Blog Archives

5 Keys to Common Sense Biblical Counseling

Now, I’m not talking about the kind of counseling where you need a plaque on the wall to do it. I’m talking about the “‘down and dirty’ representing Jesus to help someone” kind of counseling. As Christians, we are called to be available to help others throughout life.

Let me give you five quick keys to making sure that your Biblical Counseling time is fruitful:

Key #1: Keep Christ First and Last

If you are going to sit down and provide someone with counsel, make sure that you start and end the time in prayer. This is the moment where you can invite the Holy Spirit to be part of the conversation. Ask Him to lead the conversation and help you hear what needs to be heard. Too often we just dive right in without taking time to pray. Take a few minutes to focus on God… it will make all the difference in the world.

Key #2: Listen More Than You Talk

This simple key has revolutionized my ability to counsel. There is something about silence that makes us want to fill it. I get uncomfortable when no one is saying anything so I try to fill it with words. When counseling, you need to embrace the silence. Sometimes, the silence allows the opportunity for the person you are counseling to say what they normally avoid saying. Don’t be afraid to sit, be silent and let THEM fill the void.

Key #3: Don’t Excuse Behavior or Make Excuses for Them

In the past, I would find myself trying to defend or “make sense” of people’s situations. This is not my responsibility. Trust me… people can make enough excuses for themselves and they don’t need my help. I am not here to justify mistakes or actions that they have done, but simply hear them through. Bite your tongue next time and don’t let yourself make excuses.

Key #4: Delineate Between the Need for an Ear and the Need for Advice

Sometimes people just want someone to listen to them. In fact, I’ve found that some people can actually come up with great conclusions for their lives by simply hearing themselves speak. Others, however, need an action plan or steps to apply to their lives by you. As you are counseling them, try to keep an ear open to what their need is. This can happen by asking them near the end of your time, “What are you going to do with what we talked about?” If they don’t have an answer, this may the moment for your two cents.

Key #5: Don’t Tell Them What to Do, But Allow Them to Search Scripture and Pray to Make Decisions

In Biblical Counseling, I want to point people to the Bible and Prayer. God wants to speak to His children. He wants to lead them in their decisions. The more that I can get someone to focus their heart, mind and attention on God… the more wisdom they will be able to attain from Him. This will happen, sometimes, by opening up the Bible and pointing to verses that deal with the subject of the counseling time. It can also come from giving them portions of scripture to read, think about and commit to memory. Point them towards spiritual action and you allow them to develop strong, healthy habits.

There it is! A few keys to help you help others. Now, get out there and get busy helping people make great decisions and find wholeness in their hearts and lives.

– Pastor Greg


Bible College Classes in Wickenburg! “The University” at THE PLACE launches Spring 2014


THE PLACE Church is taking a step towards greater Biblical education and has partnered with Portland Bible College to make this a reality by launching their new CERT Program (Christian Education Resurgence Training). This means that there is an opportunity for actual Bible College classes in Wickenburg, AZ. These videos are actual recordings from classrooms at the Bible College and are offered at only $25 each with THE PLACE subsidizing the difference.

The Spring Semester launches in January with three potential options:

Tuesday and Thursday Mornings: New Testament Survey

Launches on January 7, 2013. 8:30am – 9:30am.

The New Testament introduces an exciting new dynamic into the scripture – the work of Jesus Christ on the cross and the work of the Holy Spirit. This course will help establish for the student seamless connection and continuity between the Old Testament and the New Testament. Equally important this class will provide the student with the historical and cultural backdrop that influenced the writing of each of the New Testament’s 27 books. By grasping the original intent of each book, the audience it was written to, and the unique challenges and events being addressed by the author, the believer can better comprehend and apply the timeless truths the text contains.  The course begins with an overview of the history, political structure, sociological groups, religion, and philosophical mindset of the first century world. The course then proceeds to examine each of the 27 books that comprise the New Testament. This examination will include each book’s historical context, the circumstances surrounding their writing, their author, the date and the main messages being presented.

Tuesday Evenings: Old Testament History

Launches on January 7, 2013. 7:00pm – 9:00pm.

