia is the poorest “big city” in the nation. Nearly 25% of children go many mornings and nights without a proper meal. This is why we purchased a large truck to distribute much needed food throughout the most needy neighborhoods of Philadelphia.

Midnight Angels is a ministry that Shirrie leads with a team of women who reach women in high human trafficking areas including strip clubs. The team drops off gift baskets, prays for the women, and invites them to a Bible study.

We need your help… We have reached a point where we are in need of purchasing or leasing a facility where our church can move forward with the dream that God has given us… launching community worship services, offering a School of Urban Missions cohort, hosting Philadelphia short term mission trips and internships, and developing micro industries (Philly needs “Double J”- Jesus and Jobs).

Turnaround Kids’ Ministry

I receive several calls and emails asking, “How can I turn around our church’s children’s ministry?” This request comes from the leadership of all size churches. Many are looking for someone, volunteer or part time, to make it happen for the church. Often that one person ends up burning out too soon, so first and foremost, pray for a team. Ask the Lord of the harvest for workers, not a solitary worker. Remember one is usually too small of a number to make a significant difference.

Here are some steps that can help turn children’s ministry in the right direction.

  1. Communicate the need. When the congregation understands the urgency and importance of a solid and engaging children’s ministry, they begin to adopt the awareness of what is important to the life of the church. When the pastor preaches on the importance of children, it soon becomes important to the listener. Share a simple, but clear vision for what your church’s kid’s ministry can become. Start off with a simple, easy to grasp future; include what your church values in their ministry to kids. This will help the congregation envision what will be the most important concepts for kids’ ministry.
  2. The BIG ask. People respond to a vision from the pulpit that has been highlighted as important and valuable, especially if it’s a team concept. Many will be overwhelmed and decline if they feel it all falls on them. Ask people to be a part of this most valuable team. Team ministry lightens the load and eases the pressure to volunteer.

  3. Equip and appreciate the team. Help team members do what they do best. If they are teachers, train them. If they are running a game night, resource them. Make their ministry easy. My famous saying to my team, “What do you need from me?” Then, appreciate the team in as many ways as possible; I’m still working on this.

  4. Share the win. Do everything you can to show that great ministry has been accomplished. Feature children and kids’ leaders publicly as often as possible. Mention something weekly to the congregation. Remember, that people want to be a part of a winning team. When team members know their ministry matters, they will continue to serve with passion.

  5. Evaluate everything in a positive light. Help the team measure their success in ministry. An easy to understand vision and values will be the goal and guide. Help the team to understand it is never about the individual, it’s about creating a better children’s ministry.

Adapted from the article: Six Steps to Revitalizing Your Children’s Ministry, by Jeremy White, Influence Magazine, September 8, 2017


As pastors, we have to evaluate the direction we are going and encourage those who are going with us. We must instill biblical values, inspire dreams, and then measure the results. Pastor Jim and Wendy Paisley are youth pastors who are leading a turnaround youth ministry in missions. When they arrived at Faith AG in Hazleton, PA they were met by students that never gave a thought about missions or missions giving. Their giving to Speed The Light was marginal.    

It is universally considered that to “turn something around” is to reverse the previously poor performance of something and make it successful. But, how do you do this? Pastor Jim was faced with the obstacles of:

Changing a mindset

Changing culture

Having no goal

Pastor Jim revealed his secrets and overcame these obstacles by:

Consistently speaking toward the mission

Actively involving students in a fundraiser

Mentoring through personal giving

Now their youth ministry consistently raises over $10K each year for Speed The Light, with a record high giving of $21,751. Jim said, “What excites me most is that many students have graduated from high school and are still giving to either Speed The Light or our church’s missions fund. We have also seen a difference in our community because we are raising up a generation that has a desire to reach the lost both near and far. We believe that we are helping equip missionaries with the essential means to reach people with the Gospel all over the world! Our students’ heartbeat is to go and to send!”


