For some reason, I was struck with how fortunate I am to have crossed paths with the talent and heart that surrounds me. And all the more fortuitous is the honor I have to do what I love for my livelihood. My joy is my job. My vocation is my vacation. How many could say that?
Getting back to the people that I work with...these are special people.
Our Children's Ministry is led by Andrea Struckmeyer. She is a gifted writer, actor, speaker, artist and visionary. Kidzone is a full-fledged hour and fifteen minute program every week of the highest caliber. Games, Work stations, Drama's, Music, Art, Breakout groups, Snacks, Hand-on learning, Videos, and teaching pulled off by over a hundred volunteers and leaders is a sight to behold. It's like Disney land every week for infants to 5th graders. It is probably the single greatest attraction to our church for families. We are blessed.
Our Student Ministry is led by Jon Bell. He is new to the staff and is bringing such fresh energy to our body! The student ministry is exploding with growth this fall going from a little over 40 the first week to almost 100 the last 2 weeks! Wed. nights are filled with a live student band rockin' out Worship tunes, Funny Youtube clips, Dancing, Crazy games, Small group breakouts, Food, Octoball, Video Games, and Energetic Teaching! What a great job he's doing and what a genuine heart he possesses! It's great to have his family in our humble little town!
Our Community Life Ministry is led by another newbie on our paid staff, well, not so new to Impact, but a new position to backfill Bruce's position upon his departure. Bonnie is a part-time lawyer as well as a part-time staff member of Impact working with connections, communications, community, and culture. She is overseeing EMT and Life Groups and anything that has to do with community life. She knows how to network with the best of them and has a knack for pulling people together. It never hurts to have a lawyer on your leadership team, especially when you're being led by an accident prone lead pastor formerly called Dennis the Menace in his childhood. What a blessing Bonnie has been since the inception of Impact 8 years ago and how fortunate we are to have her join the team in a higher capacity to see the movement surge forward! I love the Davis' family!
Our Reach Ministry is led by a retired pastor by the name of Gene Beerens. He came out of retirement to put his neck out there for the kingdom and for the vision of Impact. He receives no paycheck and yet serves our body each week with passion and purpose making sure broken people are welcomed in and given an opportunity to find healing. He is a sage and a mentor for our staff as well as our body as a whole. What a gifted thinking and activist he is and we are blessed to have his seasoned presence on our team! Fortunate beyond words.
Our Missional Ministry is led by a retired business man named Ted Cox. He also has come out of retirement to serve the kingdom and has a unique vision of banding people together to "love their neighbors". After years of just doing church, he was moved by God to "be the church" in his neighborhood, taking the gospel to the streets so to speak. He is getting a number of people in our body to reconsider the kingdom and to wonder about how God is wanting to use them in their jobs, volunteering roles in the community, and in their neighborhoods. It's grassroots and organic. He's been such a powerful addition to the team this past year...we are blessed!
Our Church Planting Ministry is led by none other than Phil Struckmeyer, the original church planter of Impact back in 2003. He is always on the move and is often referred to as the apostle of Impact. He travels thousands of miles a week visiting churches and supporting church planters and church plants with the sweat of his brow and the beating of his heart. He is a visionary, dreamer, strategist, cultural architect, and pastor of pastors. I've never met anyone else with the humility and passion he possesses for his calling. He keeps the movement alive.
Our Tech and Programming Ministry is led by the prodigy, Dave VanKeulen. He has been on board at Impact since he was 16 years old and is a brainiac of all things technological. But he is not a techie nerd in the full sense of the word. He is the rare blend of tech savvy and emotionally intelligent. His eye for atmosphere and his ear for live sound is stellar. His attention to detail and his pulse for programmatic excellence is unparalleled. There is no way we should have someone of his caliber in the sticks of Lowell, but because we caught him early and because God is shining his face on Impact, we have been blessed beyond measure. What a gift to our body Dave is!
