Thrive
Podcast

Overview

Heidy Jo Tandy joins me on the Thrive with Asbury Seminary Podcast today. Heidy leads with Stadia as the Associate Director of Bloom. She and her husband Josh planted Movement Church in Newport, Ky. in 2014. We talk about her story, church planting, finding your identity in Christ as your ultimate descriptor, her work with Bloom, how to find a good mentor, and how you can take the next step in your faith journey.

Let’s listen!

Heidy Jo Tandy, Associate Director of Bloom

Heidy helps empower women to thrive in all areas of church planting. Prior to church planting and her role in Bloom, Heidy worked for 10 years in Leadership Development and Higher Education. She and her husband Josh planted Movement Church in Newport, Ky. in March 2014 and have two amazing kiddos, Isaac and Clara Jo. Heidy is also passionate about storytelling and making any event or activity just a little more fun.

Heidi Wilcox, host of the Thrive Podcast

Writer, podcaster, and social media manager, Heidi Wilcox shares stories of truth, justice, healing and hope. She is best known as the host of Spotlight, (especially her blooper reel) highlighting news, events, culturally relevant topics and stories of the ways alumni, current students and faculty are attempting something big for God. If you can’t find her, she’s probably cheering on her Kentucky Wildcats, enjoying a cup of coffee, reading or spending time with her husband, Wes.



Transcript

Heidi E. Wilcox:
Hey everyone. Welcome to this week’s episode of The Thrive with Asbury Seminary podcast. I’m your host, Heidi E. Wilcox, bringing you conversations with authors, thought leaders, and people just like you, who are looking to connect where your passion meets the world’s deep needs. Today on the podcast I get to talk to Heidy Jo Tandy. So you have two Heidi’s talking to each other today. So that’s pretty awesome in and of itself. But Heidy and her husband planted Movement Church in Newport, Kentucky in 2014. Heidy also leads with Stadia as the Associate Director of Bloom.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
So on the podcast today, we talk about all of those things. Plus we talk about finding your identity in Christ as your ultimate descriptor, and her new book Named and Known, which you’ll want to be sure to grab a copy of that. So I hope you enjoy today’s conversation with Heidy, let’s listen.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
So Heidy, I’m really excited to get to talk to you today. You have a great name.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
That’s true. So do you, so do you.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
I don’t know if I’ve ever had a conversation with another Heidy before.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
Yeah. It is a rare name out there. Heidy was actually my mom’s maiden name.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
Really?

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
Yeah. So that’s why I spell it with a Y. And so my mom was Patricia Heidy, and now I’m Heidy Tandy.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
I love that. I love that.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
Yeah.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
My name has no family significance, my parents just liked the name. Yeah. Yeah. Well, I’m really grateful that you could be here today, and I’m looking forward to learning more about your story and your work with Bloom.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
Yeah, thank you for having me.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
Yeah. So let’s get started. You worked for 10 years in the leadership development in higher education. So how did you know that you were called to plant a church?

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
Yeah, I was thinking about this question on the way here this morning, and I think knowing that I was going to plant a church, it was sort of more of a slow process. So there wasn’t just one moment where I was like, “God, we’re planting a church. We’re going to do it.” But I really believe that He has been or had been, crafting that part of my story, and my husband’s story for a really long time. And so we always knew in college that we were called to vocational ministry together, but we weren’t exactly sure what that looked like.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
And so we did four years in youth ministry at a church in Central Illinois, that was an incredible experience. And about three years in, we were sitting on the couch, and were exploring what kind of the next step for us was going to look like. And we had met with a career counselor, and the career counselor told my husband Josh, that she thought that his gift makeup would be a good mix for church planting. And at that point I was very much like, thanks but no thanks. Like, I’m not going to do that.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
I mean, we’re called to the church, we’re called to vocational ministry, but we’re not going to plant a church. We’re not going to do that. At the time I was finishing up a master’s degree in higher education, and so looking to work with college students in leadership development. And a year after that he got a job at another church and finished his master’s work, and I kind of got the dream job of my 20s as a hall director at my alma mater. And we worked at a really great church for another four years, and in that time a lot more seeds began to be planted about church planting, and we went to an assessment and that was affirmed and planted our church Movement Church in Newport, Kentucky in March of 2014.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
Wow. So what changed your mind? Because you were like, “No.” And I know I’ve been kind of like, “No.”