Doug Sayers

Youth Ministries


It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint

The Turnaround

Devin and I came to Abundant Life Church in Birdsboro in the beginning of 2014. The church had been in existence for about twelve years, but was now struggling in a number of ways. Attendance was very low (around 40), the building was in desperate need of updating, and many of the once thriving ministries had lost their steam. Now four years later, because of God’s grace, consistent prayer, strong leadership, a faithful core of laborers, and wise financial restructuring, our small church has been revitalized. Four years ago, our church wasn’t very involved in the community, but now there are so many ways people can get involved and serve, and really make a local impact physically and spiritually.

Loving Loud in the

When we arrived in Birdsboro, one of the first things God led us to pray for was unity with other churches, and He has answered that prayer while teaching us how to reach out and make valuable connections with other local churches! A major aspect of our community impact is our partnership with other churches in the area that share the same Gospel-driven mission; I don’t think there is any one outreach that our church does 100% exclusively. Our weekly children and youth ministries impact many unchurched families. A handful of those families have started attending our church, and many of them are still building a relationship with us through their children. We host an annual community VBS, and again, a handful of the volunteers are from other local churches.

Our church also serves a few times each year at our town’s “Community Table” which provides a free sit-down meal for anyone in need. We provide the dinner, serve the people, and have opportunities to sit and listen to their stories. We partner with our local fire department and hold an annual community egg hunt which has grown to become a very large well-attended community event. Each Christmas, we support the town’s Christmas celebration by providing the live music and giving out free concessions.

We partnered with three other churches and held a one day event in the park last summer called, “Love Loud.” Close to 1,000 people benefited from free haircuts, health screenings, groceries, lunch, family portraits, and much more! We hope to make this an annual event because the families in our community really need this kind of love and support! We have also helped to start a “Celebrate Recovery” ministry, again partnering with other local pastors and lay leaders to meet a major need of those with addictions.

Turnaround Lives

After being at Abundant Life for about a year, we launched a “Rebuild Project” to update our building. Devin set a goal of about $70,000 to raise for the renovations, however, we would need volunteers to do a lot of the labor. During this time, a young man started visiting the church. This young man was a plumber, and when he heard that we needed new toilets installed, he volunteered to help. It was during those late nights of bathroom renovations, working side by side with Devin, that this young man had the opportunity to really share his story. Because he felt needed and was given opportunity to connect with other Christians, he began to realize God’s purpose and calling on his life. He began to be involved in discipleship opportunities, and he and his wife invited God’s healing power into their lives and marriage. Both of them have since gone through our discipleship “growth track” and are actively serving in ministry. They both went on their first mission trip this past summer and are continuing to grow in their walk with Jesus!

Our Turnaround Steps

  • A weekly prayer meeting with a handful of faithful members
    • We consistently sought God for wisdom each week and asked in faith for big things. It didn’t matter that there were only about ten people coming out to pray each week. What mattered was that we were faithful, and we prayed with faith.
  • A small core of faithful laborers
    • We invested in a core of volunteers who had a heart to serve and who were supportive of the new leadership.
  • Patience to learn and strengthen the existing church culture
    • We did not make any major changes in the first six months, instead we focused on preaching God’s Word, seeking God for vision, and building relationships with the people.
  • Financial restructuring
    • Devin’s accounting background was an asset as he was able to make some major changes to spending so the church could steward their money in a much wiser way. Devin has been bi-vocational as an accountant and just recently went full-time at the church.
  • Casting fresh vision
    • Sharing a new vision and new goals with the church helped people know where we were headed and that they were needed for the journey! In our case, our building remodel project greatly contributed to the growth and involvement of attendees.
  • Wise counsel from others
    • We asked for advice and guidance from many wise leaders outside of our church. One of the best pieces of wisdom we received in regard to the revitalization process was, “It’s a marathon, NOT a sprint.”

Guest Contributor

Jess Blankenbiller

Abundant Life Church

Birdsboro, PA

50th Pow Wow

For 50 years the PennDel District Royal Rangers, formerly known as the Eastern District until 1984, has been holding an annual Pow Wow/Campout where hundreds of men and boys have come together to share in fun, fellowship, activities, competitions, camping, devotions, Sunday School and evening worship services. Since our 1st Pow Wow in 1968 (patch shown here) thousands upon thousands of men and boys have ventured to this exciting event where it is estimated that over 3,000 boys have received salvation. This event is the highlight each year for outposts throughout the district and always promises to create memories that will be everlasting and life changing for all those that attend. It has been more than just a camping event; it has been an opportunity to help shape boys into godly husbands, fathers and community leaders.

