Today I am worshipping at Christ Church of the Valley on the outskirts of Phoenix Arizona. I’ve been coming to this church regularly since the late ‘90’s and it never ceases to inspire me.
The Senior Pastor, Don Wilson, had a vision many years ago of establishing a church with significant influence on the city of Phoenix. When his church numbered about a thousand they were meeting in a cinema downtown. Then in the mid 90’s, as an act of incredible faith, he led the church to purchase one hundred acres (40.5 hectares) on the edge of the city. I saw the vacant block in 1998 and it was a barren, desolate, desert landscape.
Today, it is the site of numerous buildings, a range of sporting fields including soccer fields and baseball parks, and acres of beautiful recreation areas. It is stunning.
Christ of the Valley attracts around fifteen to eighteen thousand people to its campus every weekend and the range of ministries on offer to its local community is breathtaking!
So why do we visit a church of this size and influence on the Leadership 21 Tour? Do we really think we can duplicate a complex of this magnitude in an Australian context? Clearly the answer is “no”.
However, what we do draw from Don Wilson and his team is a fresh understanding of vision. Here is a church that captured a glimpse of what is possible within their context and by the grace of God, they went for it!
Today, through faith, courage, risk and daring, it is a reality.
Don’s story was of great inspiration to me during the construction of our own complex