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
Yeah. I think that confidence came little by little, and the phrase that my husband and I use a lot is confidence in our calling. And it just became a confidence thing. Like God had really made it pretty clear to us that that was the next step. There’s a line in church planting. I really don’t like it when people say this, but I will say it anyway. They say like, “If you can do anything else, don’t plant a church.”

Heidi E. Wilcox:
That’s not very encouraging. Right?

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
It’s not encouraging at all, right? Like I’m a natural sort of positive person. Encourage your heart. And so I really don’t love that line. But in our story, it is really true. I think we were at a healthy church. We loved the church that we were at for four years and we lived Northside of Indianapolis. I really liked my job, and I was at IPUI in Indianapolis, the large public university there. And yet we couldn’t ignore that calling anymore, and it would have been safer to stay where we were. It would’ve been more comfortable. But we knew that God had called us to plant a church and eventually that aligned to plant a church in Northern Kentucky.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
Yeah. I’m curious how you knew, because you said it was multiple things and I guess in my own life sometimes I’m like, “How do I know not just kind of what I want or I don’t want? Like this is clear, and for sure from God.”

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
Yeah. I think it came a lot through the Holy Spirit working in other people to affirm that in us. We actually were going to plant a church on the Southside of Indianapolis and that felt like a really kind of safe move for us. That’s where my husband’s family is from and that’s initially where we wanted to plant. And I actually think that if we wouldn’t have initially thought Southside of Indianapolis, I’m not sure we would have planted. But there were some doors that were slammed shut and that’s cliche, but we just couldn’t get kind of our initial plans off the ground. And so then began partnering with Stadia, which is the organization that we partnered with to launch Movement Church.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
And there were some groups of people that were ready to go in the Northern Kentucky area. And we came down and absolutely felt peace in our spirits about being in Northern Kentucky. We had never been there. We had never felt like “Oh, Northern Kentucky is a place for us,” before we went down there. But we did have a confidence that we were, and are Midwest people, right? Like there was a lot of folks at that time, there were some openings at plants in like California and some other really beautiful places, but we just knew God, you’ve created us. Our background is in the Midwest. We are here, we speak Midwest. And there’s a need for more churches everywhere, including the Midwest.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
And so that was another confidence in our calling piece, and my family is from a Northeast Ohio. And so we knew that demographically and as a family on mission that we wanted the ability for our families to be involved in our kids’ lives.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
Yeah, for sure.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
And that’s just another little practical thing that was important to us.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
No, but that makes sense. Because it sounds like, what you were feeling and kind of the desires that God was putting on your heart, kind of aligned with what the community around you was saying to you. Like the assessment that you mentioned and just some of the other affirmations that you talked about.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
Absolutely. And I don’t believe that God is a treasure hunt God, right? Like I think that there’s a lot of right choices for us, in any given day or situation. And I think He didn’t want us to just pick the perfect thing, and if we didn’t pick the perfect thing, it would be wrong.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
Right.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
I think He had a story that was even bigger than us, that He was writing, and we just get to be part of following Him in Northern Kentucky and I love that part of life.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
Yes. Tell me about planting Movement Church.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
Yeah. So there’s this restaurant in Newport, it’s called Pompilios. And it was in the movie Rain Man.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
Oh wow.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
And so the night after we launched our church, our first prelaunch service actually, my parents were in town and they took our son at the time or one kid, and we sat at Pompilios, and looked across the table at each other, and we were like, “What are we doing?” Nothing went wrong really at the previous service. It was just so many emotions and feelings go into that first sort of public gathering.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
For sure.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
And we call it the adventure of our lives. And that moment it felt like, “Oh man, what is happening?” But really it has been the adventure of our life. So we moved in July of 2013, bought a house, and kind of got boots on the ground and built our launch team just in our homes, some really incredible community moments in our home. Just getting to know people and like consistently putting ourselves out there, which is a lot.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
Yeah. So you started in your house. How many people did you have?