Our 50th Pow Wow will be held at our own Camp Berry in Honey Grove, PA, on June 22-24, and promises to be a sensational event to celebrate the heritage of the Royal Ranger ministry in our district. There will be dynamic speakers, an awesome worship band, and exciting events for everyone who attends. A special commemorative patch and coin will be given to all those who register, along with other giveaways. You won’t want to miss this exciting event. All outposts are encouraged to attend and invite their pastors and all Royal Ranger alumni. You don’t have to be a Royal Ranger to attend. Come out for the whole weekend or just for the day on Saturday, June 23, and participate or just watch all the exciting activities. This will be one Pow Wow you won’t want to miss. Contact our Royal Ranger district commander at or visit our website at for more information.


When we came to Wrightsville AG over four years ago, there were two children in the children’s ministry. We now have a thriving Kids’ Public School Church with over 40 elementary school aged children. We also host a Released Time program of around one hundred 3rd-5th graders every Thursday during the school year.

Remodel of our Kid’s space helped the turnaround. We brought energy and technology into services, showing kids that having a relationship with Jesus is fun! We now have a tender-hearted team that invests weekly into the lives of our kids. It excites us to watch our kids go after God during our worship time, hear them pray for each other, and see them grow in their faith as they learn God’s word.

Dae McNatt

Wrightsville AG


Can you relate your fragmented women’s ministry to the walls of Jerusalem lying in ruins as described in the book of Nehemiah? The Jewish people had rebuilt the temple after fifty years in exile, but they were never able to finish the wall around the temple due to the opposition they faced each time they attempted to complete it.

Nehemiah understood the complexity of the task before him, the necessity for the repair and the lack of enthusiasm to get the job done. Nehemiah utilized several key leadership principles to get the job done and inspire others to support the vision through personal commitment and enthusiastic promotion.

SEE THE NEED. The neglected wall symbolized a lack of hope, strength and direction for God’s people. Many women in our churches feel alone, discouraged and lack purpose. When one part of the body is hurting, it affects the entire body. It can’t be neglected!

SEEK OUT SUPPORT. You can’t do this alone! Nehemiah requested the King’s permission, leadership investment and recruited laborers. You are in a place of influence and able to develop spiritual gifts and growth in those who join your team.

SUMMON GOD’S DIRECTION. Nehemiah prayed for months before he began his mission to rebuild. Whatever we do and how we do it must be directed by the heart of God and have His approval before we proceed. Others will sense God’s hand on your leadership and feel confident to follow if they know He is leading.

SUBMIT A PLAN. The Jerusalem wall was rebuilt following a clearly defined plan and was executed with guidance. If you are going to get others onboard and excited to join you, know where you are going, how you are getting there and what it will accomplish. Women will work hard if they believe in the goal and see it as valuable and eternal.

SEE THE POTENTIAl. Because Nehemiah was passionate about the problem, a vision of hope for the future was born. Once we recognize the problem, we need God to reveal the possibilities of a vibrant ministry to women and teen gals that will bring hope, meet relevant needs and unite women in a spiritual sisterhood changing lives for eternity.

Inspiration and ideas taken from The 4 Dimensions of Extraordinary Leadership by Jenni Catron – a great leadership resource.


It’s amazing to watch our church get healthy! We have vibrant Spirit-filled worship, more people using their gifts in ministry and a higher attendance in our Sunday night prayer meetings. We are building bridges and relationships through our outreaches. Where we provide food, clothing and the gospel.

During one of these outreaches, we connect with a new family. The wife and children would come to service, but the husband wouldn’t even enter the sanctuary because he “doesn’t do church.” Every Sunday myself and others would greet him with a smile and handshake. He slowly started coming into the worship service. He soon gave his heart to Christ and was discipled by one of my deacons. He joined the worship team and was recently baptized with his wife.

The best part of turnaround churches is seeing turnaround lives.


