In this series of posts, we’ve been introducing you to the individuals who make The Unstuck Group work. Today, meet Paul Alexander, a pastor, speaker, strategist, and ministry consultant on our team. He loves making vision real, and he believes in the StratOp Process so much that he uses it at his church, Sun Valley Community Church in Arizona. He’s a great guy to have your side if you feel stuck and need help getting going in the right direction!
Read on to find out more about Paul and his insights on moving from vision to action.
TIFFANY: Tell me about your background and experience that led you to become a part of The Unstuck Group team.
PAUL: I grew up in the home of an Executive Director of a Nuclear Submarine Base. He never missed a soccer game or a wrestling match and he was also the first guy to jump on board to help a church planter start the church that I ended up growing up in. It’s true; more is caught than taught when it comes to leadership. My dad is one of the greatest leaders I know. For the last 18 years, I’ve been in full-time local church ministry. The last 13 of those years I’ve had the privilege of serving on the Senior Leadership Teams of some of the nation’s leading mega-churches, primarily in the role of Executive Pastor.
I originally met Tony Morgan, the founder of the Unstuck Group, in 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia where we were both serving in local churches at the time. I ended up in one of his Leadership Coaching Networks and subsequently started working with him consulting with churches in 2012.
TIFFANY: How/when did you discover you had a passion for helping churches get unstuck? Can you recall a specific story?
PAUL: I’ve always had an innate hardwiring and passion for the whole church, even in my early ministry days of doing Student Ministry. I naturally thought about the whole church and not just the segment of ministry that I was responsible for. The church is an incredible and beautifully interdependent organism that is designed by God to join Him in a sacred mission. And the need for the Gospel is greater than our capacity to meet it. Simply put, there aren’t enough churches taking significant ground to reach the vast amount of people who don’t know Jesus. In my mind, people dying without Jesus because the church is ineffective or stuck is simply unacceptable. So my heart for seeing churches get unstuck is directly rooted in the Gospel mission of Jesus.
TIFFANY: What is your favorite part of the StratOp process for aligning vision and core strategies?
PAUL: The Strategic Operating Process is the most powerful actionable strategic process I’ve ever seen implemented in a local church setting. I love seeing the Senior Leadership Team of a church come together in the process and break down silos through meaningful leadership conversations and begin to organize and integrate all of the individual components of the church to move in clear direction. It can be a very unifying and galvanizing process.
But my favorite part, and frankly the part that resonates with me personally is the bias towards action. Most strategic planning is just that. Planning. This process is action oriented and leads to real change!
TIFFANY: What top tips do you share with pastors for helping them make vision real?
PAUL: Plan your work and then work your plan. I think something that makes The Unstuck Group very unique is that we provide real tangible solutions to help churches not just come up with pie in the sky plans and ideas, but take focused action towards realizing those plans. However, remember your plan needs to always remain subservient to the vision. While I love systems and strategies, the goal is not the systems, strategies or having a nice tidy ship. The goal is the vision and building momentum towards that vision. You can’t manage momentum. If you try you’ll end up managing to lose momentum.