Old Testament History has the reputation among PBC students as one of the best courses offered at the college. Under the instruction of Ken Malmin, the historical journey of the nation Israel and the key characters of that era, literally come to life. Section one features the stories found in the books of Joshua and Judges.  The book of Joshua retells the inspiring and incredible winning streak that Israel experienced under Joshua’s leadership. It is an excellent study on how to fulfill our individual destinies and how to move into the purposes and promises of God for our lives.  The book of Judges examines the rollercoaster capacity within people to serve God during one season and abandon Him during others. These books show us how to learn from both positive and negative examples of Israel’s experience.

At Home Study: Old Testament Survey

Available on January 1, 2013

More than sixty percent of the Bible is contained in the Old Testament. Yet, the material seems so different from the life we live today that it can be difficult to see the merit of studying it. This course will bring these ancient texts to life by exploring each of the 39 Old Testament books in light of their historical context, circumstances surrounding the writing, author, date, and the primary messages within them. The truth is, without basic knowledge and understanding of the events, people, laws and religious practices in the Old Testament, it is impossible to fully understand and appreciate many of the concepts, principles and doctrines expressed in the New Testament.

To Sign up to Learn More… Click Here ->

Former Suns Gorilla Preaching at THE PLACE in July 2013

THE PLACE is pleased to announce that nationally recognized speaker and former Phoenix Suns gorilla, Henry Rojas, will be speaking for two Sundays next month. Mr. Rojas will be speaking at all three of THE PLACE’s services, 830am, 945am or 1115am, for two weeks in a row – Sunday, July 7th and Sunday, July 14th.

Henry Rojas

Henry Rojas: Speaker, World Changer and Former Phoenix Suns Gorilla 

Growing up he was a class clown, a basketball fanatic and the baby of the family. Nearly all of his adult life he has been a dad and being a young dad matured him as he developed into a family counselor, teen mentor, Presbyterian youth pastor, American Baptist Associate Pastor, Missionary Alliance interim pastor and non-denominational preacher. He founded a non-profit ministry called Lifestories to prevent hurting families and teens from needing intrusive intervention. He was the Director of Christian Growth Services and Chaplain at Remuda Ranch.

Henry’s life will be featured in an upcoming ESPN documentary and he speaks to colleges, public schools, and keynote for conferences and retreats. He also meets privately with individuals seeking meaning in their own life story as a spiritual director. Henry says his richest achievement is learning to let God love him.

THE PLACE invites you out to see Henry Rojas and deepen your relationship with God. Learn more at their website .

THE PLACE has Sunday Services at 830a, 945a or 1115a

Henry Rojas will be speaking on July 7th and July 14th.

Community Picnic at Aztec Mobile Home Park (photos)

On April 14, 2012, THE PLACE decided to have a church picnic. However, instead of the normal inclusive picnics that are solely for the members of the church, we decided to take our picnic to a public venue… and the natural location for us to go was a trailer park… so Aztec Mobile Home Park became our venue.

There were many reasons why this was the perfect location, but the greatest one was the wonderful Park Manger named Pat who is a member of THE PLACE. She works tirelessly in the park to help the many residents and we saw this as a great opportunity to be a blessing to her and the people that she has grown to love so much.


Aztec Mobile Home Park in Wickenburg 


When we first showed up, I (Pastor Greg) had the opportunity to go trailer to trailer with my translator and past missionary pastor Roy and invite every family to the picnic. Everyone was so happy that we would come out and the kids were super stoked to have some new faces in the park. We wanted to do everything first class and simply wanted to bless the socks off our new friends.

We decided to have our grill master Tom barbecue up some Tri-Tip which was SO GOOD! All I heard all day long was how impressed everyone was this amazing meal. Many went back for seconds and thirds and even fourths (including me! Shhhhh. I did fifths too 😉 


Tearing up Chef Tom's Tri-Tip


Enjoying a Great Meal!

In addition to the amazing food, we had one of the members from THE PLACE who owns an interactive game company called Party Outfitters bring the “bouncing giraffe” to hang out with us for a while. This was a HUGE hit with the kids. They were lined up in front of that thing until we pulled out of the park 3 1/2 hours later.