Barry Brown

Evangel AG, Glenolden


Although the term “church revitalization” has not commonly been in use for more than a few decades, the concept of churches needing to reverse their course and do a turnaround is as old as the New Testament scriptures. Jesus conducted a church health assessment of the churches in Asia in Revelation chapters 2 and 3. In five of the seven churches addressed, Jesus issues warnings that indicate they must take corrective action or risk the consequence of discipline or closure. Stanley M. Horton observes:

Each letter begins with a revelation of Jesus and a commendation, usually followed by a warning and a challenge. However, Jesus commends the churches’ virtues even more than He warns them of their faults. He knows exactly what is going on in each church. He knows their successes, their failures, their victories, their problems, their difficulties. More than that, He knows exactly what each one needs.

Another important observation in the letters to the seven churches is to whom they are directed. Each letter starts out with the same addressee: “To the angel of the church in…” The Greek word “angel” (angelos) is defined as a messenger, and is commonly interpreted to mean the pastor or leader of that church. Horton comments, “Like a watchman walking among them, He subjects them to rigid inspection. His purpose, however, is to encourage, preserve, and challenge them.”

Research indicates that approximately 80 percent of churches in America are either plateaued or in decline. Thom Rainer of the Rainer Research Group states, “Eight out of ten of the approximately 400,000 churches in the United States are declining or have plateaued. Of the churches for which we have data, 84 percent are declining or experiencing a growth rate below the population growth rate for their communities. The latter is defined as a plateaued church.” Although the Rainer Research Group gives a cross-denominational perspective, the same general trends are reported within the Assemblies of God. According to Alton Garrison, Assemblies of God General Assistant Superintendent and Director of the Acts 2 Journey revitalization initiative, 25.6 percent of Assemblies of God churches have plateaued, and 43.1 percent are in decline. Garrison notes that the rate of declining churches is at its highest in almost twenty years.

Despite the sobering statistics, here are four reasons for hope and optimism!

  1. First, the church belongs to Jesus Christ. We are His, and He takes special interest in His bride’s success and future. Jesus makes it clear: “I will build my church…” (Matthew 16:16) Jesus is determined to see His church move forward and has given us the necessary gifts and empowerment to enter into an effective partnership with Him in His mission.
  2. Secondly, there is a plethora of resources available to assist pastors and leadership teams to change their course from plateau or decline to growth and greater effectiveness. The Acts 2 Journey has seen measurable success in our Network and throughout the nation. Thom Rainer’s book on “Breakout Churches” and Ed Stetzer’s book entitled “Comeback Churches” are two must-reads for the pastor who is determined and committed to coming off a plateau or reversing the spiral of decline.
  3. A third reason for optimism is increased effectiveness that can be derived using a coach or mentor. Both Gene Woods and Thom Rainer identify that having outside input can be a significant benefit in leading a turnaround church. In his intensive study of thirteen “breakout” churches, Rainer states “at least eleven of the thirteen breakout churches had leaders who indicated the impact of ‘Positive Outside Influences’ in the turnaround in their churches.” Trained, certified coaches are now prepared, and a financial pathway is available to utilize this resource through a plan of underwriting and cost sharing through the PennDel Ministry Network for credentialed ministers (contact Tom Rees for more information at
  4. A final reason to be optimistic is optimism itself. Research identifies that when optimism was embraced, a willingness to change, consider future realities and prospects rather than idealizing the past, and openness to new methodology was also experienced in congregations. As Paul said, “Hope does not disappoint [us]” (Romans 5:5).

At some point, every church or ministry will face the prospect of plateau or decline. If this happens to be your context, please know that you are not alone, and you do not have to navigate these challenges by yourself. God most certainly cares, and we most certainly care. As a Network we are available and continue to explore, develop, and offer assistance to helping your church or ministry experience a turnaround.


We pastor in North Central Pennsylvania. The church was primarily a small, older congregation but we have utilized resources offered through PennDel such as the Acts 2 Journey and Coaching and have partnered with ministries like One18 Movement; these helped our church grow in both organizational structure, in connecting with our community, and so much more!

