Leading to the Next Level

Leading to the Next Level Growth brings change. Period. That’s true for a big company or a small church, and it’s true for people, families, corporations, and countries. If you want to function well at the next level, reinvention is … Read More

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The Most Faith-Filled Women I’ve Ever Met

Meet Aragesh: One of the Most Faith-Filled Women I’ve Ever Met Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” This succinct definition of faith is right at the beginning of … Read More

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Abebe’s Story: Running with the Gospel

Abebe’s Story: Running with the Gospel Jesus is coming back! We of course don’t know when, but we know for sure that we are one day closer to his return than we were yesterday. The reality of this truth is … Read More

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Ethiopia | Looking Back and Looking Ahead #TBT

Ethiopia | Looking Back and Looking Ahead #TBT It has been over four years since I had the privilege of leading a team of pastors on a short-term mission trip to Ethiopia. A lot has changed over the last years, but by … Read More

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Sons & Daughters – No Longer an Orphan

Sons & Daughters – No Longer an Orphan Ephesians 1:5-6: “In love he predestined us for adoption as sons [and daughters] through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which … Read More

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5 Things I Learned About Jesus In Ethiopia

5 THINGS I LEARNED ABOUT JESUS IN ETHIOPIA #TBT2014 Recently, I met with all the Mars Hill Church Tacoma leaders and shared with them what I saw, experienced, and learned on my trip to Ethiopia. Here are five things from … Read More

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Mars Hill In Ethiopia: Video Recap

MARS HILL IN ETHIOPIA: VIDEO RECAP #TBT Pastor Sutton Turner shows us what the Lord is doing in Ethiopia, where he recently led a group of 11 church leaders to preach and encourage the church planters that you are supporting. … Read More

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Sponsor A Child

Sponsor A Child It is an honor to have the opportunity to support such a great organization, Compassion International. This video serves as a reminder of great need for your partnership with them all over the world, but specifically in Ethiopia. … Read More

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What’s next for Ethiopia, Jesus?

What’s next for Ethiopia, Jesus? Since the making of this video, I have been back to Ethiopia a few more times. The purpose for and the experiences during the trips vary, but the love I have for the people never … Read More

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Mars Hill RICO: Hail Mary Failed – Plaintiffs Agree to Dismiss

Mars Hill RICO: Hail Mary Failed – Plaintiffs Agree to Dismiss I am very thankful that this civil RICO litigation will soon be over as the Plaintiffs have asked the court to dismiss the case since they failed to serve … Read More

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Mars Hill RICO: My Correspondence with Plaintiffs

Mars Hill RICO: My Correspondence with Plaintiffs On February 29th, 2015, I was named in a Civil RICO lawsuit brought by Plaintiffs Brian and Connie Jacobsen and Ryan and Arica Kildea.  The Plaintiffs filed a 42-page complaint containing false accusations … Read More

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Mars Hill RICO: Never Served

Mars Hill RICO: Never Served Yesterday, my attorney filed a motion to dismiss the case that was pending against me. Even though the Jacobsens and Kildeas (Plaintiffs) and Brian Fahling (Plaintiff’s attorney) filed a 42-page document with the court and … Read More

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Mars Hill RICO: Grieved and Saddened

Civil RICO: Grieved and Saddened I am deeply grieved and saddened along with my friends and former members of Mars Hill at the closing of our church. It was a ministry that grew me into a more godly man, husband, … Read More

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Our Amazing God: Mesfin’s Story

Our Amazing God: Mesfin’s Story I’m not usually a crier but there are certainly times that the my heart is unmistakably touched and irresistibly moved. This video is one of those times. You will be introduced to Mesfin in this … Read More

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Persecution & Providence: Pray for Birhanu D.

Persecution & Providence: Pray for Birhanu D. I’m so excited to share this video with you all because it will mean that more of us are praying for Birhanu D., a faithful servant of the Lord in Ethiopia. He is … Read More

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We are Family

We are Family “Throwback Thursdays” are quickly becoming one of my favorite social media trends. It allows me the chance to sift through older videos and be reminded of all that God has taught me through through the years, specifically … Read More

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Meet Pastor Birhanu M.

