Thunder Mtn Church

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Thunder Mountain Church is in Sierra Vista, AZ. This young church of 750 is looking for a Next Gen Resident to work in student ministry. Bring your mountain bike and learn to do ministry with students alongside this young staff in this mountain city of fifty thousand.

Find them on social: @thundermountainchurch


The following is some Q & A with Executive Pastor Justin McPeak.

What are your greatest hopes and dreams for the next couple of years for your church? After our recent building expansion in our children’s ministry, I’d love to see us reach more unchurched and de-churched families, especially from the military installation in town.  Specifically, we’ve recently launched our For Sierra Vista initiative, and we hope to increase our outreach/service efforts in our local community.  We’re growing and currently sit at about 750 in average attendance, and in the next few years I’d love to see us break through the 1000 barrier consistently.    

Why did you choose to do a residency & what are you hopeful will happen through this process?
Part of the residency idea just felt like us.  We have a young staff, and leadership in part because we operate with a philosophy to entrust significant ministry to younger pastors and leaders.  Also, we have a healthy culture and felt that we wanted to provide a great training ground for individuals just entering ministry.  At the same time, we’re preparing for church growth and recognize that a residency may be pathway to help us connect with future staff members.

What is it like to work on staff there?
It feels like working with friends where we are all trying to achieve one goal through our different means. Working at TMC is a place where both hard work and fun are celebrated and needed. 

Does your church’s website state the mission, vision, values and key distinctives of your church? Yes it does.  Here are the links:

How many full-time pastors do you currently have? 4 full-time pastors

Please describe the current staff structure. We’re structured with our Lead Pastor overseeing our Connections Pastor and Outreach Coordinator, while our Executive Pastor oversees the operations staff, and the Next Gen Pastor.

What qualities does it take to “win” on staff at your church? Teamwork, good communication, hardworking, adaptability to change, putting people first, not taking yourself too seriously.

 Who will the resident report to? Will there be a different person acting as coach? The resident will report directly to the Next Generation Pastor, and there won’t be another point person because nobody needs two bosses.

 Are there particular assessment tools that you prefer when exploring potential staff people? Three assessment tools we find helpful: DISC, Strengths Finder, and more recently, we’ve begun to explore the various Enneagram assessments.  If they know their Meyer-Briggs that’s really interesting and helpful, but not necessary upfront.    

 How long has senior leadership been serving in your church? Our Lead Pastor is also our founding pastor and has been here since 1989-1990 timeframe.  Our Executive Pastor has been on staff 7-years, and will hit the 8-year mark this January. 

Are you affiliated with a particular denomination or tribes/association of churches? If so, what websites could one investigate to gain further understanding? Thunder Mountain is a non-denominational church not affiliated with other denominations.  We do have some roots in the Restoration movement.  Our statement of faith can be found on our website. 

What are the key doctrinal and theological issues where alignment is essential?

Our doctrinal statement is here.  These would be the essentials.  In these essentials there would need to be unity, but in any other “non-essential” areas there is definitely liberty.  And regardless, there would be love. 

 What is your average weekend attendance? 750 (adults + children)

 In general, what is your church demographic? Average age is 29; if we take out the children it only goes up to 37, so we’re a church of younger families.  Half of our staff is currently in their 20s.  Sierra Vista, AZ is home to Ft. Huachuca which is the intelligence hub nationally for the military.  Therefore, we do have a lot of military families that call TMC home.   

How many conversions has your church had in the past 12 months? (however you define this and whatever you count) 25 baptisms; 30 decisions to follow Jesus; about 50 recommittments

 What percentage of people are involved in a small group? About 49% of adults are involved in a Connect Group (our version of small groups)

 What is your church known for in the community? We’re known as a church with a lot of young people, accepting regardless of your background, a place churched people want to bring their unchurched or dechurched friends, and a place where you can get plugged into serving very fast.  Also, we’re known for our support of local schools and our service to the Golden Acres community (that’s a low income housing community near our church).   

How much are you planning on financially compensating your resident? Is it set or is it flexible? $175. + housing is covered

 What are the expected work hours and what does a typical workweek look like for this resident? For the most part we’d like them to shadow our Next Gen Pastor.  So likely perhaps 9-2pm

Monday, 9-3pm on Tuesday, 8:30-1:30pm Wednesday, half day on Thursday, Friday off,

Saturday 2-7pm, and Sunday 8-12pm. 

StudentsDave Miller