At our last Easter Egg hunt held at a nearby elementary school in Lairdsville (population 72), we had over 700 people attend. There I connected with a middle-aged man named Mike. A few months later, after connecting with a few people from our congregation, he attended one of our services. There he communicated that he was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, and after more than 30 years away from the Lord, he wanted to recommit his life to God. Later his wife, son, and other family members gave their hearts to the Lord and have joined the church. They continue to invite friends and relatives to church and share the difference that Christ has made in their lives.


Adam Barnes

Radiant Light AG, Muncy


Turning around
is not always as
simple as it sounds!

A coach is a trusted companion to help navigate the complex matrix of life and ministry. Whether the turnaround is needed in your ministry, team, family or self, PennDel Coaching can provide the support and collaboration that is necessary for you to successfully navigate what can otherwise be an overwhelming journey. The results are clarity, hope, renewed passion and a plan to arrive at your God-ordained destination.

PennDel Coaching is building the Kingdom by strengthening the Kingdom Builders! Many credential holders have already taken advantage of the PennDel Coaching initiative which provides free professional coaching with certified AG coaches for three months (6 sessions), and then three months of subsidized coaching (1/2 price).

You can find out more and at


I always felt that by sending me to a church as the recovery pastor, God was showing that He had not forgotten them even though others had given up on them. Second of all, God will lead and guide you. He is on your side to bring the church back into wholeness and health. With that being said, it takes a special calling to become a turnaround pastor and here are some qualities which are vitally important to have or to develop quickly:


In every case the congregation was hurting and feeling lost, and they needed a shepherd to love them and to show them that God had not given up on them. They needed a pastor they could learn to trust.


Your family will need to support you, sacrifice their lives with you, pray with you (and FOR you) and not be easily offended by the words or actions of hurting people.


Communicate it all: your vision, your plans, and your actions. You cannot close yourself off from your church. You cannot think that you have to do this alone to prove yourself.


You will most likely have to organize the offices, the ministries of the church and the maintenance of the buildings and grounds. Decluttering and cleaning house shows that a church is honoring God.


If you are not good at finances, get the help you need and find a person qualified to do the bookkeeping. However, with whatever system you use, or with whoever does the accounting, be fully involved in all the decisions. You don’t need to have details, such as who gave what in the offering, but you need to know the monthly giving trends and exactly what the expenses are.


People love to have their pastor involved in their lives more than just on Sunday. This is pretty basic for every pastor but absolutely essential for a recovery pastor. Visiting someone in the hospital and praying with them is never out of fashion.

Your love for God and service to Him will not only help you guide the church, but it will guide your heart as well. He will use the spiritual gifts He’s given you and will equip you in areas where you need it the most!

Article adapted from “The Ministry Of Recovery”

 Guest Contributor:  Bill and Joy Kelly


When I first started in Children’s Ministry, I only focused on kids and the Sunday morning service. It’s what I was comfortable doing and what I loved doing the most! It became evident after a few months that this couldn’t be my only priority. I was receiving feedback that I had not been performing in some crucial areas. This was shocking at first because I was doing what I knew how to do! I realized I was missing the bigger picture and failing to invest in the other people who also had influence in the children’s lives. The catalyst for the turnaround of our ministry was when I began to pour into relationships with the staff, the parents, and my volunteers.

God brought two amazing men into my life who became mentors to me. They challenged, encouraged and pushed me to grow. As they shared experiences and wisdom with me, I understood how much I didn’t know. This sent me to my knees and I prayed that the Lord would give me a heart and passion for growth! My mindset began to change from thinking I knew it all to being open to learning from others and admitting I needed help.


Tyler White

Spring Valley Community Church, Royersford


When you hear the name Harley Davidson you most likely think of motorcycles. I know I do, since I rode Harley Davidson motorcycles for many years! But something you may not know about the company is that in 1981, it had a U.S. market share of only 15% and reported a loss of $15 million. Competition from Japanese manufacturers, such as Honda, was
creating problems for them and they were struggling.

