leadership,

Episode 36: Leadership Development from an Astrophysicist turned Sr. Pastor

December 29, 2017

Episode 36: Leadership Development from an Astrophysicist turned Sr. Pastor

Ryan reminds us that leaders today are responsible for developing a bench of emerging leaders for tomorrow (and it’s not as difficult as we may think.) He also details ghetto family road trips and advice to the leaders about to leave.

EPISODE RESOURCES

GO DEEP INTO THE DIMES DROPPED, CONNECT WITH THE SPEAKER, AND CHECK OUT THE LINKS & RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

  1. PalmValley.org
  2. Instagram: @rnunez_pvc
  3. (623) 826-9933

Episode Quotable

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Episode 36 Transcript

Mingo Palacios:

For those of us who are joining online on the podcast, my name is Mingo and I am your faithful host.

While we’ve been together for the last three days – 72 hours of just an immense amount of leadership capital on this platform – it’s been really great to catch up and hear some of the stories of some of the leaders that are passing through and really taking a little bit of time to get poured into by Pastor Rick. One of those pastors, Ryan Nunez, thanks for joining us here.

Ryan Nunez:

My pleasure.

Mingo Palacios:

Ryan, you’re in Phoenix, but outside. You’re just a little bit out of Phoenix.

Ryan Nunez:

Yeah, far West Valley Phoenix. Almost California, but not quite.

Mingo Palacios:

I drove through there two weeks ago, and I had more hustle conversation with my Maker – because it was a record-setting day, it was so hot. We were driving the RV. That’s a part of our whole MO, driving to places and hearing people’s stories.

Ryan, would you do us a favor? Would you tell us a little bit about your story? Tell us how you came into ministry, how you ended up at your church, and we’ll get into some content.

Ryan Nunez:

Cool. I never intended to be a pastor.

Mingo Palacios:

Great start.

Ryan Nunez:

That was the beginning. So if you want to be pastor, don’t intend to be a pastor. Don’t prepare for it.

Mingo Palacios:

Perfect. [laughs]

Ryan Nunez:

I was joking. I studied theology at Arizona State University.

Mingo Palacios:

But you didn’t want to be a pastor, or you really did?

Ryan Nunez:

I had no desire. I was plugged into the local church, I was serving, I was involved – I thought I was going to be a scientist.

Mingo Palacios:

Were you on staff at a church? Or were you just serving locally, average person?

Ryan Nunez:

Yeah, just serving locally before. I got my PhD in physics. I was going to be a scientist.

Mingo Palacios:

Shut up, you have a PhD in physics?

Ryan Nunez:

Yeah. I was committed to not being a pastor. I was heading down a certain path.

Mingo Palacios:

I feel like you should teach us something about physics, or something physical. [laughs]

Ryan Nunez:

We would lose audience right now. You want people to tune in?

Mingo Palacios:

[laughs] You’re right. We’ll leave physics for the next podcast. But pretty incredible that a commitment – a PhD in physics is not a small commitment to one direction.

Ryan Nunez:

Right. I was heading down that pathway, but serving the local church. My dad was a pastor, my grandfather was a pastor. Always in love with the local church. My youth pastor planted Palm Valley Church in 2000 as a Purpose Driven church. He went to the conference, heard it, came back, started transition in our youth ministry.

Mingo Palacios:

Bought the thumb drive.

Ryan Nunez:

No, it wasn’t a thumb drive back then.

Mingo Palacios:

[laughs] Bought the floppy set?

Ryan Nunez:

No, he had tapes.

Mingo Palacios:

No way!

Ryan Nunez:

Yeah, he had a big case with tapes in it.

Mingo Palacios:

The big plastic foamy one that had a metal clip? You open it, it’s like a treasure trove of cassette tapes?

Ryan Nunez:

Yeah. So he came back and started to transition our youth group, and then he felt called to plant a church. So my wife and I went along – this was just as I was starting graduate school – serving along, doing all that stuff. Church took off, grew like crazy.

Mingo Palacios:

That seems to be the narrative for people that start Purpose Driven churches. Not to be a weird commercial in the middle, but I’m serious.