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
So our first Movement Church kind of info session meeting had three people.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
Wow.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
Three people, plus my husband and I. So there were five of us and just talking about our heart for the church, and our heart for planting a church for people that aren’t part of a church, or that have kind of walked away from the church, that is a huge part of what our heart for people is. Northern Kentucky is a really interesting area in terms of, we’re 60% German-Catholic. And there’s also some really large established churches in the area that are doing great work for the kingdom. At the same time, there’s been some pretty public church failings over the last 25 years that had been really hard for the community, and so building trust has been really important to us.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
And starting small was I think tricky at times, but also just showing up week after week for people has proved to be a really important part of our story. And just being able to say, “We’re still going to be here in five years, and we want to plant one church that makes a legacy impact, not just plant one church and then go and plant another one and go and plant another one.”

Heidi E. Wilcox:
Right. Like you’re here.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
We’re here. The line that we’ve always said is: “We want our kids to graduate from school here. We want to plant one church.” Now, I was about to say we want to buy one house, but we did buy another. We moved, but we moved on the same street. So that doesn’t really count. So we’re invested in our area and in our community.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
Yeah, and in your neighborhood, yeah, yeah.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
Yeah.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
Where do you guys meet at now? Because I’m assuming you don’t still meet in your house?

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
Yes, we don’t meet in our house. And those were just like launch team gatherings. We met at a school for the first two years, at an elementary school. And started meeting at an old Lutheran church that we actually lease. It was built-in 1897.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
Oh, that is beautiful.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
It is beautiful. We were able to make it work for us in terms of technology. So it’s a very historical and sacred space that I walk in every Sunday. And I’m like, “God, how cool is it that we get to meet here?” It’s a big red church in the East Row Historical District in our neighborhood, and my son calls it the big red building. So we’re going to the red building.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
That’s awesome. What was your role in the church planting process, as you and Josh? Because you and Josh did it together. You had a core team of other people?

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
Correct. So he is the lead pastor. And then I have worn lots of different hats in our story. I think I’ve learned so much about myself in our church planting life so far. And it’s changed over the years. And so I very much use the language that we planted together. But I’ve always been in a volunteer space that will be, I don’t anticipate that changing by any means, but early on I helped on the worship team. So I play piano because I want to, and because I like to not because I’m a pastor’s wife. Right?

Heidi E. Wilcox:
Nice, nice.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
I always say that. I’ve played piano since I was in first grade, so that’s a fun way for me to get to connect with the Lord and lead others. And I love leading small groups. I love having people in my home. I will serve in kids, that’s not my thing. I try my best, but it is-

Heidi E. Wilcox:
Thank you. I so appreciate you saying that. Because people try to get me to work with… I love children. But I’m like you. I’m like, “Isn’t there something else? You know?”