Then Richard Teerlink was brought on board as the chief financial officer and eventually became CEO in 1989. He decided to refocus the company on some basic principles:

increasing quality

improving customer and dealer services

producing world-class motorcycles

By the time Teerlink stepped down in 1997, Harley Davidson had increased their U.S. market share to 50% and saw annual sales of $1.7 billion.

While serving in ministry is not exactly the same as running a business like Harley Davidson, it can certainly go through similar struggles of plateau or even decline. While there are a number of factors that can bring about struggle for a church, how leaders approach these times will have a great impact on the trajectory of the church moving forward. So, what are some things that leaders can do to help bring about the change they are wanting in their church or ministry?

First, it’s important to stop and take stock of exactly where you are right now. To do that, you need to gather data and look at measurable factors. Once you have that information, evaluate it honestly. What’s working well? Where is there room to improve? Be specific. It can be easy to make sweeping generalizations about what isn’t working and why, but it’s important to look at specific things that can be changed and then reevaluated to see if it worked.

Trying to turn a ministry around can feel like trying to turn a cruise ship on a dime — nearly impossible. To help avoid you or your staff becoming discouraged, take small steps and look for small wins along the way. However, that doesn’t mean that you take your eyes off of your bigger vision for the future. There needs to be a balance. When making a turn on a motorcycle, you don’t want to stay focused on the ground right beneath you. Instead, you want your gaze to look ahead to where you’re going, which will help the turn to be smooth and steady.

No matter what, you need to follow God’s leading and continue to persevere in the face of trials. Hebrews 12:1 tells us to strip off every weight that slows us down and run with endurance the race that God has set before us. After all, God is the one who directs our paths and He is the one who can truly bring about change.



The concept of TURNAROUND CHURCHES produces any number of emotional responses. On the one hand the thought of turning a church around can illicit fear, anxiety and apprehension along with defensiveness or a sense of being insulted by some who are pushing an agenda. On the other hand, the same phrase can yield excitement and enthusiasm about a new adventure and challenge in the congregation. My personal experience relates to the fact that every church I was privileged to pastor was at a place in their history that TURNAROUND was necessary if the church was to survive. What I learned from those experiences was that every context was different so that every solution was unique.

In my younger years, basketball was my game of choice. The fundamentals of the game don’t vary from player to player, but the individual’s specialty was determined by their personal interests and abilities. Most people are aware of the concepts of dribbling, shooting or blocking a shot. The concept of the pivot is not as celebrated. Being able to change direction in an instant is a skill that greatly increases a player’s effectiveness.

The same is true for us as leaders in the church. The ability of a leader to help the church pivot; i.e. TURNAROUND, is of great importance but is also very challenging. For a basketball player, the pivot can be a vulnerable moment that results in a twisted ankle or broken foot, so caution must be taken, technique and stamina developed and sometimes risks must be taken. But done well, a TURNAROUND/PIVOT can enhance effectiveness and open up an opportunity that would not otherwise exist.

We trust that you will be encouraged in your congregation to trust God for a greater harvest of souls by attempting great things for Him!


I spent all of my time focusing my attention on playing sports. As I grew older I found that I could throw things really far and fast. I was pretty accurate with a football. This lifestyle of athletics would consume my life. I would say that playing sports, specifically football, became an idol and my entire worldview framework was centered on this very thing. I often tell folks that I went to school to play sports. I became varsity quarterback and was operating at a pretty high level but my moral life was almost completely bankrupt.

During my senior year, I had a girlfriend that I did not treat well. I was very selfish and this proved true in many areas of my life. We ended up in a crisis pregnancy situation which we (very much under my heavy pressure and persuasion) decided to terminate. From here, I didn’t know which way to go and only knew the easiest thing to do was to run. I ended up leaving her and walking away.

I left for college and eventually landed back at a Division II school in Northeastern Pennsylvania. In my first game, I was hit awkwardly and thrown to the ground. I was diagnosed with a third degree shoulder separation. I thought my life was over, with no faith foundation, nothing to ground me, a traumatic situation, and now a prescription to opioid pain relievers. I fell in love with these pills. They allowed me to not have to deal with physical pain, but far more importantly, they helped me escape reality. And escape is just what I did.