Ryan Nunez:

Healthy things grow. When you keep the purposes and balance it, that’s what happens. So the church grew quickly, rapidly. By 10-11 years in, we were about 3,500 people. Just taking off like a rocket.

Mingo Palacios:

And you got to see that with a front row seat.

Ryan Nunez:

Yeah. Within a couple years, though, I came on staff. I graduated in 2004 with my degree in physics.

Mingo Palacios:

I bet you were the most educated person on that staff.

Ryan Nunez:

I was a youth pastor, so that was the hard thing –

Mingo Palacios:

“Our youth pastor is a doctor. Not in being a youth pastor, but he’s got a PhD.” [laughs]

Ryan Nunez:

Yeah. So I came onto full-time staff at that point, did a couple different roles. From 2005 on, I was the executive pastor.

2011 was the big rocket in our church. Our lead pastor was diagnosed with multiple systems atrophy. It’s a neurological disease, terminal, two to five years. Within a year he couldn’t preach anymore, couldn’t really speak anymore, physically couldn’t walk. So we began a transition process where I was stepping into that role. That’s a whole other – that’s another thing.

Mingo Palacios:

Wow. Yeah, that could be a book in and of itself.

Ryan Nunez:

Absolutely. But I came into this role and I’m the exact opposite personality of Greg, our founding pastor. I don’t preach like him, I don’t teach like him, I don’t lead the staff like him. Nothing about me is like him. So I’m like, how do I do this? At this point, the church is about 4,000 people.

Mingo Palacios:

That’s a serious undertaking for not desiring it in a sense.

Ryan Nunez:

Yeah. God had changed my heart over the years and stuff, but I never thought I was going to be a lead pastor. I was always going to be the second chair guy or assisting. But for me, it freaked me out so much. I’m like, I can’t do any of this like he did, but I can do Purpose Driven. We had kind of gotten off course – you know when you get larger, you start tweaking things, modifying things.

Mingo Palacios:

You have to contextualize it. There’s no way you can not contextualize it.

Ryan Nunez:

I think we’d probably contextualized too much. We weren’t quite true to a lot of the stuff. So I stepped into that role and took us back to keeping those five purposes in balance.

Mingo Palacios:

And in focus.

Ryan Nunez:

Yeah, focus. I think the reason I was prepared for that wasn’t because I had trained for it, but Greg just took me everywhere as my mentor.

Mingo Palacios:

That’s a good principle.

Ryan Nunez:

Not intentional conversations, but like “Hey, I’m going to go to a meeting. I’m going on a hospital visit. I’m going to go to this conference.” Always took me alongside. We did stuff together, we hung out together. I don’t remember any intentional lessons, like leadership lessons.

Mingo Palacios:

But you caught so much.

Ryan Nunez:

I caught so much. I find myself repeating things that he told me for so long. He passed away last year.

Mingo Palacios:

Wow, so this is very recent, too.

Ryan Nunez:

Yeah. It’s tough for our church, all that stuff. But I speak his language because he poured into me for so long.

Mingo Palacios:

I love it. In a way you’re kind of like an essence or a version of his leadership incarnationally living out as you drafted alongside of him for so many seasons.

Ryan Nunez:

Yeah. In a completely different style and all that stuff, personality stuff taken out of it. Principles are principles.

Mingo Palacios:

That’s really good. I just had Dave Minton [sp] over here, and he was saying it’s the value system between and amongst a staff that makes you family. When you understand that you have permission to belong to the family, that you don’t have to be the dad – you can be the son or you can be the cousin, but because your values are in alignment, you’re all family. I love that analogy. You can be uniquely you, I can be uniquely me, and we can still belong to the same family. Lead with the same value system.

Ryan Nunez:

Yeah. And those conversations don’t typically happen at a staff meeting; it’s just random stuff. So I try to do that. If I’m going on a trip, if I’m going to teach somewhere, I grab one of the young staff members, one of the 20-something guys. “Hey, we’re going to be in the car for the next four hours, so guess what? You’re riding shotgun and we’re just going to go.”