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
Yeah. That is a really common thing that I hear a lot in working with women church planters, is I think is we have some sort of weird expectation of ourselves that we should want to work with kids, or we should want to serve in the children’s ministry. And my kids are in the children’s ministry, so I want to step up. I teach in the first through fifth once a month, and fill holds if I need to. But the truth is, I have other skills that our church needs, and where I can open those spots up for other people, and it’s okay that it’s not my favorite thing.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
Yeah, I love that.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
So I’m telling you this today, it is okay that that’s not your favorite thing.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
Because they asked me and I feel kind of guilty because I was like, “No.” I feel like I would need a supervisor to supervise me watching the children. Just because I’m not very good with children. Like what if they cry or something? I don’t know what to do.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
What do I do? Yeah, totally. But setting up a podcast, you can do that.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
Yeah, all day long, all day long.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
I think I hear that a ton with women is that we have these preconceived notions of the areas that we should serve, or areas that we can serve, and areas where we can’t serve. And the truth is, I really believe that every woman has her own gifting, and calling, and things that she can do with excellence that another woman can’t do with excellence. And so it is a theme of my life and a goal of my life to help women find what that thing is.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
And I think a lot of times we feel we are hole fillers, right? Like we will fill whatever hole needs to be filled. And especially as a pastor’s wife I think I’m just like, “Well, I’ll just step up and I’ll fill that hole.” But the truth is, sometimes we step into holes that we’re not supposed to fill in the first place. And so I think as we’ve gotten our feet off the ground a little bit, because at the beginning it’s like everybody… We got to fill everything, we got to get everything done.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
But eventually there becomes a time in the life of a church where you can hone in on what your sweet spot is. So my sweet spot today is way different than it was five years ago. My sweet spot today, I love having people in my home and we host a small group on Monday nights. That’s a sweet spot for me, and I love to host our services. So I love to do the announcements, to read scripture, to kind of help set the tone for our services. I’m a tone setter. I like to do that. And if I had to pick anything, that’s what I would be.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
We do have lots of piano players right now, so I’ve kind of moved out of that spot, and done some other things that I can do and all of those things are okay.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
How did you learn how to do that? Because I’m assuming it didn’t just happen. So how did you learn more about who you were and as a woman in church planting and things like that?

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
I think I have learned who I am as a woman in church planting. Once again, little by little. And so I believe that we are never done or finished. There is part of me that wants to be finished. I have all the answers about who I am, the end, period.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
Right.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
But I think in my 30s, I’ve been able to give myself more permission to say, “I think who I’m not”. And that has helped me to identify who I am a lot more. And so-

Heidi E. Wilcox:
Was that discouraging though, to realize who you’re not because of the expectations that we place on ourselves and then the kind of other people, especially as a pastor’s wife or a pastor, like they get a lot more expectations? But I know I’ve faced that, the expectations I think I have for myself and then other people. So, how do you?

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
Yeah, I think it was slow and steady, but I came to a point… We launched a baby church. We launched our church in 2014, and that was March. I also had a baby in 2014.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
So you had two babies?

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
So baby church, and an actual baby, like a child. And that was bonkers, but that sort of gave me some built-in boundaries, where I legitimately had to say, “I cannot do that because I have a two-year-old and an infant.” And there were things that I just absolutely could not do. And so that was some built-in boundaries. And I’ll be honest, there were days where that was really frustrating, because honestly, I’m probably better at… I have a teaching education background, so I’m probably better at leading a group of college students through like icebreakers and team building. I’m probably better at that than being home with a baby and a two-year-old.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
I wake up in the morning, it’s 8:15 and I’m out of things, out of ideas of what to do with them. That was a really hard season for me to be able to say, “I don’t know what to do with these humans. I’m trying my best. God, I don’t have it in me without your help to give them what they need.” And yet I know that this is not forever, even though it was a time that I was really stretched.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
Right. And it’s not like you didn’t love your kids.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
Absolutely. I would love for women to be able to say to themselves, and to give themselves permission to say that, this is really hard and it’s okay that it’s hard. And it’s not forever and that’s okay. And I realize, I just said that, but I think you can’t say that enough. And to be able to see… I think hindsight is 2020, so I’m making this vision metaphor for 2020, which I’m already sick of those metaphors. But I think in hindsight, I am not going to say that that time in my life went fast. I think that is a way that we as parents and women can shame each other saying like, “Don’t blink, it goes so fast,” or “You’re going to miss these days.” Which, when I heard that that just felt like shame, shame, shame, shame, shame. Because I was like, “Oh, I’m going to miss these days. So I have to soak it all up. But like I said, I’m out of ideas at 8:15, so how do I reconcile that?”

