headshot-Nov-09-2020-11-25-05-69-AM

Hi, I’m Lindsey Jodts.

Elgin, IL

Phone Number

(618) 960-7114

Email

lindseyjodts@gmail.com

Experience

Christ Community Church
Adult Ministries Executive Assistant

Education

University of Illinois
BA in History
Judson University
Master of Leadership in Ministry

Church Affiliation

Non-Denominational

Years In Ministry

4.5 years

Personality

ENTJ

Skills

Curriculum development, writing, staff development, strategic planning, budget development and management, project management

Tools & Software

Church Community Builder, ChurchTeams, Microsoft Office Suite, Planning Center Online
ProPresenter, Adobe InDesign, WordPress, Adobe Photoshop, RightNow Media, Airtable

Personal

Married to Doug for 9 years
Kids: Sadie (4) and Holden (6)

Top 3 Strengths

Communicative0%

Strategic Thinking0%

Emotional Intelligence0%

Discipleship Questionnaire Responses
Personal Info
Please share briefly how you became a Christian.
I was raised in a church-attending home rife with dysfunction and abusive behaviors as the norm. Though I checked all the “Christian boxes” during my upbringing – confirmation, mission trips, baptism – I never fully connected with my faith. When I left for college, I began to stray further from God, ultimately abandoning my faith and entering a season of full rebellion in my early- to mid-20s. One night, amidst a season of poor choices, brokenness, and substance abuse, my mental health finally hit the bottom, where my spiritual health had been for so long. I collapsed on my apartment floor, without hope, sure that I didn’t want to live anymore if how I was living was all life had to offer. In the middle of what had become a routine emotional breakdown, I got up, sat at my computer, and emailed a Christian friend from college and asked her to pray for me. In that moment, I felt peace and hope for what felt like the first time in my life. It was in that moment that I knew that my faith wasn’t simply a perfunctory response to what I was told or something that only those that cannot think for themselves believe. My natural response to my pain, when left without anything to numb it, was to turn to God. I surrendered my life to Christ that night in my apartment and, though I still struggle with doubt, I have never doubted that moment as a real interaction with God’s redeeming grace.
How would you describe yourself?
  • Fun
  • Intense
  • Inspirational
  • Loving
Personality Type
MBTI: ENTJ Enneagram: 4w3 Strengthfinder: communication, woo, strategic, input, empathy
Tell me about some people (i.e. authors, mentors, and ministry leaders) that have had a big impact on you.
I have been greatly influenced by Dan Allender, his writing, and those that have learned with and underneath him. His authentic and empathetic voice is audacious and grace-filled, and his writing is rich with candor and beautiful allegory. Christy Bauman’s Theology of the Womb was incredibly moving to me in my own personal spiritual journey as well as my academic work on the evangelical female sexual experience and its implications for discipleship. Tim Macke and Jon Collins (of The Bible Project) offer the most delightful and engaging podcast, as they balance deep theological exposition with common vernacular and metaphor. Their podcast is worth its weight as its own version of seminary education. Scot McKnight’s The King Jesus Gospel changed the way I read the bible, and James Smith’s Cultural Liturgy series has forever solidified my love of contemplative liturgy and sacred traditions, as well as challenged me to think of all of life as a liturgical, embodied experience. The teacher I most model my own style from is Jason Feffer, the lead pastor of The Practice at Willow Creek. He has an incredibly authentic presence, a way of offering his own story, the insight of profound thinkers, and deep spiritual truths that calls his listeners to mull over the teaching and contend with their own beliefs. He asks the question “what if…?” rather than tell people “this is…” – the experience draws you into reflection and listening much more naturally than receiving a primarily application-based sermon. He draws application out of his congregation, rather than naming it for them.
Discipleship
How do you plan to engage and inform your church about your ministry objectives and progress?
I believe in holding a clear, strategic vision as the guiding movement for my ministry. What is my hoped-for future? That is the vision that everyone in the ministry should be drawn towards. I also have a collaborative approach to creating and implementing ideas – once we all are on the same page about where we are going, there are many paths to getting there. Leaning in to the strengths, gifts, and passions of everyone in the ministry is the best way to engage and empower each person to grow and take ownership over their part in the vision. Checking in with key stakeholders and those that are impacted by the ministry on a regular basis allows me to have both a high level and set of specific perspectives to better understand what progress is being made and where growth still needs to occur.
Tell me about a time when you developed a new small group strategy. What did you do?
