Thank you to the 1,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 questions!
I hope reading
7 Questions with Kate Thoelke
helps you in your leadership.
7 Questions with Kate Thoelke
Name: Kate Thoelke
Current title: Principal/Teacher
Current organisation: St. Paul Lutheran Church
Serving as principal and serving as K-2 core subjects teacher for the last four years, I continue in service to the church. I have served as a teacher and music director for Lutheran churches and schools since 1996.
1. What have you found most challenging as a church leader?
Vision being in concert with the others in lay leadership.
2. How did you become a church leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
God called me to serve the church as a teenager. I answered that call by attending a university of my church body to be trained and have answered the call by serving each and every day in the church.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I am up around 5:45 am each morning. After showering and dressing, my family meets around the table for our family devotion. I am off to church where I prepare my classroom for my students. I pray with our staff and then welcome our students into the school. We say the pledge and then lead our scholars to chapel each day. I spend the day guiding scholars, teachers, and parents in the education of our children. We close in prayer at 3pm and dismiss students, I then clean up the classroom and my office preparing for the next day. Upon my return home, I generally prepare dinner for my family, perhaps attend a meeting at church. My husband and I find our way to bed around 8:30 pm.
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?
Recently I read How Ike Led about President Eisenhower written by his granddaughter. Learning how he kept his anger in check was helpful to remind me of the importance to keep focus on Christ and serving His people instead of my emotions ruling.
5. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
Serving others is far more important than serving myself. I need not find ways to elevate myself. Elevating others is far more satisfying,
6. How do you develop a healthy leadership pipeline in a church?
I constantly look for ways to support our teachers and workers. Keeping the focus off myself allows me to fulfill my calling as servant to all.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a church leader so far?
Reading the Bible story to my students about how Jesus Loves the children, I use this opportunity to speak to each child, and tell each of them that Jesus loves them, but naming each by name. It is a joy to see their eyes light up at that truth. I am reminded of how Christ loves all of His children. They cannot but spontaneously proclaim that same truth to me. They will continue to share that truth with others. What an amazing joy to share the love of Christ each day!