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
And so it literally… A scripture that I clung to during that time was, “His mercies are new every morning. His mercies are new every morning.” Which I needed Him, because I had nothing in the tank, nothing. And while I look back now and my kids are five and seven now, I’m not going to say that it went so fast, or that it was super easy. But I am going to say that that shaped me and taught me things that I will be probably relearning and reapplying for the rest of my life.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
Yeah.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
Yeah.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
Yeah. What were some of those things? Because I don’t know if this leads into it at all, but one of the things in your book Named and Known, is that right? Yeah. One of the things you talked about was learning to know yourself as a child of God and finding your identity in Him.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
Yeah.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
So what were some of the things that you learned, and we’re relearning all the time? But yeah. What were some of those things that you learned?

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
Well, I’m a recovering perfectionist.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
Same. I’m not sure I’m recovering.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
I’m working on it. I’m a recovering perfectionist. I had and have a lot of expectations when I wake up in the morning. I have a lot of plans for myself and lists and goals and all of that. In that time of my life, I think I had no choice but to say, “Okay, what is the absolute most important?” So I talk about knowing who we aren’t. I also feel knowing what our priorities aren’t. So I’m messing up the English language there, but I think knowing you’re not priority lists. So just really practically that time of my life, my house was not going to look like a pottery barn catalog.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
Whose house really does anyway?

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
I enjoy to clean, I enjoy styling a room. I think that’s really fun. I love this podcast styling. I think it looks so great.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
Well, thank you.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
But at the same time, that could not be a priority during that time of my life. You’re not going to look into pottery barn catalog and see a baby swing or a rock and play or loads and loads of laundry. They don’t show that.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
Yeah, because it’s not real life.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
Because it’s not real life. And so that was a huge lesson at that time, that that was not a priority for me. Another thing I learned in that time was that, just once again about perfection. I’m not going to be able to… I talk about this in the book. I’m not going to be every mommy blogger, which I hate that term. But have a blog, but it doesn’t have to be a mommy blog. It’s a blog, so you can cut that out.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
But I’m not going to be like the super money saving mom who spends $25 a week on groceries, but everything’s organic and I cloth diaper, and I serve in all of these areas. You’re like, I cannot be all of those things, I can’t. And sometimes I think that I am the exception. Oh, I can do all of those things. But I’m not, and that’s okay. And it’s just I had a print in my house at that time, grace upon grace, upon grace, upon grace, upon grace. And that’s what I needed and what I still need.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
But just really reminded in that time that just keep showing up for your people, for your humans. And a really special thing was I remember sitting at a retreat with my daughter, she was two months old and I was at a retreat for women in church planting. And I remember journaling and being so frustrated and I get a little dramatic with God. And I think I was like, “God, when is it going to be my turn?” Knowing those spaces, that’s one of my favorite things to get. I’m like, “Could I ever lead in a space like this?” That felt so far away.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
But now with my role with Stadia and Bloom, I’m getting to do all those things that I wanted to do then, that I could have never done without being faithful in that time.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
Yeah, that’s a good word. Because I know I often want to rush ahead to whatever the next thing is.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
Me too, me too.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
I’m like what I’m thinking about in these days right now is trying to be present where I am. Because I’m always like, “Oh I need to do this, and this, and this, and then I can just rest, or relax, or move on to this event.” And then I’ll be happy and that never happens. You know?