As a team, we began to feel as though our New Leader training was missing the mark for where we were going as a ministry. We had simplified our processes and made our ministry more cohesive, but our long, complicated, and overly detailed training provided more information than leaders needed to get started and felt misaligned with our new vision for our ministry. Myself and the Executive Pastor of Discipleship began the process of implementing RightNow Media as a church-wide platform for small group curriculum, and its functionality as a training platform seemed to be a good fit for the next version of New Leader training. The Adult Ministries team members were asked to go through our old training and take note of the best and worst parts of each, as well as any places where there might be holes in the training. Through a series of conversations, I was able to consolidate the team’s ideas. Additionally, through those same conversations, we all agreed that the best training for our New Leaders was to get them everything they needed to get started, and then provide them additional support and training as they were beginning to lead, rather than offer them every piece of information for every possible contingency, just in case. With that as my guidepost, I combined my own experience as a group leader, along with the notes from the team, and created a basic outline of topics and flow of information. From there, I filled in the content with videos, scripture, and a small “launch guide” that offered clarity of leadership expectations, helpful leadership tips and ideas, and a list of additional resources utilizing existing content where appropriate and creating new as needed. The end product took our previously cumbersome and lengthy leader training that came with four books and several booklets to a single, streamlined online training and a booklet that feel clear, cohesive, and intentional.
How would you alleviate confusion when you are communicating with someone and it becomes apparent that they don’t understand what you’re saying or vice versa?
I often find that when there is misunderstanding, the most helpful thing to do is stop and ask the person what they are hearing or understanding. Then, repeat back to them “what I heard you say was…” to make sure you are really understanding what they are trying to say. Once clarity is established around the person’s understanding, it becomes easier to redirect or re-explain what was previously missed, unsaid, assumed, or misunderstood. When it becomes conflicting or contentious, I often find that either myself, the other person, or both of us are responding or reacting from a place of trigger. When that happens, I find it easier to ask more questions about the person’s perspective on a larger scale until I can identify a source of pain or trigger. From there, if I ask enough questions and effectively listen, the real issue or conflict often presents itself and can be addressed through empathy and atonement. Once the trigger or pain is named, often the misunderstanding becomes easier to navigate.
Spiritual Growth
Once someone accepts Christ as their Savior, how do you begin discipling them?
There are two levels at which I think it is helpful to begin discipling a new believer – both as a whole church and through individual relationships. Creating a culture of discipleship through practices, shared language, and effective, balanced teaching allows the disciple to begin to experience what it is to be part of the larger family of God. The larger church (weekend services, big events, etc.) is not designed to fully disciple an individual, however, nor do I think it should be. Connecting a new believer to the best next step for them, whether it be a care ministry, Rooted or other foundational discipleship program, or a small group (depending on the programs available at the church) is an important step in helping the new believer build relationships that offer encouragement, accountability, and deeply connected community.
As the spiritual leader of your ministry, how are you going to help small group leaders grow in their faith?
What I have learned about my own growth is what I would desire to teach my leaders: the most unique things about you are the most sacred things about you. God made each person unique and glorious on purpose. Not every spiritual discipline impacts each person the same way. Growing in a lasting, solid relationship with God takes consistency and curiosity. What draws you towards him? What doesn’t work so well? What are things you love to do? How can we rightly order those things to make them moments of worship or wonder? I would help my leaders see these parts of their unique personality and gifting as ways that God specifically can and desires to draw close to them. As they become more secure in their identity, as well as engage in regular rhythms of connection with Jesus, their ability to lead, shepherd, and serve in the church will continue to grow and bear fruit.
Ministry Growth
What is your philosophy of ministry?
I believe that ministry should take a holistic approach. It is not simply about teaching an idea, or about training people to behave in a certain way. Ministry is about using your piece of the church to build up, heal, and grow the whole person. Their hearts and souls are core to their relationship with Jesus, but so are their minds, their bodies, and all the components of their health. Ministry must encourage embodiment, mental health, emotional health, spiritual health, and move each individual towards holistic integration, as God originally designed his creations in the garden: body and soul in perfect intimacy with himself, creation, and each other.
Share with me how you deal with a fast-paced, always changing environment. Have you had this experience in a previous position?
