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7 Questions with Amanda Saenz
helps you in your leadership.
7 Questions with Amanda Saenz
Name: Amanda Saenz
Current title: Pastor
Current organisation: CityLife Church
Amanda has served the local church in various staffed leadership roles for over 8 years. Through each role, it is clear that Amanda is passionate about seeing the church be a movement of fully alive Jesus Christ followers who have an understanding of the role they fill in bringing heaven to earth. Amanda is driven to see Christians be the church 7 days a week in whatever context God has them and bring the hands and feet of Jesus to whoever they meet. With a clear understanding of the love and acceptance given to her by Jesus, she desires to see the church help others experience that same love and acceptance Christ gives us.
Most importantly, she is wife to the most beautiful human being, Will, and mother of the most ridiculously adorable little boys, Jai (5) and Asher (3). It's at home that Amanda believes that ministry first starts.
1. What have you found most challenging as a church leader?
Being completely honest - Remembering to hold people loosely to however long or short they might journey with us and our community for. We invest so much into people's personal journey that it can be challenging to remember that we are investing into the kingdom when we invest into the individual.
2. How did you become a church leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
I was in Year 11 and my youth pastor at the time saw the potential in me. She took time to not only share with me what she saw in me on a regular basis but provide opportunities for me to get more involved and to use my leadership gift to bless others. She mentored me and regularly took time to disciple and invest into me.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I always start the day by doing a prayer walk around my neighbourhood with my dog or listening to worship music/podcast as I get ready for the day. The rest of the day is a mix of school pick up/drop off, activities with my 3 year old, phone calls, emails, catch ups etc. I aim to have a healthy rhythm and balance in each day of work/family but if I'm being honest, I don't always succeed. I always finish the day in reading and/or prayer, especially if I have done pastoral visits.
4. What's one book apart from the Bible that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
Hero Maker by Dave Fergusson is a more recent book that has impacted my leadership. I read it after being recommended by a pastor friend and through the book's practical tools and everyday language, I have found it easy to then walk through with the whole leadership team. The book provided many light bulb moments for every individual leader, regardless of how many years of leadership they have been doing. It has been catalytic to helping us become a reproducing and multiplying leadership model. I found it helped our leadership team to see the opportunities to elevate others and help them to be all God has designed and gifted them to be.
5. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
I would say I am still learning (and hope to always be learning) the art of leading inwards (myself), outwards (others), and upwards (those in leadership over me) well.
6. How do you develop a healthy leadership pipeline in a church?
Empower others to be identifying and raising up leaders too. The responsibility is not only ours to 'equip and release the saints'.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a church leader so far?
As a young youth leader I spent countless hours driving this one particular young man and his friends home after a late night packing up. He was from a non-christian home and was looking for a community. I spent countless hours at Maccas investing into him and discipling him and his friends creating community. Fast forward four years and I stepped out of my youth pastor role to take another role but often thought of and prayed for this one particular young man. 10 years passed and I stepped into another church leadership role at the same church only to discover he was now on staff and was instrumental to getting our church online during COVID-19. This is a beautiful story that often reminds me to take time and slow down enough to see the needs and invest into the individual.
What's one question you'd love to ask other leaders in our audience to generate discussion about leadership? Eg. 'How do you do difficult conversations well?', or 'What's one tip for leading a remote online team?'
What do you want your leadership legacy to be and why?