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
Yeah.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
Because they’re never done, or I want to rush on because I have this dream like you were talking about.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
Yeah.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
Yeah.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
Then I’ll be happy lying. We all do that to ourselves. Right? If I complete this to-do list, right? If I have this achievement at work, or if I do this and this and this, then I will be happy. And some of that gets into some deeper identity stuff, right? Like I’m an Enneagram 2. If we speak Enneagram.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
Yeah, we speak Enneagram.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
Enneagram 2, and I can wing both ways, but probably more towards a three where productivity is something that I really value. But who I am is not what I produce. Who I am has already been done. And I talk about that a lot in Named and Known, and the women that share in that book. Is that, I am who you say I am, and that has nothing to do with what I check off or what I produce.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
How do you discover your identity in Christ? Because I hear a lot of people talk about, “Find your identity in Christ.” But I’m not sure how to do that actually.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
Yeah, I think that it’s a really good question. I think there’s no one way to do it. I believe that God knows us intimately, and knows you intimately, and so He will meet you in your quest to learn more about yourself. Now I grew up very much in sometimes Bible reading and exploring scripture was part of a to-do list, where I’m going to do my quiet time and this is what it’s going to be, whatever that means.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
But I really do think that going to God’s word, going to scripture, is a primary way for us to find out who we are because He says a lot of things about us in there. And if we start there, if the gospel is that starting point, then I think that frees us up to use all the tools that are available to us. Like the Enneagram. And I love Myers-Briggs. I love StrengthsFinder, Disc. I get the privilege of getting to walk with new church planters, men and women through church planting assessment center that Stadia offers, and we offer all of those tools.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
Culture index is another item that we have started using. But the personalities tests, they are not the gospel. The gospel is the gospel. And sometimes I think we treat these like, “Oh, well I’m a two, so whatever. I’m just going to sit in my two-nist,” which even Enneagram experts would say, “Don’t do that.” But I think we start with God’s word. God says this about me. God says that I am loved.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
I think the older I get, the more I turn in to a hippie where I’m just like, “Do you know that God is crazy in love with you?” And that if I could spend the rest of my life meditating on the fact that Jesus loved me so much that he died for me? That’s love, right? That is absolute that he loves me so much that he would do that. That he came to earth. That he didn’t have to do that.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
And I think starting with love, a place that I always go is the fruit of the spirit, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. I’m thinking more scripture that I’ve even talked to my kids through music, but things that… Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, like when we focus on love and those things that He has asked us to focus on, then I think we can look at ourselves through a kind place.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
Always feel good.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
And not at, “I have to figure out who I am because if I don’t figure out who I am, then I’m not going to be enough. I’m not going to be what I’m supposed to be.” If I never heard the word enough or supposed to, or should, for the rest of my life, I feel like I’d be good.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
Yeah. I like that you said that, because even just trying to learn more about ourselves in relationships to God, that can also turn into like you were saying, “I should do this, or I’ll never be enough. Like I have to accomplish this task or I won’t be a fulfilled human.”

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
Yeah. And the truth is even the process of learning about yourself, like God’s all over that too. God wants to meet with us and know us, even if we don’t know ourselves. He’s not going to be like, “Okay, you do all this work on yourself, know yourself and then I’ll be with you.” No, He’s with us even in that searching, even in that learning. And that in itself is… That’s okay. It’s okay to have that process.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
Yeah. Yeah. I want to shift for a minute and just let you talk about Bloom and your role there, and what you do and how you’re seeking to empower women through that.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
Yeah. Bloom is all about helping women thrive in church planting. So we do this in several different ways. One thing I love about getting to work with women in church planting is that that looks different for every woman. So we work with and serve women who are lead pastors and co-pastors, but also women who are single and work full-time at churches. We work with women who work full-time in the marketplace, part time in the marketplace. Maybe they’re home with kids, maybe they serve in other contexts, non-profit world, etc.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
But we exist to help women be empowered to maximize their role in starting churches, whatever that role is. And I talk about my dream job in my 20s, that it has been the job I never knew that I needed, but that I wake up every day and I’m so excited that I get to do the work that I get to do.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
What does your role look like?

