Chapel Speaker Wilson Has Game Plan for Church
By Jennifer Willis
Dr. Don Wilson has been told that he sounds more like a coach than a preacher.
“For a lot of people, church isn’t very relevant in their lives because it’s boring to them,” says Wilson, a former coach and college basketball player who serves as senior pastor at Christ’s Church of the Valley in Peoria, one of the largest churches in metropolitan Phoenix.
“So I try to engage people by what’s relevant to them and try to relate things to their lives.”
Wilson, who will bring a message to Chapel on Monday from Matthew 25:14-30 (the parable of the talents), wants his church to be a place where people feel welcome and want to hang out.
The 100-acre CCV campus has a huge outdoor area where large screens display NFL games, food is served from grills and children run around playing soccer and tossing the ball with their dads.
Next Easter, CCV will celebrate its 30th anniversary. The church, near 67th Avenue and Happy Valley Road, has come a long way from its beginnings, when it met in the living room of a house. Around 17,000 now flock to weekend services in state-of-the-art facilities.
“We have three areas that we focus on in our outreach,” Wilson says. “We try to reach men — we don’t want just the women and the children. We want the family as a whole. We try to reach youth, because the young are the future. And we try to reach the neighbors, because that’s how we change the culture.”
In keeping with its outreach goals, CCV is highly involved in the community.
“It’s all about building relationships and serving others,” Wilson says. “We have a tremendous high school program, we have our own youth soccer program with around 2,000 kids involved, and in August we had 15,000 people out serving the community.”
“We are a big church, so part of what is key for us is being involved and asking, ‘What can we do for our neighbors?’”
Reach Jennifer Willis at 639.7383 or Jennifer.firstname.lastname@example.org.