Our Worship Arts Ministry is led by Ryder Jones, who plays the electric guitar like he's taking a walk in the park. He composes music, writes songs, plays with a variety of bands at local venues and clubs, was the lead guitarist on Shawn McDonald's last album, leads worship with a rabid and raw heart that ushers people into God's presence, and leads our artists with a personal and professional care that is respectable and noble. His humility is extraordinary and his musical giftedness is renowned in the Grand Rapids area. What a great heart and what a generous gift of God!
Our Administration Ministry is held together by Tara Grizzel, a new member of the team. In a matter of a few short months she has organized and orchestrated several delayed initiatives bringing joy and passion to the details of administration which can often be dry and lifeless. She is a go-getter, holding my feet to the fire and making everyone accountable to follow through with their duties. She is responsible, faithful and dependable. She is a great proactive thinker. Her intuition and initiative has been a breath of fresh air and her work ethic is matchless. What a great addition to an already great team!
Our Kid's Administrator is Chas Symanski, the co-leader of Kid's Hope and the right-hand "woman" of Andrea in KidZone. She is a details oriented, task-driven, organizer of all things children and has a passion for our church and community when it comes to youth. She will be working on our new website to keep it updated and clean, taking our ministry to new levels of excellence in the coming days! What a blessing her presence has been this year!
Our Frontline Ministry has been led by Deb and Dick Frisbe, another retired couple that have devoted so much time and energy to Impact it might as well have been a full-time job the last 5 years! They lead a huge team of people who make sure everyone coming to Impact has a great first impression and a healthy connection to our culture. They are transitioning out of that leadership role and we are excited to see who comes in and builds on the foundation that they have laid! What a blessing the Frisbe's have been to our body!
Our Cleaning Ministry is led by Karen Pedley. She volunteers countless hours every week making sure our building is spotless and our volunteers are coordinated each weekend. You cannot believe the amount of meticulous energy she pours into the cleanliness of our facility, down on her knees cleaning the base boards, scrubbing toilets, dusting, cleaning windows, sanitizing toys and chairs, vacuuming floors, mopping halls, etc. She and her team don't ask for a dime, they serve sacrificially every week and God pays them with attention. There's no pay like God paying attention! I love her servant's heart!
Our Buildings and Grounds ministry is lead by Cy Floyd and his faithful sidekicks The Grieves father and son duo, Mark and Mitch. Cy is always rallying guys together to pull off last minute projects and much needed renovations or restorations. Things are constantly needing fixing and Cy and the boys are on it like stink on a monkey. Cy is a retired business man who is used to leading hundreds of people to carry out responsibilities. I can't tell you how much I appreciate his leadership at Impact and his stubborn refusal to retire from God's work!
Our Finance Ministry is led by Lori Floyd who has been laboring over our books for over 7 long years. She spends almost 20 hours a week making sure everything is squaring up in the budget and bills are paid. She is so gifted at organizing our finances and even more importantly our fiscal vision which is unlike any fiscal vision I've every encountered. The audacious goals and the risks taken to make sure we stay on the cutting edge of the kingdom would probably cause most people to quit, but she just smiles and pressing forward. I love her sacrificial passion and protection of our ministry. Where would we be without her stabilizing heart behind the scenes! Probably in jail!
Our ministry is also held together with several support staff serving in a cornucopia of capacities. Anything from putting together powerpoint presentations, to locking up the doors at night and turning off the heat, to being a mayor in Kidtown, or a KZ host in Kidzone, the babysitting for Life Groups, etc. The endless volunteers that serve under our leadership range in the the 200-300 range. We couldn't do it without all of these committed Christ-followers. From those hosting and facilitating Life Groups to those heading up the Men's and Women's ministries to those serving as mentors in the Recovery ministries to those rallying people together for the Prayer Ministry, to those leading and serving on the Frontline ministry, to our Leadership Accountability Team who superintend the goings on of Impact...it's a collaborative effort that couldn't be pulled off without everyone pulling their weight for the glory of God.
I just felt it was time to give honor where honor is due. The ministry of Impact is a complex mixture of ministry with so many layers of leadership it would take me hours to explain to you the well-oiled machine it is. Suffice it to say, that it is an honor to lead and serve along side such gifted and godly people and I hope this team stays together for many years to come.
Here's to a great end to this year and an explosive start to the next!
Bring on 2012!