Mingo Palacios:

Do you feel like they’re nervous? Like, they’re getting a chance to ride with the senior pastor. I’ve gotten that invitation before and I’m like, do I need to have my year ready to review? [laughs]

How do you navigate that as a senior leader? Yours was probably so nonchalant, as you were just alongside for the ride. Your church is a lot larger now; I’m guessing you have a staff that doesn’t have access to you 24/7. So when you make the invitation, how do you set it up so that it’s not a threatening experience or an intimidating interaction?

Ryan Nunez:

Usually I’ll give them “this is why I want you to come,” some responsibilities. “Hey, I’m going to this two-day conference. I want you to teach this one breakout and worship.” It’s not “you’re just going to watch everything.”

Mingo Palacios:

You’re not the bag boy.

Ryan Nunez:

Yeah, you’re not the armor bearer.

Mingo Palacios:

Yeah, “somebody tried to poison your drink!” [laughs]

Ryan Nunez:

I’ve taken some of the young guys to Africa.

Mingo Palacios:

Oh my gosh, that you just said that just killed me, dude. That’s so funny. I apologize. [laughs]

Ryan Nunez:

I’ve always wanted an armor bearer, but I’ve never had one.

Mingo Palacios:

You should get one. But I feel like that’s not a pathway to a significant ministry.

Ryan Nunez:

No, it’s not. [laughs]

Mingo Palacios:

So you bring somebody along with you to Africa, you give them something to do that’s significant inside of your own responsibilities.

Ryan Nunez:

Right. Then there’s the questions. “How am I supposed to do this? I’ve never taught a session at a conference.” So there’s that mentoring that goes along with it. But it just seems very natural. “Hey, we’re doing this together.”

Mingo Palacios:

And relational time together on the way to that thing.

Ryan Nunez:

Thirty hours on a plane to Africa.

Mingo Palacios:

You can’t buy it. It’s funny, though, because you can calculate the cost of diving deeper, because it’s that plane ticket. Tangibly, I can look at my own staff and I can say, if I’ve got a guy who’s looking very promising, I can buy a plane ticket as I’m going to Portland and I can use that time critically to build some equity between us that hopefully will pay out later in significant ministry together. That’s great.

Ryan Nunez:

Greg would do it if he was driving across town. He’d say “Hey, I just want to spend some time with you.” I know it probably had more to do with he wanted the carpool lane, but…

Mingo Palacios:

[laughs] He’s like, “I only have 15 minutes and Ryan is a great number two that can get me there faster.”

Ryan Nunez:

But so many great conversations happened. Just time together is important.

Mingo Palacios:

You have a formal process by which you develop staff?

Ryan Nunez:

Yeah, we have all these formal things and reviews and staff meetings and things we’re trying to take them through. That’s all the formal stuff. But the intangible, the off-the-cuff things that happen in the conversations.

Mingo Palacios:

That’s really great. How do you protect your time, how do you continue to create space for that, if you can even articulate it? What have been some of the things that have fought to replace that time as you become more demanded of, more required of, as you get busier? How do you protect it?

Ryan Nunez:

I think that’s why I realized this is so important, because I’d love to spend time with our staff but I don’t have any more appointments available to be with them. But I’ve got some drive time, I’ve got some downtime. Just taking guys along on these things has taken something where nothing productive is going to happen, they’re sitting there staring at the road –

Mingo Palacios:

Taken something seemingly insignificant and made a significant moment out of it.

Ryan Nunez:

Right.

Mingo Palacios:

I heard this really great young leader named Grant Skeldon – I don’t know if you’ve heard of him, but he said, “A great pathway to mentorship is not that I want time in your calendar; I just want to be with you through your calendar.” Oftentimes we think that we need to make space, and “I want a half hour, and then something magical is going to happen there.” He said he’s learned more from some really incredible leaders when he was just given time to go with them through their calendar.

I thought that was really insightful. That’s a lot of pressure release. As a leader, wondering how you engage a young one in an informal way, it can be very relationally beneficial if you can just include them in your calendar instead of appointment to appointment.

Ryan Nunez:

I’m still trying to find out where they’re going to lunch, too. Everyone goes to lunch every day, right?