Meet Pastor Birhanu M –Sutton Turner This is a series celebrating Jesus’ fruit-bearing through church planters in Ethiopia. In this series I will be featuring church planters in Ethiopia sent by New Covenant Foundation.

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Meet Pastor Tadesse K.

Meet Pastor Tadesse –Sutton Turner This is a series celebrating Jesus’ fruit-bearing through church planters in Ethiopia. In this series I will be featuring church planters in Ethiopia sent by New Covenant Foundation.

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What is an Executive Pastor?

What is an Executive Pastor? Serve Jesus. Serve your church. Serve your lead pastor. This simple job description defines the role of the executive pastor. At Mars Hill, the executive pastor (XP) was the second hire we made for any … Read More

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Werku’s Prayer

Werku’s Prayer Jesus saved me on a trip to Africa in 2005, and since then I have had the opportunity to visit the continent a dozen times. Early on in my travels, I was privileged to meet Werku Golle from … Read More

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You Will Be My Witnesses by Dr. Eyasu

(Pictured above) The first to receive Dr. Eyasu’s book were the members of the Executive Committee of the Ethiopian Kale Heywet Church (EKHC), representing over 8,000 churches and 8 million people. You Will Be My Witnesses Well, it’s now August. … Read More

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Meet Pastor Fulaa

Meet Pastor Fulaa –Sutton Turner This is a series celebrating Jesus’ fruit-bearing through church planters in Ethiopia. In this series I will be featuring church planters in Ethiopia sent by New Covenant Foundation.

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Pateros Wildfire Recovery Update

Pateros Fire Recovery Update 2015 A year ago, Eastern Washington suffered devastating loss at the flames of wildfires. It was heart-breaking to hear about our brothers and sisters across our state who were experiencing such tragedy. I had the opportunity … Read More

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Meet Pastor Gezahegn

Meet Pastor Gezahegn –Sutton Turner This is a series celebrating Jesus’ fruit-bearing through church planters in Ethiopia. In this series I will be featuring church planters in Ethiopia sent by New Covenant Foundation.

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What Does It Take To Be #2?

Who’s best suited to serve the #1? Someone who has been in that spot before. What makes a great executive pastor? This is a question I have been asked often by church pastors looking for help finding an executive pastor. … Read More

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Opposites Impact: Lead & Executive Pastors

Opposites Impact: Lead & Executive Pastors Lead pastors often have a tough time finding an executive pastor because they tend to look for a version of themselves, but the second-in-charge should never be a clone. Instead, the lead and executive … Read More

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Meet Pastor Belay M.

Meet Pastor Belay M. –Sutton Turner This is a series celebrating Jesus’ fruit-bearing through church planters in Ethiopia. In this series I will be featuring church planters in Ethiopia sent by New Covenant Foundation.

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The Second-in-Charge: Are you a Haman or a Joseph?

The Second-in-Charge: Are you a Haman or a Joseph?   Whether you are a COO, a vice president, or an executive pastor, a second-in- charge by definition serves the leader of an organization. More than an executive assistant, the second-in-charge … Read More

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Holy Spirit

5 Ways the Holy Spirit Works

5 Ways the Holy Spirit Works in the Life of a Believer My wife and I have a fun saying between us where we’ll ask the other, “Has your friend said anything to you lately?” I love the Holy Spirit. … Read More

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A Helpful Guide to Cultural Unity (Leadership Culture Part 3)

A Helpful Guide to Cultural Unity Leadership Culture Part 3 (see part 1, part 2) A theology of forgiveness and repentance is put to the test when we have been sinned against. (Prior posts in this series covered the biblical … Read More

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9 Practical Lessons on Repentance & Forgiveness (Leadership Culture Part 2)

9 Practical Lessons on Repentance & Forgiveness Leadership Culture Part 2 (see part 1) I am sure that most of you reading yesterday’s blog on repentance and forgiveness already knew much of what I wrote and explained. You have likely … Read More

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Repentance & Forgiveness of the Leader (Leadership Culture Part 1)

Repentance & Forgiveness of the Leader Leadership Culture Part 1 (see part 2) As I look back at my experience at Mars Hill, one of my largest areas of personal sanctification and theological growth occurred in the area of repentance … Read More

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Should My Child Get Baptized?