I am a list maker. It keeps my mind free and allows me to prioritize my work. It also allows for shifts and adjustments without concern about forgetting things – I simply adjust my list and my schedule (which I also keep up to date) to make space for the new thing that needs to happen without losing track of the “backburner” or day-to-day items. I balance between paper lists and project/task management software (I currently use Airtable) to keep on top of everything when there are a lot of spinning plates. I have definitely experienced this in several of my previous positions. When I worked at an investment bank, deals could go from cold to moving quickly towards closing within a day, and any change (or potential change) in the economy, global industries, or policies could bump timelines from months to days. Most recently, in my current role, I have experienced a significant amount of change and tedious pace for the past two years. In December of 2018, the Team Captain of adult ministries announced his resignation. Over that time, we experienced nearly a year without a leader, but no diminishment in the amount of projects our team oversaw. In fact, during that two year transition (we now have a new leader and a fully staffed team), we experienced the loss of more than half of our team, launched a new ministry strategy, owned an all-church study, began the implementation of Rooted, and launched an all-church curriculum resource.
How would you evaluate systems and structures to see if there could be improvement?
Evaluating systems and structures takes several levels of stakeholder involvement. The owners and overseers of the system, process, or structure should be engaged to determine the pros and cons of the particular item being evaluated. They often are able to articulate nuances that casual users might not experience or understand. It is also helpful to engage a variety of gifting sets to have various filters assess the item. For example, if a new software is going to be launched to a ministry, it is helpful not just to engage the team that will manage it, but also IT, possibly guest services or connections, end users, and administrative staff. Finding a balance of gifting (eye for detail, an artistic type, process efficiency expert, etc) creates a robust list of pros and cons for the item in question. The most important thing to determine, before any decisions can be made around changes that do not seem simple or obvious, is to ask the question “what are we hoping to accomplish with this thing?” Once a clear vision is understood, you can make decisions around complexity, efficiency, and properly weigh pros and cons of any particular issue to determine what is worth addressing, what needs to be thrown out, what gaps exist, and what is worth leaving as-is.
What was the most creative idea you introduced in your last ministry role? What steps did you take to implement that idea?
Our current building is quite large, but many of the spaces are either multipurpose spaces or large theaters. Community Groups (our name for small groups) meet either in homes around the community, or on campus ( because of its centralized location, larger rooms, convenience, or access to childcare that is available on certain days). When groups meet on campus, they often sit in one of our multipurpose rooms around a pod of rectangular folding tables on plastic chairs. While this allows for many groups to use our building, it lacks the hospitality feel that is often a major part of group life. Our campus property also has two well-maintained double wide trailers – one that is used for furniture and equipment storage, and the other that was designed as a prayer room (similar to a church chapel) about 10 years ago. Though the prayer room was a good idea in theory, it got very little use. It often went weeks without a visitor. After checking out various spaces around the building, I identified the prayer room as the perfect space to convert to a small group meeting room. I began by taking measurements, creating mock-up floor plans, and developing a proposed budget. Then I wrote a formal CAPEX (Capital Expansion Project) proposal for our Executive Team, complete with vision, timeline, budget, and justification for the project. After several iterations of budget adjustments and discussions with other ministries around potential conflicts, the Executive Team approved the project and agreed to a $16,000 budget for me to convert the space. I ordered furniture, created a vision for a color story, usage ideas, and made a list of hospitality items that would need to be included (water cooler, keurig, cleaning supples). I worked with our Communications Team to name and brand the space “The Living Room.” When my schedule became overfull with other ministry needs, I delegated the project to one of our Administrative Assistants with the gift of hospitality. She was able to finish the furniture purchasing, coordinate the technology installation, and put on the finishing touches with plants, pictures, and accents to make it feel just like a home. The result is a 20×30 space with a dining table for groups to share a meal and three sitting areas for groups to break out for prayer or for multiple groups to share the space. Though COVID has put a damper on its use for groups at the moment (due to sanitization complications we have designated the space for staff only), it has become a prime spot for our Creative Arts team to shoot videos. COVID also made it hard for them to get into people’s homes or spaces that have a neat aesthetic, but with The Living Room’s multiple seating areas and modern design, they are able to create the same feel in their videos without complicated shoot location logistics.
How has COVID changed your approach on how to create community with the church members and nonbelievers?