Mingo Palacios:

That’s a true statement. And then the senior pastor shows up and they’re like, “Oh, whoa… hey, Ryan! Hey, pastor!” [laughs]

Ryan Nunez:

[laughs] Haven’t come across that yet.

Mingo Palacios:

We share a really awesome common denominator in that we both had dads who loved to take trips to places in vehicles that may not have been the most optimized vehicle. I know my dad’s going to hear this – for sure my mom will listen to this.

Ryan Nunez:

I would say my dad’s going to listen to it, but he isn’t. [laughs] There’s no way he’s going to ever find a podcast. I’ll just play it for him, though.

Mingo Palacios:

We would always travel in these secondhand – actually, secondhand is a way nicer – we were third, fourth, fifth, eighth hand. This thing was retired to the car lot and my dad was like, “By the power of Jesus I will resurrect this vehicle.” Then he would put the family in it, and then we’d go take a trip somewhere. You experienced the same thing.

Ryan Nunez:

I learned about redemption through my dad.

Mingo Palacios:

Let’s talk about that.

Ryan Nunez:

My dad was big on road trips. He just loved to go and see stuff, take the family along.

Mingo Palacios:

And you grew up in Arizona?

Ryan Nunez:

In Arizona, yeah.

Mingo Palacios:

So you kind of have to do road trips, because you’ve got to get out of Arizona.

Ryan Nunez:

Got to get out of the heat.

Mingo Palacios:

There’s a lot of beautiful stuff in Arizona. But you guys drove. That was your primary family trip?

Ryan Nunez:

I’d never been on an airplane till I started doing ministry and stuff, because my dad was…

Mingo Palacios:

Committed.

Ryan Nunez:

Yeah, committed. I was going to say cheap, but committed, yeah.

Mingo Palacios:

Committed. [laughs] That’s awesome.

Ryan Nunez:

The most memorable one, 1972 Winnebago. Total boxy-looking thing. I’m sure fifth, sixth generation. We don’t even know how old it was. But he would spend all year fixing it up.

Mingo Palacios:

Himself. It doesn’t go to the shop.

Ryan Nunez:

No.

Mingo Palacios:

Our dads don’t do that. We don’t take it to a shop.

Ryan Nunez:

No way. [laughs]

Mingo Palacios:

Body work? We’re hammering it out.

Ryan Nunez:

I don’t think my dad ever even bought a new tire for it. He would go to the used tire place.

Mingo Palacios:

Dude, legit that is so my dad. Keep going. We have an affinity right now because of this.

Ryan Nunez:

He’d get the best used tires he could find, get them on there. The hardest thing in Phoenix is getting out of the desert. Once you get across the desert – we were in there with ice blocks, just trying to cool ourselves off.

Mingo Palacios:

On your head, across your chest.

Ryan Nunez:

But as soon as you made it to the mountains – my dad didn’t care. If he was going 20 miles an hour and we were moving forward, the vacation was still on.

Mingo Palacios:

It was a win.

Ryan Nunez:

I have two breakdown memories. Going up I-5 up to central California, it’s a really bumpy road. It was really bumpy at that time; I don’t know if it still is. Sheared off all the bolts on the wheel, and the entire wheel’s just spinning back and forth on the axle.

Mingo Palacios:

No way.

Ryan Nunez:

Had to stop. I don’t know how we fixed that.

Mingo Palacios:

What happened? You ended up back on the road?

Ryan Nunez:

Oh yeah.

Mingo Palacios:

Your dad MacGyvered…

Ryan Nunez:

I don’t think he could MacGyver that one. He couldn’t MacGyver that one. We had to take it to a shop, which was like defeat.

Mingo Palacios:

That’s heresy to your dad, right? He’s like “oh, we have to get it to a shop, heaven forbid.”

Ryan Nunez:

But there was another trip – I remember being in the Redwoods. He took the head off of the engine and he’s scraping off the old head gasket. I don’t know what he was making the new head gasket out of, but it was like paper plates.

Mingo Palacios:

He was making a gasket, though. I love it.