Should My Child Get Baptized? One of my greatest gifts the Lord has given me as a dad was baptizing our eight-year-old daughter a couple years ago. Many have approached me asking questions regarding how to know when is the … Read More

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Pastor Edae’s Church UPDATE

Pastor Edae’s Church UPDATE For the past ten days, I have been desperately trying to spread the word about a critical need in Ethiopia. New Covenant Foundation was raising almost $10K to save a church family’s new home from being … Read More

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Your Problems or Your Purpose: Where is your Focus?

Your Problems or Your Purpose: Where is your Focus? In 1997, I started a company that grew from 3 to 380 employees in just a few years. In 2008, I founded another company that grew from 4 people to 500 … Read More

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Meet Pastor Belay from Ethiopia

Meet Pastor Belay from Ethiopia Meet Pastor Belay Mengesha. He and his family serve a local church in a very difficult region of Ethiopia close to the border of Sudan. During the last few years, many refugees have fled to … Read More

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Critical Need: Church Planting in Ethiopia – You Can Help!

Critical Need: Church Planting in Ethiopia – You Can Help! If you have followed my ministry in even the slightest way, you know that the Lord has given me a deep heart for Ethiopia. In the interest of keeping this … Read More

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Influence is More than Access

Influence is More Than Access Access and influence are easily confused but far from synonymous. You don’t need access to a leader in order to influence him or her, and conversely, just because you have access doesn’t mean you’re influential. … Read More

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Compassion, Changing Lives

Compassion, Changing Lives Meet Zewdu. He is a powerful testimony of the incredible, life-changing work of Compassion International. Compassion International was founded in 1952 to meet the needs of children orphaned during the Korean War. Today Compassion serves more than … Read More

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Mars Hill Global – My Heart, My Mistakes, and My Critics

Mars Hill Global – My Heart, My Mistakes, and My Critics For almost a year now, significant tumult, emotion, and discussion has surrounded Mars Hill Global. Now that some time has passed since Mars Hill Church’s closure, I wanted to … Read More

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Kids’ Church, Abu Dhabi

Kids’ Church, Abu Dhabi During our time living in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Marci and I felt led by the Lord to host “Kids’ Church” in our clubhouse compound. We first started “Kids’ Church” for our own daughters, Grace … Read More

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When to Quit

When to Quit In the past, I’ve written about leaving well and laying off staff. What about those hard days in ministry when quitting crosses your mind? When will you know that it’s time to step away from vocational ministry? … Read More

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Learning, Growing, & Communicating Under Criticism

Learning, Growing, & Communicating Under Criticism For the past several weeks, I have been planning to discuss the lessons I have learned from events and mistakes at Mars Hill Church on my website. Earlier this week, I wrote three separate … Read More

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How Do You Lovingly Lay Off Church Staff?

How Do You Lovingly Lay Off Church Staff? Every year across the United States, 4,000 churches close their doors. The closing of Mars Hill Church was one of the more public in modern history because it was widely reported across social … Read More

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The Vision of Mars Hill Global #TBT

The Vision of Mars Hill Global #TBT My very first video from Ethiopia was run 21 straight weeks in front of the podcast from December 2012 to May 2013. In this video I say: “Howdy, Mars Hill Church and the … Read More

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Church Governance: Local Elders or Outside Board?

Church Governance: Local Elders or Outside Board? ResultSource Part 3 In my first months on staff at Mars Hill Church, the ResultSource contract was approved even though I had advised my direct supervisor against it. I don’t know who approved … Read More

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Good Decisions Made by the Right People

Good Decisions Made by the Right People ResultSource Part 2 Your church or organization needs the right people in place to make the big, difficult, culture-shifting, church-altering decisions. The Bible details the qualifications of an elder in 1 Timothy 3 … Read More

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How to Follow When You Disagree

How to Follow When You Disagree ResultSource Part 1 Mars Hill Church closed on December 31, 2014 and by the grace of God, several new, independent churches were planted out of it. Romans 8:28 is clear that God uses everything … Read More