The Party Outfitter Giraffe


We had a line all day long at the bouncing giraffe

All in all, the day was more than we could have asked. As a church, we were able to be salt and light to our community. At one table, I started a conversation with a mom who had four kids running around her. She barely spoke English and through an interpreter I was able to share about the church with her. I told her how our heart is to reach all people and that we had Spanish interpretation at our 11:15am service. She was amazed. She hadn’t been to church since she moved to Wickenburg because there wasn’t a “Christian” church that spoke her language. I smiled big and told her…

“There is now a church for you in Wickenburg.”

It was a beautiful moment. The kind that you can only pray to have and when it actually happens you are speechless. That moment was one of many that we have been experiencing lately at THE PLACE. Please continue to pray for us as we work hard to shine Jesus’ light to our community… and ultimately the world. 

Much Love,


New Chairs Arrive as THE PLACE Expands! (pics)

THE PLACE is growing by leaps and bounds and now we have seats to put people in! 50 new chairs arrived last night. 


Pastor Greg, Tara, and Ronni worked for about 3 hours putting all the chairs together. Screwdrivers, plastic and cardboard were flurrying around the sanctuary as the chairs took shape one by one. As they listened to worship music and shared life stories, the project slowly moved to completion and the place where they could look around and see the finished project…


The chairs arrived just in time for Easter Sunday! We start some serious renovation on the day after Easter, but until then there are plenty of seats for people to come together and worship the resurrection of Jesus. If you are in the Wickenburg/Phoenix area, come on out!


Sunday Service Times: 8:30a, 9:45a or 11:15a

Childcare at 9:45a and 11:15a. Spanish Translation at 11:15a (traducción al español at 11:15a)

THE PLACE is Growing by Another 50 seats!

The past year has gone by so fast at THE PLACE. It seems like only yesterday that we had to transform a bowling alley into a church.

THE PLACE before Renovation

Now, a week before Easter, we prepare for the delivery of 50 more chairs, the tearing down of some walls and the construction of others. We are preparing for growth as God continues to bless this beautiful faith community. In the past two weeks, a congregation of only 200 raised over $5,000 to build more space to reach more people. In a selfless expression of love, they put people that they haven’t even met yet above themselves and committed to do whatever it takes to reach them.

In addition to the building, they are also committed to leave the church and go reach people with the good news. They are sponsoring a community picnic inside of a local Trailer Park and simply taking an afternoon to bless over 70 residents for no other reason, except to become the hands and feet of Jesus to them. It is a beautiful picture of grace and love poured out to a community.

As a pastor, I couldn’t be more proud of this incredible faith community that I have the honor of leading. They are truly an inspiration to me and I am a better man for having known them.

Thank you and continue to shine His light!

Pastor Greg

What is the Church? (video)

CHURCH? What is it? Really… What does that word mean?

Is it a building? It is a place? Is it about steeples and songs and vision statements?

Or, is is about so much more?

The word ‘church’ in the New Testament is translated from the Greek word ‘ekklesia’ which comes from two words ‘ek’ meaning ‘out’ and ‘kaleo’ meaning to ‘call.’ An ekklesia or ‘calling out’ was not just an assembly. We are the church… His Body… living stones.

“What if we are not satisfied with GOING to church but strive to BECOME the church?”

What do you think?


TV Family #2: Follow the Follower (audio)

This is the message from the second week of our TV Family series at THE PLACE. Now that we have dug the foundation of family, we begin to examine the most important part… LEADERSHIP. And we uncover the harsh reality of leadership that if you want to lead, then you need to follow. In your life, who or what are you following. Allow yourself to be challenged as we dive in and commit to become a follower and call our family to ‘Follow the Follower’!

9/11… A Day to Honor Our Heroes (audio)

On Sunday, September 11, THE PLACE chose to pause and remember the event that affected our nation in a major way… September 11th. We took a look back at the victims and heroes of this memorable day and weaved a message about God’s call for all us to be Everyday Heroes today in the world in which we live. Take a moment to remember and to move towards becoming an everyday hero!

TV Family #5: The Culmination (audio)

This is the final message in our TV Family series at THE PLACE. For this message, we examine how the keys to a healthy family are more like a marathon instead of a sprint. We talk about how steady steps each day will get us closer and closer to the goals that we have of having a strong family that reflects the character and love of Christ.