The 801South staff team grew this summer and I’m full of anticipation for what these hires mean for the future. As the opportunity to bring more staff on board (due to some transitioning and restructuring) became apparent, I wanted to pay special attention to hiring around our values. Many times organizations will hire according to their perceived needs; which can be a mistake. I’m particularly excited about our most recent hires for two reasons. First of all, I’m excited because of who they are and what they stand for. Secondly, I’m excited about the way they came into these positions.
The most important value we strive to embody is community. We want to see people connected in new relationships—both to Jesus and with one another—through intentional community. This is why small groups are a big deal, which serve as the primary behavioral pattern to match this value. The second most important value is growth. We want to see people grow in their character and competency as followers of Jesus. Leaders grow leaders. This is exactly what happened in the case of our two most recent hires.
Molly Joyner has been with 801South since the beginning and her family has been one of the most devoted families to the mission of 801South. She has led small groups and has been effective in designing and executing opportunities for people to serve our local community as a volunteer. Her passion for creating community and serving our surrounding community has led to her staff position as Community Director.
Natalie Davies also recently made the transition from key volunteer to staff. I’m particularly excited about Natalie joining the staff team because she brings quality corporate retail experience. She too has demonstrated a passionate commitment to the mission of 801South (inviting people into the story of Jesus). Unlike many of us who have been professional Christians (i.e. church staff) for a long time, Natalie still has close relationships with many people who do not follow Jesus. These relationships remind her of the need to be inviting people into the story of Jesus and fuels her passion for the mission of the church. Prior to joining the staff, Natalie was apprenticing up to three people at the same time as a volunteer. As I’ve stated already, leaders grow leaders.
The manner in which Molly and Natalie have come on staff is exactly what I have hoped for from the beginning…rather than trying to discern a felt need, posting a description on job websites, going through dozens of applications followed by interviews, hoping that the individual will be a “good fit,” and trying to avoid falling into a bad hire. Instead there is a proven track record of leadership development and commitment to the mission for both Molly and Natalie. I never have to question their initiative. I never have to question their passion. I never have to convince them why. I have already witnessed them lending their gifts, talents and resources to further the mission. As a team, we will debate about the how, but never the why.
801South is in great hands under the leadership of our current Operational Team; which includes Ryan Devenney and Nick Hunter. The team has been working hard to prepare for expansion as we head into the fall. Join me in believing God for more changed hearts and lives through the environments of 801South.