As a church consultant and ministry entrepreneur my passion is to guide church leaders to more fully embody the movement Jesus started. My personal journey of church consulting began 22 years ago by championing vision clarity and missional culture amidst cut-n-paste ministry models.
From that start most people know me either from one of these seven books or from the first organization I started, Auxano. I sold Auxano to LifeWay in 2012 and continued to lead the company for LifeWay until 2019.
Around the year 2010 I began to understand my God-given burden to help raise up other "strategic outsiders" (my term for consultant) for the church and to create other processes and tools to help the church thrive with break-thru clarity. Eventually I would start four more organizations, all of which are intertwined on this blog. The purpose of having these different organizations is ultimately to bring a different toolbox or process to a new group of church leaders or church consultants.
The most important toolbox for you or any blog reader today is Younique which also goes by Life Younique. It is the only open source system in the world for gospel-centered life design. What is life design? Think life planning: from understanding your personal calling (including the umpteen varieties of personality and gift assessments) to time management, to finding the right job, to setting goals to completing and redeeming your bucket list. The toolbox itself was developed over eight years with tens of thousands of people-hours, hundreds of church rollouts, and millions of dollars. It is now completely free. It was created to help the church provide value to everyday believers by releasing them to make disciples where people live, work and play.
I am currently not consulting 2022 in order to spend time with my family and to replenish from decades of continual travel. You can read more about my restoration journey.
How I Got Started Consulting Churches
In 2001, I jumped out of pastoring to start coaching and consulting full-time. The structure of this site, and the tools & organizations sections specifically, provide a thorough overview of my life's work since that time.
My pastoral experience before then, includes spiritual formation and leadership development responsibilities at Clear Creek Community Church and FaithBridge in Houston, Both churches have experienced dramatic impact in the same city but represent very different church cultures and unique ministry models.
My style blends the diversity of three worlds leading up to my pastoral and consulting work: process thinking from the discipline of engineering, communications savvy from my experience as an ad agency executive, and practical theology as a pastoral leader. My eduction experiences includes a ThM in Pastoral Leadership from Dallas Theological Seminary and a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Penn State.
My LifeCall is to make a life of meaningful progress more accessible to every believer. Most activity is not progress. And most success, as people define it, is not meaningful. Why did God put you on planet earth?
Church Unique - An old school moment...
If you have not yet checked out my book Church Unique, it contains a systematic overview, along with the companion book God Dreams, on the process of visioning for the church today. Much of what I write here is connected to the primary message and principles outlined in the book. This dated-yet-fun Leadership Network video where I talk about the book that kicked everything off. For a more recent look at me and the latest tools, check out the video on how to experience real church growth based on a disciple-making vision (verses "program church") in the book Future Church.
I live in Houston, Texas with my wife Romy and have four children: Jacob, Joel, Abigail, and Poema. My precious little Poema is the only one at home. I love to get out of H-town as much as possible for mountain biking and snowboarding. Because I'm stuck in Houston quite a bit, I finally picked up kite boarding. (There is an almost world famous spot to learn kiting in Texas City.) Our favorite family pastimes include eating Torchy's Tacos, music (The 70s is considered particularly heavenly), celebrating the culture of Chile, playing video games and fishing.
Influences Before Consulting
I encountered the gospel for the first time as a junior high student in Augusta, Georgia, under the ministry of John W. P. Oliver at First Presbyterian Church of Augusta. During my teen years, I was influenced by a godly mother and the ministry of Harvey Nowland at The Willowdale Chapel in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. The most dramatic time of transformation in my life occurred during my college years at Penn State, where God used Cru (Campus Crusade for Christ at the time) and the ministry of Jim Topmiller to envision a call to ministry.
Before and concurrent with my training season at Dallas Theological Seminary, I worked for seven years as a chemical engineer; first for Dowell Schlumberger in oilfields of the Permian Basin (Midland, TX) and then at Jones Blair Paint Company in Dallas. After seminary, I served as as the pastor of spiritual formation and leadership development at Clear Creek Community Church.
While serving at Clear Creek, several members worked for a Houston marketing company with a national platform for churches. In 2001, John Manlove Communications, recruited me to build a vision clarity process for their church clients to go through before providing typical marketing services. After three years and incredible response to the visioning process, I followed God’s lead to set up a ministry that would reach more churches than just those interested in marketing services. In February 2004, Auxano was born.
As of August of 2020, I left Auxano to officially launch Future Church Co. to explore new opportunities God was placing in my path. While I continue to focus on clarity (guiding churches to clear, unique mission statements and vision language through the Vision Frame tool), it's been fun leveraging new ministry tools that have been born out of the Future Church book, specifically the Funnel Fusion Master Tool.