COVID has shown the importance of creativity and connectedness in ministry. Though we cannot gather in traditional ways, the ability of people, when given empowerment and support, to create and maintain community has allowed us as believers to weather the storm. In my own personal community group, meetings look a lot different. Rather than follow a set curriculum and meeting structure, what has become the best way to meet the needs of the women in my group (all moms of young and elementary age children) is to simply open up a Zoom room at a set time each week and create space to share highs, lows, prayer needs, and life updates. Being able to grieve together and celebrate God’s goodness together continues to engage our hearts and aim them towards God while allowing our group to be a space where the women can simply “be.” What I have learned through interacting with nonbelievers in my community is that people are desperate to find connection and simply need to be known and heard. We have never encountered corporate trauma at this level in our lifetimes, and as a result, each person’s need for connection and atonement is peaking. By simply creating space for people to be present with each other, whether online, in person when safe and possible, or through notes, letters, and video texts (I have never used Marco Polo this much), community can be formed. Often the only people we see are those that live next door or have a pet that needs to walk at the same time as ours. Teaching our people to listen well to others allows for our people to be the shepherds of those in their community. The primary thing I have learned working in ministry during COVID is to plan everything with an open hand. There have been multiple times when the original plan needed to adjust because of a new protocol or unforeseen complication of COVID. Flexibility and the ability to pivot have become essential parts of ministry leadership.
What is your experience with creating an online weekend experience via live stream?
Though I have not personally created a weekend service, I have worked on several events that were hosted as online experiences. This July, I hosted a women’s spiritual retreat that was hosted fully online as a webinar. The retreat speaker was Sharon Garlough Brown, the author of the Sensible Shoes book series, and included teaching, guided practices, a live Q&A, and time for the women to engage in their own reflection. I acted as the webinar producer, cueing intro and break time videos, transitioning in an out of speaking sessions, and overseeing the team supporting the event. I also was the project lead on several events that were live and livestreamed, including, most recently, an all-day marriage conference that was a live event at our main campus, streamed host locations at each of our regional campuses, and an online-only livestream event.
What goals have you set in the past for your ministry area. Did you accomplish them and if so, how did you accomplish them?
Over my tenure in my ministry, I have set many goals for my ministry area, most of which came to fruition. I have created goals to redesign the flow of information on our portion of the website, create a new rhythm for ongoing leader training, and launch several all-church initiatives, such as RightNow Media, and multiple all-church studies. Most recently, I created a goal of realigning the administrative team in my ministry. In earlier iterations of our team, each pastor had their own admin, and admins supported one or two affinities each. With the new leadership of our Executive Pastor of Discipleship, who now directly oversees the Adult Ministries Team, pastoral staff was reenvisioned to better align with our new vision for ministry, which then resulted in complex administrative structures and admins that were spread too thin. Instead, the Executive Pastor of Discipleship charged me with creating a new structure for the administrative team. I wrote a strategic plan for the team, including new reporting structures, objectives for the team, and an emphasis on effectiveness, efficiency, and staff development. Since then, the new team structure has been implemented, and the new strategic plan has allowed us to have a focused plan to move forward as a team. The support is significantly easier to manage and each ministry has a clear avenue for gaining support for whatever projects they have coming. Additionally, the Administrative Assistants have already grown in their capabilities as I have challenged and supported them to learn new tasks and programs, such as our HTML email system.
What would it take to grow a successful discipleship program?
Similar to previous answers, a successful discipleship program takes multi-level support as well as holistic integration for the people within the ministry. The program needs strong leadership and well-developed leaders to sustain it and help it grow, as well as support from the larger church leadership. In order to help people understand the integrated nature of discipleship, the program should promote cross-departmental integration – ministries should not be siloed, but instead point people to the next best step for them, wherever it is in the church. Additionally, a clear vision of what it looks like to be a disciple should be taught from the stage on a regular basis as well as be woven into the ministry models across departments. The execution might be different for each ministry, but the vision and messaging should be the same. Holistic discipleship should engage all parts of people’s lives – their physical, mental, emotional, relational, and spiritual health as they move towards a life that looks more like Jesus.
Your members/guests come to church with specialized needs, different learning styles, and family stresses. Do you have a strategy to provide significant ministry to meet these needs?
