Five Questions With
Who is Jenni Catron?
Jenni’s passion is to lead well and to inspire, equip and encourage others to do the same. She speaks at conferences and churches nationwide, seeking to help others develop their leadership gifts and lead confidently in the different spheres of influence God has granted them. Jenni blogs at www.jennicatron.com and contributes to a number of other online publications including churchleader.com and catalystspace.com. Outreach Magazine has recognized Jenni as one of the 30 emerging influencers reshaping church leadership and she has been featured in Church Executive magazine as well. Most recently she served for nine years as the Executive Director of Cross Point Church in Nashville, TN, where she led the staff and supervised the ministry of its five campuses.
1. You are a person that wears many hats – one being “author”. Tell me about your most recent book Clout. Why did you write it and what do you hope to achieve with it ?
Clout expresses my heart for helping leaders understand the significance of their influence. I believe each of us are designed to impact the world in a way that no one else can. That’s our “clout.” But so often we become derailed by distractions or fears. Clout is all about helping leaders lead themselves well so that they can lead others better.
2. Before leaving Cross Point, you supervised the renovation of a 120,000 SF warehouse into the Nashville campus. As the Church’s point of contact for the project, how did you see the construction process impact the ministry of the Church from start to finish?
I probably need an entire book to answer that question. 🙂 Perhaps the most consistent theme from beginning to end was that the process of design and construction challenged us to consider why we did everything we did. From color choices to size of rooms to placement of chairs, we were forced to consider if the way we designed the space would best help accomplish the vision. The process stimulated valuable conversations and led to greater clarity for us as an organization.
3. You actually started your career in the music industry. How has that experience impacted your current ministry?
My career in the music industry was an incredibly valuable training ground for both my personal and professional development. I grew tremendously as a leader and also learned how healthy organizations operate. I was privileged in those early days of my career to be mentored by great leaders who saw my raw leadership gifts and gave me opportunities to develop them. When I moved into ministry, I had a great foundation to build upon.
4. Creativity is a common theme in everything from writing a book to designing a building. What are some things you do to get into the creative mode?
The quickest way for me to stimulate creativity is to change my environment or routine. I’m a huge advocate of systems and routine for the everyday things in life, but when I need to be creative I have to change things up. Sometimes it’s going for a run in a scenic place like the beach or the mountains. Sometimes it’s going to a different coffee shop. When I’m under a serious writing deadline, I will go out of town for a day or two to completely change my surroundings.
5. What is the one piece of advice you would offer to a Church staff member that is about to start a building project?
Keep the ministry the goal of the project. If you’re not careful, the building can become your goal rather than the building being a tool to accomplish your goal. Pace yourself. These projects are long and time-consuming. Be patient with the process and fight to keep the majority of your time focused on ministry.
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