Danny and Jamie are the lead pastors of a new church in Spokane Valley. While Sun City Church doesn’t officially start services until January 18th, the two of them have been busy at work getting the word out about Sun City and jump starting a new community. Danny did an interview with us a couple of weeks ago and this time Jamie is answering a few questions.
Jamie, you seem very involved in Sun City Church. Can you elaborate for us about your role as a church planter?
My husband and I have always ministered side by side. I am passionate about leadership, the church, and helping people in their relationship with God. From the early days of our relationship, we have been leading, preaching, and paving the way in ministry together. Of course, the way that I have been involved has changed a lot over the years. Being a mom of 3 kids keeps me busy so ministry has had to take the back burner many times so that I could focus on them. Thankfully, Danny has always been really supportive of me and is usually the one pushing me to cultivate my gifts and use them in a way that blesses others.
That is kind of the long answer. What am I doing now? A little of everything. Danny and I discuss most things. We love strategizing together and really appreciate the varying strengths that each of us brings to the table. That being said, I am most involved in communications right now. I write a lot of the content we use, create the posts we use on social media, and make the plans for how we communicate who we are and what we are doing with the Spokane community.
So what do you do in your free time? Or does that exist?
Ha ha! I definitely have free time…I have to or I would go crazy. My favorite things to do in our downtime is to read, bake, get outdoors with our kids and do something fun. Honestly, I am pretty simple to please. If Danny is playing in the other room with the kids, I could be doing anything and listening to them playing in the background and it would be relaxing for me (even laundry.)
Tell us about this season. Is it stressful, fun, crazy?
All of those. It is definitely stressful sometimes. Danny and I half laugh about how life can be so calm and the house totally clean and 2 seconds later, it is exactly the opposite. Things are happening fast in our world and that can be really overwhelming. But I am also really enjoying it. Maybe you could compare it to training for a marathon and while it is hard and stretching, it also feels really great to be moving toward your goal and accomplishing something. Donna Lasit, a church planter in Denver, gave me some great advice one time that I have kept close in this season. She said, “Whatever you are doing, be fully present.” Meaning, if I am with my kids, be all there. If I am working on Sun City Church, be completely focused on that and don’t spend half of my energy regretting that I am not with my kids. That advice has been really helpful for my sanity and I think it has also been helpful for my kids in this transition.
Speaking of your kids, how are they doing with all of this?
They love it! That has been such an amazing part of all of this. From day one, our kids were over the top enthusiastic about Sun City Church. Actually, they immediately volunteered to become the Kid’s pastors. It has been so cute to listen to them talking about how to help other kids feel welcome in our new church and what they want to do as part of Sun City Kids.
Sometimes they get a little sad about their friends back home or they miss our old house. We talk about the things we loved in our last season together and then we find new things we love about this season. Danny and I have let them do things like build individual forts in our living room that have, so far, been permanent. That might sound crazy to some people, but we know that we are all in this together and all of us need to help each other transition into this new season well.
How has it been moving to a new city? Are you liking it in Spokane?
I love Spokane! There is this little fear in the back of your head, “What if you pick up everything and move and then don’t even like it?” So, I am so happy to say that I really love this city. My childhood was spent in the mountains, so I feel very much at home among Evergreens and the cool, fresh air. This is a beautiful place to live.
Beyond the scenery, though, I have felt so welcomed by the community here. I keep telling Danny, “This has to be the friendliest place I have ever been.” Everywhere I go, it seems like the normal thing to do to stop and have a conversation with someone, even if you are total strangers. Spokane has a culture of hospitality and generosity that I think a lot of people miss because they are focused on other things. So, I am really excited to be living here and building a church here.
What are you most excited about for Sun City Church?
Gosh, so much. I love dreaming about what God could do through a people who open their hearts and hands to let Him minister through us. If I had to narrow it down to just one thing, I would say that it is to see my kids be a part of the story God is writing here. Seeing them be excited about helping people, learn their gifts, and start using them to bless others is just so beautiful. And I know there are a lot of parents out there that are going to be able to stand alongside of me and experience that same blessing and that is just overwhelmingly amazing to me.
You mentioned you like to read, who are some of your favorite authors?
I really love reading Mark Batterson’s books. He is coming out with a kid’s book soon that I am looking forward to reading to my kids (we like to read together before they go to bed.) Bo Stern is also a favorite. Danny and I had the opportunity to minister under her and her husband when we were in Bend, Oregon, and I have always loved her writing. And I would have to say Christine Caine. Her and her husband inspire me in a lot of ways, especially because they minister side by side and are making a huge difference doing it.
Last question, who is your favorite preacher?
Hands down….my husband. And I am not just saying that because I am married to him. I genuinely love to listen to my husband preach and am always inspired and challenged. Perhaps there are some wives out there that get tired of listening to their husbands preach. Not me! January 18th can’t get here fast enough for me because I am anxious for him to get back in the pulpit.