Ryan Nunez:

Paper plates, hair cream. I don’t know what it was, but he’s like “if I could just get a seal on this, we can go back on the road.”

Mingo Palacios:

Your dad and my dad would be so dangerous taking a trip together, because they’d be like “yeah, we can make it work.” Certainly this is not a trip I would send my family on.

But I love it, because that became a resilience in me. I never anticipated how it would play out, but I do love how – in jest, we talked about the power of understanding the resurrection, but I do love the restorativeness that my dad showed me.

Ryan Nunez:

“There’s still value in this, there’s things not done yet.”

Mingo Palacios:

Yeah. There’s something that my dad always saw in a busted vehicle that I couldn’t see in the moment, but he saw its fullest potential. If we’re going to go all the way to the Jesus moment, that’s what Jesus sees in us.

But as great leaders, this is something we can be tangibly aware of. It’s our job to see the best in people, even though they don’t see it. There may need to be a little bodywork that goes on, a little bit of work under the hood, a little bit of work to somehow jimmy-rig some stuff together, but the hope is that we can see the best in people and help navigate them there.

Now, as you’re the pastor – that was one heck of a transition – how are you helping create the best in the next-generation leader? What are some things that are really exciting you about some of the emerging leaders that you’re getting to do ministry alongside of?

Ryan Nunez:

I’m super excited about our young leaders. Their passion and love for Jesus is just off the charts. They are so expressive, so passionate, so hungry to learn, the guys that we’ve hired on our staff. I think the thing I’m most excited about is they’ve grown up in the church. I have a staff of about 55; there might be one or two we’ve hired from outside the church.

Mingo Palacios:

Wow, so you’ve really done the hard work of cultivating from within.

Ryan Nunez:

Creating this leadership network, this leadership pipeline. Some of our worship guys right now, they were in student ministry praise band 10 years ago.

Mingo Palacios:

That’s awesome.

Ryan Nunez:

They went away to Bible college, did all that stuff, but came back and they get the vision of the church and they love that.

Mingo Palacios:

That’s a lot of investment. That’s a long-term investment.

Ryan Nunez:

It’s not a quick thing.

Mingo Palacios:

No. I’m just thinking it’s so tempting – and there’s a lot of churches that will headhunt. They’ll go find the hotshot worship guy or the hotshot youth guy and they’ll bring him in, they’ll adopt him into their program, hoping to get some sort of jumpstart. Why have you chosen to develop a leadership network instead of just buy your next greatest leader?

Ryan Nunez:

You get loyalty that way. Not like hat blind loyalty, “we’ll do whatever,” but “Hey, we understand the vision and mission. I’m coming in understanding what the church is about and I want to be here because of what’s going on.”

Mingo Palacios:

At a molecular level, PhD in physics, you get that from somebody that you cultivate from within.

Ryan Nunez:

It changed their life first. They accepted Christ at the church, they got baptized there, they grew up and got discipled. To be able to be part of that is amazing.

Mingo Palacios:

For them to have a chapter now in the book of the church that did so much in their life personally. That’s really great. That’s insight that you should pay attention to. If the temptation is just to hire the great up-and-coming talent down the street, it may be worth the longer investment to really cultivate it from within.

And if you’re saying, “Mingo, I don’t have any leaders inside,” you should probably be doing a better job as those leaders.

Ryan Nunez:

Have you created a space for leaders in your organization? That’s one of them too. Having a volunteer structure where you have opportunities for people to lead ministries, from the 8:15 greeter leader up to overseeing all first impressions. Those are all volunteers at our church, and it allows people to take steps forward in leadership as they see giftedness and calling and all of that stuff.

Mingo Palacios:

That’s really great.

Ryan Nunez:

Once again, as a pastor, if you’re doing everything there’s no room for leaders. They’re not going to stay at your church.

Mingo Palacios:

They won’t have an opportunity to even try.

Ryan Nunez:

And grow. If all you have are high-level leadership positions, then you’re not going to have a pipeline because there’s no way to get those guys from first starting off to the experience necessary.