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
Yeah. So I work with women through several different parts of church planting. So it might be helping to design learning opportunities for women. So we had one in January with Albert Tate who shared about goal setting. And so I help kind of develop content for areas that women need to learn about or want to learn about. I also help run a retreat for women in church planting every year. So last year in Charlotte, North Carolina, we had about 125 women, from all across the country come in and have a three-day retreat where our main goal is that they would have sacred space to connect with God and with each other.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
And so that is one of our signature programs that we offer. I get to wear my podcast hat a little bit, like you get to wear Heidi, so do a couple of episodes on that. But my friend Sarah Burnett runs our Bloom podcast, and so that comes out biweekly, and just talks about different ways where women can thrive in church planting. So it’s lots of different things. Not every day looks the same. But my main goal is to just make sure that women are empowered to thrive in whatever their ministry context looks like.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
Yeah. And for those listening, we’ll link to all of this in our show notes.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
Yeah, thank you.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
So if interested, the podcast or any of the other resources you can go check that out too.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
Thank you.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
Yeah.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
Yeah.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
So I want to talk about your book. Is it Named and Known?

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
Named and Known.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
Named and Known.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
Yes.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
Yeah. So why did you compile that?

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
Well, I came on staff with Bloom in 2018, but I’ve been involved with Bloom since the beginning of my church planting journey.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
Yeah, because Danielle was part of your church plant from the beginning.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
Yes. So I am two sort of Stadia hats. So not only did we plant our church with Stadia, now I work with Stadia, on staff with Bloom. But was involved with them from the very beginning. So I went to my first Bloom retreat in October of 2013, before we even launched, because I knew that I needed help, and I needed community. And that was really one of the only things I knew to do.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
Which I think is important, because in your book you talked about just even knowing that you need help and reaching out for the help that you need.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
Yeah. I needed help. I did not know what to do with myself. Like I didn’t know what my role was going to be at our church. Some women who are listening may know exactly kind of what their sweet spot is going to be at that time of my life, I didn’t know. But I knew that I wanted to be around women who were a little bit further ahead of me on the journey. Who could say, “This is what I did here. And that doesn’t mean that that’s what you have to do, but this is how I kind of found my purpose or found my role or found even joy in those really beginning stages that can be really difficult.”

Heidi E. Wilcox:
Yeah.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
But yeah. So I’ve been involved with Bloom since that very beginning, but in 2018 when I first came on staff, we were hearing a lot from women that this identity piece was something that they were exploring. Even now I still think this, who am I conversation, you and I have been talking about this already today, is a huge part of a church planner story. So who am I? What does God say about me? What does identity look like in this time in my life?

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
And so I reached out to, we had about 14 writers who shared their stories in Named and Known, and just how they experienced identity. And so I broke it down into four different parts, the book’s in four parts. Unknown identity. So tell me about a time where you weren’t sure kind of who you were and what did that look like? And so we have some stories from… I talk about how I thought in seventh grade I wanted to be a Marine biologist, and I was certain that that’s what I wanted to do, except I really just wanted to go to SeaWorld.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
Right, who wouldn’t in the seventh grade?

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
That’s what I’m saying. I was obsessed with SeaWorld and wildlife and water. But then there’s also some really powerful stories about women and what they learned about themselves when they weren’t sure kind of who they were.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
I’m sure.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
So unknown identity, mistaken identity is the second section. So who did you think maybe you were supposed to be, or maybe how did you put others’ expectations on yourself? My friend Shannon Smith wrote an incredible chapter, about how do you carry other people’s expectations of you in ministry and whatever that capacity looks like for you. It’s an incredible chapter.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
Yes. I read it yesterday. It’s a good read. I read it in like two hours and it was beautiful. I’m not even a church planter. But I could identify with so much of the identity and expectation things and it was super helpful.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
Yeah. And I know Shannon, I have known her for years now, and she’s just the real deal. And all these women, I mean some I know better than others, but just are living these things out on the front lines and took the time to share their stories.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
Yeah. Yeah. And I think that’s super helpful because each one, a different kind of woman will be able to identify with.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
Exactly.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
And I think that’s so important to help you know that you’re not alone.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
Yeah. And that was so important to our team as we were dreaming about the book. So we have lead planters. We have women who work in the marketplace. We have a couple of Stadia women that wrote for the book. We have women with college kids, we have women with babies, we have one woman that’s in prelaunch that shared her story. And my goal would be that there would be a story that each woman that read it would be able to say that, “I see myself in that story.” Even like urban, suburban, rural, it’s all represented in that book, and I’m grateful for the women that shared.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
Yeah, I interrupted you before you got to the other two sections.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
Yes, the other two, perfect, yeah. So the third section is unexpected identity. So life throws us curve balls and then who we are may shift from where we think we’re going to be. And so I share a little bit about my story with having a child on the autism spectrum, and how that has shaped me in an unexpected part of my life. And then there’s some other really powerful stories.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
My friend Michael shares a really cool story, and a really difficult story, and her church planting and ministry journey that I will not spoil, but it’s really great, read Michael’s chapter. And then the last section is secure identity. And so the prompt that I gave these women are, where do you soar? Where do you see yourself in your sweet spot? I’ve said sweet spot a bunch in our recording, but where is your sweet spot? And I love that. Women who are in prelaunch could share where their sweet spot was, and then women who have been planting for 10 plus years, are in their sweet spot. And an Asbury Seminary student shares in that section too. My friend Kim Bolden.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
Yes, I read that.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
Shout out to her.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
And I was like, “I know her.” And then I like looked in the back. So I was like, how many Kim Boldens can there be and I was like, “Oh yeah.”