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“Unadoptable Children” Orphanage

“Unadoptable Children” Orphanage In 2009, I had the privilege to go to Ethiopia for a long weekend while working in Abu Dhabi. It was quite an experience to get on a 5-hour flight and go from the second wealthiest country … Read More

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Hearing the Voice of the Spirit

Hearing the Voice of the Spirit The Holy Spirit is not an impersonal force, but a real person who guides and speaks to us.  In the past, I have written about the advantage of Jesus departing the earth for heaven and leaving … Read More

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Equipping Pastors | Congo

Equipping Pastors | Congo Five years ago this month, I was invited to go to the Kinshasa, Congo to teach pastors from all over the country about leadership. Starting in 2006, I had the great opportunity to assist pastors in … Read More

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Easter, A Look Back

Easter, A Look Back Celebrating and remembering Passion Week culminating with Easter Sunday is my favorite time of the year. I love it because so many non-christians and de-churched people go to a Christian church service and hear the simple … Read More

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Leaving for the Middle East

Leaving for the Middle East After I got saved in 2005, I had the incredible privilege of being in a biblical discipleship relationship with Pastor Joe Champion. Because of my work schedule I was able to spend ample amounts of … Read More

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How to Leave Well

How to Leave Well Years ago, after a season of dedicated service at Celebration Church in Austin, Texas, I sensed the beginning of the end of my employment. If I had been working in the business world, my game plan … Read More

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3 Vital Variables to Church Growth

3 Vital Variables to Church Growth In your church’s journey to the next level of size and maturity, three factors will fuel or foil your attempts. Every church of every size must evaluate each one of these three variables in … Read More

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An Executive Pastor Calling

An Executive Pastor Calling Sutton Turner spent his first 35 years accumulating everything a man could want: a successful business, a beautiful wife and kids, a golf swing, lots of money, and plenty of free time to enjoy the finer … Read More

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Almost Two Decades and $32M Ago in Columbus, Ohio…

Almost Two Decades and $32M Ago in Columbus, Ohio… When I was growing up, my family lived on a street named “Wentwood” in Dallas, Texas. Then early in my career, I had the privilege of starting a company with my brother and … Read More

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Jesus Wants Business Leaders

Jesus Wants Business Leaders Many of us assume that leaders in the church must have some sort of professional credentials, like formal ordination or a seminary degree. That’s what I thought, anyway. But what does the Bible say? We have … Read More

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Get “Invest” For Free

Get “Invest” For Free In 2013, I had the privilege of writing a book called “Invest: Your Gifts for His Mission.” In it, I share the knowledge that the Lord has graciously given me over the years in business and … Read More

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Cityscape Interview in Abu Dhabi

Cityscape Interview in Abu Dhabi With a team of 23 people, I had the privilege to launch Khidmah (“service” in arabic) back in 2009. The Lord was gracious and the company grew very fast, employing 495 people in just 12 … Read More

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Why I Love Ethiopia

Why I Love Ethiopia “Go and stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this Life.” Acts 5:20 My first trip to Africa was back in 2005. I had previously been pretty antagonistic toward Christianity … Read More

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Sutton’s Testimony

Sutton’s Testimony This video was produced in 2012 and tells the story of God’s grace in my life: from salvation to service. Many of you don’t know my story of how God saved me so I wanted to post it. It … Read More

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Invest: Your Gifts for His Mission

Invest: Your Gifts for His Mission Sutton Turner was the executive pastor at Mars Hill Church. His first book, Invest: Your Gifts for His Mission, was released by Resurgence Publishing. The following is from the foreword, by Pastor Mark Driscoll. One … Read More

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The Sin of Partiality

The Sin of Partiality The Bible tells us not to give preference or privilege to the rich over the poor, but partiality can go both ways. Rich people need pastors. There is no doubt that the Bible provides special comfort,blessing, … Read More

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Your Ministry Calling is Impossible

Your Ministry Calling is Impossible If Jesus calls you into full-time ministry, it will be difficult. Being called into vocational ministry is not more godly or sacred than being called into a job in the secular world, but there are … Read More

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