Mingo Palacios:

You need to develop a bench. We had a great leader on with us that’ll be available somewhere in the feed of episodes, JoAnn Johnson. She started as the church receptionist, and 11 years later, developed internally – she’s the executive pastor at the church now. That’s the kind of teammate you want alongside of you as you engage both congregants and your emerging leaders from within the church. At least that’s what I would want.

Ryan Nunez:

That was my story. I started off as the worship leader, only because I could play guitar and my wife had a drum set. That’s why we were recruited to the church.

Mingo Palacios:

That’s so good.

Ryan Nunez:

Then jumped into youth ministry, did that for years, and then moved up to adult ministry, discipleship, executive pastor. Just given more opportunities and just developed that leadership along the way.

Mingo Palacios:

There’s a great point to be had in this conversation, because every single one of these success stories, we’ve talked about process. So many – I think of the youngest leaders right now – were really void of that process opportunity. Our understanding or expectation is, “I want to get into a position where I can have the most impact with the most authority,” and a lot of times we have to be ready for the process.

There’s a Steven Furtick principle, like the promise that we sense in our heart from our Maker, from our shape and our DNA, and then the payout, which is our foreseeable vision of ourselves leading, preaching one day, maybe taking a group or starting some sort of collaborative workspace for entrepreneurs. The middle between the promise and the payout is the process. We have to be willing to sit and simmer and develop and become in that space.

Ryan Nunez:

Jesus told a parable about that.

Mingo Palacios:

Let’s go. Pastor me. [laughs]

Ryan Nunez:

The parable of the talents. “You’ve been faithful with a few, so I’m going to make you in charge of many.” That’s what I look for. Have you been faithful with what I’ve given you? Have you been responsible? Not just managed it, not just kept to the course, but have you grown it, developed it, multiplied it?

Mingo Palacios:

Yeah, has it experienced growth under the health that you’ve given it?

Ryan Nunez:

And if so, then I’m going to move you up to the next level. I’m going to put you over a little bit more and a little bit more. But I’m not going to go from one talent to 10 talents.

Mingo Palacios:

Yeah. Both of us would lose in that decision.

Ryan Nunez:

Absolutely. You’re not ready for it, even though you think you might be. It’s a long process.

Mingo Palacios:

Ryan, what would you give a young leader who’s maybe thinking about tapping out this month? The challenges seem insurmountable. They came into ministry with a certain passion, but now it seems like the circumstances are weighing heavy on them.

What would be your advice, or maybe something you can give our listening audience when you felt like it was more than you could manage? Then I’m going to ask you a question about how we can continue to follow along on your journey. Give us something for the leader that’s thinking about leaving.

Ryan Nunez:

My guess would be if you’re thinking about leaving, if you’re on that verge, you’re probably alone.

Mingo Palacios:

Isolated.

Ryan Nunez:

You’re isolated. I would say get some people around you as soon as possible. As I went through the transition I was feeling very alone, very isolated, and I reached out to some local pastors. I reached out to David Chrzan here at Saddleback. I just got some guys around me that spoke encouragement to me every day, that gave me advice when I needed it. Isolation will just kill you.

Mingo Palacios:

It’ll drain you the fastest.

Ryan Nunez:

Absolutely. Whatever challenge you’re going through right now, others have gone through it before and made it out on the other side. There’s nothing impossible to overcome, but you can’t do it alone.

Mingo Palacios:

You think that you are uniquely experiencing some challenge, but you’d be behooved to think – you’d be blown away at how many other people are going through some of the same challenges. That’s really good.

You actually do some coaching on behalf of Purpose Driven. You’re one of our coaches. Am I mistaken in this?

Ryan Nunez:

No, I am.

Mingo Palacios:

Why don’t you give some of our listeners an opportunity or a pathway by which, if they don’t have a mentor, if they don’t have a coach – a lot of times people think that they have to get that from within, and some of the best coaching can happen from outside of the thing that you’re in. What are some great ways that people can connect either to you or to your church in maybe an effort to get just a little bit of help down the road?