As stated previously, I believe that the most unique things about each person are the most sacred things about them. That means that each person needs to be treated as a uniquely wired creation. Additionally, each person’s story matters deeply to them and to who they are. The use of story and storytelling, in small groups and Rooted, in care groups, and even within curriculum is vitally important to helping people connect to each other and to God. By offering each person safety to share their story without judgement or ridicule, the body of Christ can battle against any shame that individual may experience, name sources of pain, and identify places of glory in each person. Each person that enters the church longs for relational intimacy and to be known, and by acknowledging their uniqueness and story in community, they can be more themselves while becoming more intimately known.
Describe the diversity of some of the ministries with which you’ve worked. How did you go about learning and educating yourself in order to effectively reach your community?
Diversity is one of the places where I have less experience within ministry. My current ministry environment is in a predominantly white, upper-middle class suburb, and the congregation reflects this same demographic. The desire to become a more ethnically diverse community is on the forefront of leadership’s mind and we are working towards that diversity as a staff, but moving towards diversity is often a long, intentional process of leading through modeling. Where I do have more experience is in the community in which I live. I live in Elgin, in a neighborhood where our nearest school is 60% ESL. Our neighbors are a melting pot of diversity – those next door on either side are Spanish-speaking immigrants, and our son’s nearest playmate has same-sex transgender parents. What I have learned is that listening is more important than talking, and a meal is an open door to nearly everyone. I have learned to live as a guest in my own neighborhood, being gracious and curious to those around me, offering to serve in the community, and trying to say yes to invitations as often as possible (though COVID has made connection more complicated). I have also begun participating in online webinars hosted by the African American Advisory Council to better understand the African American experience and contend with my own subconscious biases and assumptions. I would love to learn Spanish in order to connect with my community more effectively, but given my recent life season as a graduate student, small steps are sometimes all we can take.
Is there a process that you go through when choosing a platform for curriculum choices?
This is often specific to the need for the curriculum. As it relates to technological platforms, I would identify the goal of the platform (accessibility, ease of use, special functionality) and test run options and have others test it as well to ensure it does what we are looking to do. As for curriculum selection, there is a lot out there. Often, it helps to identify specific authors and publishing houses and then use literature reviews and high-level assessment to identify a good diverse offering for people. If something is going to be implemented on a large scale (all-church or core curriculum), then deeper evaluation is necessary.
What have you done in the past to ensure your church has a safe environment, including emergency procedures.
I have been blessed to work in a church that has a full safety and security team to develop protocols and create safety systems in our building to serve as a baseline for each ministry. As the person who often serves as project lead on ministry events, however, my role has been to communicate with building services to ensure doors are locked and unlocked appropriately, the space is clean and clear of any potential hazards, and for larger events ensure there is onsite security. Knowing the building floorplan is important for the entire staff as well. Recently during a work day, there was a major storm coming and the tornado sirens went off. I was able to walk in the hall and direct those in the offices around me where the nearest tornado shelter was (they are marked above specific rooms around the building). COVID has also created a new normal for safety protocols. For in-person gathered events, I created processes for ensuring no-contact distribution of items, such as pre-stuffing large envelopes with any needed materials (including handouts, nametags and pens) for each attendee, setting up spaces for social distancing, communicating in advance the expectations and guidelines for COVID protocols for attendees, and coordinating for sealed, pre-packaged meals when food was offered at outdoor events.
How would you describe the ideal relationship between senior/lead pastor and discipleship pastor?
I believe the relationship should be collaborative. Ultimately, the senior/lead pastor is the leader of the church, but that leader’s decisions shouldn’t take place in a vacuum. The senior/lead pastor should collaborate with their ministry leaders to create an integrated, cohesive vision for the church as a whole. The discipleship pastor should have flexibility in implementation once vision and goals are aligned through collaboration.

References

Rob Barr || (312) 580-8328 || rbarr@lincolninternational.com
Lil Hager || (708) 446-6549 || lil.hager@yahoo.com
Dave Sanders || (331) 901-3808 || dsanders@judsonu.edu
Dan Dzikowicz || (978) 387-8882 || dandz@me.com

Favorite Bible Story

The story of The Woman at the Well

Favorite Scripture

Psalm 103:14