My life got out of hand to the point that I began using heroin, and I found myself in various legal challenges. I was in and out of jail and had convinced myself each time I was released that things would be different. However, I continued the same old routine every time, and I would end up back in jail. My life was a mess, and I finally accepted the fact that this was my destiny.

The last time I was in the county jail my mother sought desperately to find somewhere that would help me. She couldn’t afford to send me to many viable options at that time, until she came across a place called Pennsylvania Adult and Teen Challenge (PAATC) in Western Pennsylvania. By the sheer grace of God, I was permitted to enter into this program at a later court date.

It was November 8, 2006 that I walked through the doors of Teen Challenge. I came in very much uninterested in the program.
I simply was willing to go because it was a better option than jail. However, the Lord had different plans. It was New Year’s Day,
after the ball had dropped, that I found myself in the small chapel in Western Pennsylvania crying out for the mercy and grace of God. My life had changed, and now I was on a path to know this God who redeemed me!

One of the many things I needed to do was apologize to the girl from high school. After completing the PAATC program, she agreed to meet. There was a lot of anxiety, but I was able to apologize for the way I treated her nine years earlier. What was amazing is that she shared with me that she too had given her life to the Lord as well. Our relationship was restored and less than a year later we were married. My beautiful wife, Toni, and I now have four wonderful children: Isaac, Ayriana, Isabella, and Kristopher, Jr. The story continues to amaze me!

Since then, God continued to take me on a journey eventually becoming the first graduate of PAATC to ever become the corporate President/CEO. The work of God is amazing, and I am very thankful for the people He has placed in my life and the many wonderful gifts He’s given me, but all of it is rooted in the gracious gift of His Son, Jesus Christ!



  • Would you buy discount tires for $25 a tire and put them on your car? Your tires are your shoes.
  • Would you constantly pour sugar into your gas tank? Your mouth is the opening to your gas tank.
  • Would you let your car run on dirty spark plugs, faulty fuel injectors, and dirty oil? Yet we allow high blood pressure and high blood sugar to destroy the inner workings of our body.
  • Would you run your car all day at 100 mph? Yet we run our bodies without the rest it needs to rejuvenate.


  • Big Toe Flexibility is critically important. Your shoes, as mentioned are crucial. Allow for an ample toe box, along with a shoe that is flexible in nature (not board stiff).
  • 10 deep breaths can lower blood pressure. It can also stabilize pulse, relieve tension headaches, reduce stress and relieve fatigue. 1 minute of anger takes about 1 hour to recalibrate the body back to normal. 5 min = 5 hours. Breathe your way out of anger or stress.
  • Breathe through your nose, in and out.
  • Joint range of motion is critical. Shoulders, hips and ankles. Everyone seems to focus on stretching. JROM (Joint Range of Motion) is far more important.
  • Sleep is critical. 8 to 9 hours a night. Your body will re-energize and repair between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. From midnight on, your body is detoxing. If you are waking up between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m., your adrenal glands are likely taxed.
  • When walking or jogging, do not increase your mileage over 10% a week. More isn’t always better.
  • Mild Dehydration will slow your metabolism as much as 3%. Drink half your body weight in ounces of water each day. Example: 200 pounds is 100 ounces of water a day and more if you are exercising. Lack of water is the number one reason for daytime fatigue. If your lips are dry, you are lacking 7% of your body’s water supply. 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. Rule Of Thumb: If you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated.
  • Digestion is the hardest thing to do. That’s why we (break-fast).
  • Proteins = 8 hours to digest
  • Carbs = 4 hours to digest
  • Fruits = 20 minutes to digest.
  • If you consume a large amount of protein for dinner, it will be digesting while you are sleeping. You want your body to be able to shut down and rest during sleep. Consume your largest protein meal at lunchtime if possible.
  • Awesome snacks: Celery, Strawberries, Beef Jerky (small amount) and Almonds.
Coach Bryan Hoddle was coach for the USA Paralympics Track and Field Team. He has worked extensively with injured soldiers at Walter Reed and Lakeshore Foundation earning him the moniker, the Soldier’s Coach. Bryan now works with Dave Roever, helping wounded vets adjust back to life. You can follow Bryan at and check out his video interview at

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