The 700 Club with Pat Robertson

Tommy Barnett


Author, latest, The Power of a Half Hour (2014)

Co-pastor, Phoenix First AOG, Phoenix, AZ, 16,000 weekly attendance w/ over 260 outreach ministries

Co-founder/Co-pastor, the original Los Angeles Dream Center, which ministers to 50,000 people monthly

Appointed as Chancellor of Grand Canyon University and later, Southeastern University

Married to Marja

Three adult children

Guest Bio

Engage the Power of a Half Hour

Tommy says, “You can change your world in thirty minutes” when you understand the power of a half hour. When you learn how to use small increments of time you can achieve personal and professional goals. “I’ve been practicing these principles so long that I can now say I am a product of my half hours,” reveals Tommy. He believes you can change your life and alter the lives of the people and organizations you influence by learning how to carefully plan your half hours. “The future is dependent on the choices made by God’s people in the time that He has placed at our disposal,” shares Tommy.


  • Pursue the best relationship imaginable – God desires your passionate love and will draw near to you when you draw near to Him. Many years ago, Tommy made a commitment to the Lord that the first person he would talk to in the morning - even before his wife – would be God. He spends thirty minutes worshiping the Lord each morning which helps him recognize the importance of his relationship with the Lord. One of the benefits of his spiritual routine is that by spending his first half hour of the day in God’s presence, thanking and praising Him, it helps him stay focused on God for the remainder of the day. He follows up that time with thirty minutes reading the Bible. Before he reads the newspaper he reads the Word of God so he can get his thoughts in the right direction.
  • Small time investments produce huge returns - Time is one of God’s most precious gifts to us. “When God gave this gift, He intended for us to use it carefully, intentionally, wisely, and productively,” reveals Tommy. When Tommy was beginning his career as a pastor, he dreamed of having a high powered church in an urban setting. However, what came available to him was the opportunity to “candidate” at a small church in Davenport Iowa. After he preached two services he was eager to leave, but the church leaders asked him to wait until a vote was taken. Thirty minutes later the elders told him that in a unanimous vote he had been selected as their leader. Tommy wrestled with God for three weeks. Tommy wanted God to provide an opportunity for a church in LA or New York City. Instead, God sent him to Davenport which became a place of huge ministry opportunity for Tommy. The direction of his life was altered by those people casting a vote in a thirty minute meeting.
  • Thirty-minute encounters benefit every marriage – Small investments in communication and conflict resolution can vastly improve the health of your marriage. Marja and Tommy have been married for over fifty years. During that time they have had to learn how to protect time for each other. He says there are times when cell phones have to be turned off and other distractions minimized.
  • Children need a large quantity of quality time – Family relationships benefit from the investment of more time. Tommy shares how he made a choice long ago to work as hard and smart as he could during working hours and then to fully devote himself to his family during prescribed family hours. He says it is a choice he has never regretted. Every Monday when his kids were growing up they went out to eat at a restaurant. During those evenings they would spend a half hour discussing their next summer vacation. Those half hours spent envisioning their vacations were some of their greatest times together.
  • Your dreams are God’s dreams for you – God longs to open up incredible opportunities for you. Trust what the Holy Spirit whispers in your heart. When the church in Los Angeles that Tommy and his son were co-pastoring began to grow rapidly they began to search for a nearby property that would allow them to expand the ministry. When they became aware of a huge, abandoned hospital campus that was for sale near the church they trusted God and offered $3.9 million. Their offer was accepted. Over the next few months they squirreled away $1.9 million, but they were still $2 million short. An influential man from Tommy’s church came to visit the campus. Tommy took him on a half hour tour of the campus. The man was so impressed with the vision for the Dream Center he wrote a check for $1 million. The next week, the man’s son came and toured the campus. He gave another check for a million dollars.

Tommy Barnett grew up in the home of an Assembly of God minister, the late H. W. Barnett, who pastored Victoria Tabernacle church in Kansas City, Kansas, for 43 years. His mother, Mrs. Joy Barnett, greatly influenced him by serving, loving, and giving to some of the neediest people in their area of Kansas City.  Tommy became devoted to reaching the lost and healing the hurting. He began his ministry at age sixteen holding revivals over the summers.  After attending Bible school for one year, at age 19 he left because he sensed God calling him to get back into active evangelism. 
Before moving to Phoenix First, Tommy pastored Westside Assembly of God in Davenport, Iowa. In just a few years, the church grew from 76 people to more than 4,000 members becoming the fastest growing church in America. In 1979, he became the pastor of Phoenix First Assembly. For three decades, Tommy has guided Phoenix First into an era of phenomenal revival. The weekly attendance is 16,000 and has over 260 outreach ministries. He is known for his creative approach in presenting the gospel and reaching out to the poor and the hurting.

Today Tommy co-pastors Phoenix First with his oldest son, Luke, now the Senior Pastor. He also co-pastors with his son Matthew the Los Angeles Dream Center where the former Queen of Angels Hospital and Angelus Temple have become the center of inner-city outreach in the metropolitan area. His annual Pastors and Leaders School has gathered more than 200,000 leaders over 30 years to train and equip the next generation of pastors and ministry leaders to carry on the work of the ministry. Tommy’s ministry has influenced many leaders including high-profile ministers and pastors such Joyce Meyer, T. D. Jakes, Ed Young Jr., Wellington Boone, and Charles Nieman, who call him their pastor
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