Jeannie got Sparked

Someone recently reminded me that we have an exceptionally talented team at Downtown Church. I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised, but I was. My surprise was due to a bad case of myopia. The forest and trees are inseparable between worship services, when every week seems to necessitate another decision that seems consequential - should we buy 50 more chairs to accommodate the crowd that keeps showing up in spite of us?, should we lease a copier?, change the order of worship for the baptism?, start another small group on Sunday nights… When you are responding daily to an endless stretch of seemingly small questions you couldn't anticipate, it's easy to forget that without a gifted team of people Downtown we might be answering a different set of questions like: how come nobody comes to church on Sunday?

What's even more striking is that nobody on our staff, including me, has ever started a church from scratch. We're all clueless about how it should be done. We don't know enough to buck trends, be mavericks, or stick our necks out. Give us an assumption about church, and for better or worse, our first impulse is to challenge it. From the order of worship to the expected quality of coffee, we don't know any better.

Collecting talent on our staff is another place where we've refused to follow protocol. We don't post open positions, write extensive job descriptions before we recruit people to join us, and we didn't have an organizational chart until last week. When I proudly gave it to the staff at our weekly meeting, they weren't as impressed as I thought they should be.

Jeannie Sullivan is the latest example of our circumstantial, yet still inspired, approach to partnering with talented people to do church work. Jeannie is our new Lead Coach at the Spark Coaching Center.

This is what she's planning to do:

  • Coordinate the work of our 7 other coaches
  • Work with the staff to design new group, workshop, retreat, and instructional experiences that incorporate the coaching model,
  • Do individual leadership coaching with clients in a variety of settings
  • Leave a little room to be surprised with more bullet points

Jeannie's office is in Suite 211 at 701 Whaley and you can read her bio on the Spark Coaching page. You'll notice that she's a certified coach with the qualifications to work anywhere, but she's never worked with a new church. Jeannie should fit right in.