I consider Jenni Catron a friend and ministry partner. Jenni serves as the Executive Director at Crosspoint Church in Nashville. The church’s proximity to our church helps me learn from their success. Jenni is a hard-working, genuine leader. I love the transparency she shares through her blog and the intentionality she brings to her ministry. I am fully convinced that much of the success of Crosspoint is due to Jenni’s leadership. You can follow Jenni on Twitter also.
Here are 10 questions with leader Jenni Catron:
When you were growing up, is this what you thought you would be doing vocationally? If not, what did you want to do?
I grew up attending very small rural churches so the idea of a role like the one I serve in now never even occurred to me. I thought people who worked in church were either pastors or secretaries. While I was very involved as a volunteer doing everything from leading worship to running the children’s ministry to speaking at youth group, it didn’t occur to me to pursue ministry vocationally.
I actually had my sights set on the music business. I think somewhere around middle school I learned about the Christian music business and I started pursuing a career in that industry.
What’s the most different job you’ve had from what you are doing now and how did that job help you with what you are doing now?
When I was 15 I applied for my very first job at our local ice cream shop. The owner of the store really took me under her wing and gave me huge opportunities and responsibilities. By 16 I was named manager of the store and directly managed 3 other employees. Little did I know the leadership and management lessons I was learning with that opportunity. I’m incredibly grateful to Bonnie who invested in me in a huge way!
Who is one person, besides Christ, who most helped to shape your leadership and how did they help you?
I’ve been privileged to work with some amazing leaders both in the music business and in my role at Cross Point, but one of the greatest leadership influences for me has been my friend Kat. Kat and I were in our early twenties working together at ForeFront Records. Both of us recognized our need to develop as leaders and so we started meeting every Friday for lunch to read and discuss various leadership books. Those lunches were instrumental in helping me process my leadership strengths and weaknesses.
Besides the Bible, what is one book that has most helped to shape your thought process in life and ministry?
The first book that Kat and I discussed together was John C. Maxwell’s book “The 21 Most Powerful Minutes in a Leader’s Day”. This book is still one of my favorite leadership books.
What are three words other people would use to describe your work style/ethic?
What is your greatest strength in leadership?
Oh man, this is a tough one. I think my strength in leadership is in my ability to “put feet to vision”. I’m a second chair leader. I think I’m at my best when I’m working alongside a visionary leader and helping that person put structure and plan around the vision.
What is your greatest weakness in leadership?
My greatest weakness is my impatience. My driven/focused nature causes me to move fast – oftentimes so fast that I forget to engage the people around me. I can easily put task before people and I have to constantly evaluate how I’m doing in this area.
What is the hardest thing you have to do in leadership?
The hardest thing I have to do in leadership is self-management. There is always another email to respond to, another task on the to do list, another conversation to have, another blog post to write, another event to plan, etc. Giving myself permission to disconnect and rejuvenate is very difficult for me.
What is one misconception about your position you think people in your church may have?
That’s a great question. I think sometimes people assume I only care about numbers, systems, details – the business of the church. I love ministry. I love seeing life change. I love knowing that by helping us steward our resources, people, facilities, etc I’m helping to create environments that allow ministry and life change to happen.
If you could give one piece of advice to young leaders from what you’ve learned by experience, what would it be?
I would encourage young leaders to seize the moment, whatever situation you are in. If you don’t feel like you have the leadership responsibilities that you would like, take the time to evaluate, study and learn from the leaders around you. Take notes on every leadership situation you observe. Someday you’ll be in the same situation. Leadership is a journey. Make it a point to learn every step of the way!
Thanks Jenni for your work and ministry and for sharing from your experience.
Who else should I attempt to interview?