I started with the Center for Church Communication (CFCC) in 2008 as a newly-married, mostly clueless, questionably-dressed 27-year-old, working at one of the largest Lutheran churches in the country.
I mostly had no idea what I was doing as a church communicator, but I knew CFCC could help. And boy, did they ever.
Specifically, Cynthia Ware helped. As the standing executive director, Cynthia saw something in me that, frankly, I didn’t see in myself. She reached out, helped to shape me as a leader, and gave me an opportunity which would change my life.
Living in Des Moines, Iowa, we realize we aren’t the epicenter of church culture innovation. We’re not really the epicenter of anything, except maybe training Olympic athletes (Shawn Johnson, Gabby Douglas and Lolo Jones, to name a few) and sculpting life-sized replicas of bovines made of butter (yes, I’m serious).
The project went so well, I was given more opportunities within the organization, until finally I teamed up with dear friend, Tim Schraeder, to lead CFCC. Tim left the organization in August of 2012 and now, dear ones, it is time for me to go as well.
Today is my last day as the executive director for the Center for Church Communication.
It’s been a two-year thrill ride, but it’s time to go. It’s time to let someone with fresh vision and energy take the reigns and build on the foundation so many others have labored to build. While I can’t reveal anything “official” yet, know the board is actively pursuing folks who will make a difference at CFCC. Trust me.
As for me, I’ll be concentrating on writing my book, The Social Church: A Theology of Digital Communication, due out February 2014 through Moody. Additionally, I will still be serving the church communication community through my work at Monk Development.
A few things you need to know before I go:
Brad Abare is a ninja. The best ninjas are the ones who sneak in, do their “work” (aka slicing off appendages! Drop kicking faces into oblivion! Throwing ninja stars at cats!), and slip out unnoticed. Brad is the driving force behind this entire organization, and still, many of you might be asking, “who’s Brad?” Exactly. He has never made CFCC about himself, which, if you’ve never started something from scratch, is incredibly hard to do. Thank you, Brad, for pioneering something special.
Kevin Hendricks is a machine. Not like a Terminator, “I’ll be back!”, programmed-to-kill type of machine. More like a gracious, cuddly Furby programmed to write 10,000 impeccable words per minute (and be eternally patient when I stuff him on deadlines). Anything good that comes from Church Marketing Sucks is because of him. He is kind, intelligent and incredibly gifted. You should hire him. Now.
Drew Goodmanson is setting CFCC up for success. You may not see the direct influence of Drew yet, but you will. Oh, you will. The projects he is putting into motion will secure the communal and financial future of CFCC for years to come. When these projects get off the ground, know that Drew’s fingerprints are all over them.
Cynthia Ware gave me a shot. She exemplifies what a true leader is and should be: quick to deflect credit, gracious, kind, investing in the next generation, and always there when you need her. I would not be doing what I am today had it not been for Cynthia. This cannot be overstated.
Katie Strandlund kept me sane. Katie has only been on the team for a few short months, but her impact has been felt. Not being one to gravitate towards details, Katie has virtually held my hand through scary things like spreadsheets, backed-logged emails, and granular, mind-numbing details. Thank you x 1000. You should also hire her immediately.
To the dozens of board members, team members, volunteers, bloggers and sorted sundry who have helped make CFCC what it is today, I say “thanks.” We’ll just leave it at that.
I’ll leave you with a blessing I speak over my son when tucking him into bed for the night:
May the Lord bless you and keep you;
May the Lord cause his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
May the Lord look upon you with favor,
and give you peace.