Ryan Nunez:

We have been poured into so much by Saddleback and other churches that we feel a responsibility to pass that on to other people, their heartbeat. Any church, help with anything, but we do have this 8-module Purpose Driven Process that we love to take churches through. I’ve done it a couple times with some local churches, guys outside of the state.

It’s the Purpose Driven Essentials. It’s how to balance God’s five purposes in your church, but we don’t focus so much on content as implementation. So okay, how do you actually do this first step?

Mingo Palacios:

It’s the ‘how’.

Ryan Nunez:

It’s the ‘how’ part.

Mingo Palacios:

The stuff our dads did to the RV.

Ryan Nunez:

Exactly. Hopefully a little bit more structured than that, though. [laughs]

Mingo Palacios:

Yes, I love that.

Ryan Nunez:

Hopefully not as much duct tape and hair cream.

Mingo Palacios:

Man, those are the tools we’ve been given.

Ryan Nunez:

So just walking along, helping someone implement this process. If that means coming in and spending some time at your church and giving some evaluation, if that means coming to hang out at my church – we’re open to whatever it takes. We love churches, we love pastors. We want to see the Kingdom of God grow. Any way we can do that, we’re willing to help, jump in, staff available, all that stuff.

Mingo Palacios:

That’s great. Ryan, I really appreciate that. Don’t hear that opportunity and pass it by. If you are alone or if you’re a fledgling and your ministry is experiencing a plateau of sorts – and you don’t have to be a senior pastor, either. I know that’s the pedigree that you like to work with, but certainly through your organization are all of these other leaders that people can make direct connections to in hopes of creating that communal connection so they aren’t isolated. I think of a worship guy or a youth guy or a college guy or a hospitality leader.

Ryan Nunez:

I tell all my guys, you should know everyone that’s doing your job in 10 other churches here in the Valley by us, because they’re the ones that are in the trenches. They’re the ones that are going through what you’re going through. You need to develop those relationships. Our guys love connecting with those people now.

Mingo Palacios:

That’s so good. That’s a great piece of wisdom just in and of itself. If you’re a church and you have a specific role that exists in another church, you have to see them.

Rick said it over and over and over again while we were here this week: you’re not in competition with the other churches that exist in your city. These need to be alliances and they need to be brothers of mutual encouragement so that we can all accomplish the work of sharing the Gospel and seeing the Kingdom expand, one life at a time.

Ryan Nunez:

Definitely.

Mingo Palacios:

Ryan, if people want to follow along and see your church and what your church is uniquely doing, how do they do that?

Ryan Nunez:

Our website is www.palmvalley.org. You can follow there. I’m also on Instagram. It’s @rnunez_pvc.

Mingo Palacios:

Nice.

Ryan Nunez:

Yeah, tons of different ways. Or you can just call me. Can I give them my cellphone number?

Mingo Palacios:

I dare you to give them your cellphone number. That’s awesome. Go for it.

Ryan Nunez:

(623) 826-9933. Give me a call if you need anything.

Mingo Palacios:

That is the bomb. Dang.

Ryan Nunez:

If David Chrzan gave out his phone number to a group of pastors – if he hadn’t oven me that number, I don’t know whether our church would be here today. That was a rescue line for me. I called it, he answered it, and if I could pay that forward to any pastor out there, absolutely.

Mingo Palacios:

Ryan, I love you. I love your heart. I love that you were bold enough to put your cellphone number on a podcast. Across Facebook live, Mark Zuckerberg, if you read this, if you listen to this, you can call Ryan directly. [laughs]

Ryan Nunez:

Yeah, we can chat. [laughs]

Mingo Palacios:

For our listeners, thank you so much. If this conversation was of value to you, share it. If you’re on the podcast, would you do us a favor – would you review it? Would you give it a review? That’ll help us get this to more people.

Ryan, I love you, I love your ministry. The next time I’m in Arizona, I will stop by and we will compare RVs.

Ryan Nunez:

That would be awesome. [laughs] I don’t know where that one is anymore.

Mingo Palacios:

I’ve got to spend some time with your dad.

Ryan Nunez:

It’s in the Winnebago Museum somewhere.

Mingo Palacios:

That’d actually be amazing. We’ll talk to you guys in a little bit.

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