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
She is such a talented writer and yeah, really powerful.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
For sure. Yeah. That’s awesome. Anyway, I really enjoyed it.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
Thank you.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
Thank you for sharing about it.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
Thank you. So fun.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
So I’m curious about the name too.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
Yeah.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
Why did you pick Named and Known?

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
Oh, good question. Named and Known we had this whole one-page document, we called it the one pager internally, and it was just our manifesto to what Named and Known was about. And so the named piece, so God knows our name, God knows who we are, what He says about us before we’re even born, and so He knows our name. We have all these other like names for ourselves. Maybe positive probably is women that a lot of times they’re negative or stories that we tell ourselves to borrow some Brene Brown language.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
So He knows us, He knows our name. And then to take known again, He knows our stories, He knows our lives, He know the intimate parts of us that we are still figuring out. And I’m reading this book right now and I was like, “Am I going to be able to make it through this interview without talking about this book?”

Heidi E. Wilcox:
No, bring it.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
But it’s How to Lead in a World of Distraction by Clay Scroggins. And He is talking about how we fill our lives up with so much noise, and so much distraction, and we don’t know ourselves. And we don’t kind of know what our own emotional reactions are, or responses to things. That our responses is just filled up with noise, so I don’t have to face what’s really going on. And I think Named and Known that known piece, like God knows what’s going on and God knows what’s happening in those deepest part of us when that’s the last thing that we want to deal with or face. And so How to Lead in a World of Distraction by Clay Scroggins, is an amazing read.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
Yeah. Yeah, for sure. I also want to talk a little bit about, in your book you talked about the comparison issue and that happiness of joy. So let’s go there if we could for a minute.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
Yeah. This comparison game is a game that we play. I think men and women both play the comparison game. This is not just a woman thing. I think the cocktail of it looks different for men and women, but I think the comparison game, even in church planting, and our first two to three months, you get the same questions. How many people are there? How many decisions did you have for Christ? All those things.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
Right.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
Important things. Numbers are important. Numbers don’t tell the whole story, right? Numbers, don’t tell the whole story.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
They totally don’t.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
But then it made me think around like plants that launched around the same time as we did like, “Oh man, they’re larger than we are.” Or, I think there is a question that you’re always asking at the beginning is “Are we going to make it?”

Heidi E. Wilcox:
Which is normal.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
Yeah. And which is not guaranteed. I call myself very Disney, and I just assumed very earlier, “Okay God called us. That means we’re going to be successful.” God didn’t say that we were going to be successful. My husband is more of the realist in the relationship. He just called us to be faithful. God just called us to be faithful. He didn’t call us to be successful.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
And so I say that in the comparison game in that, we are called to live our own story and to stay in our own lane, not anybody else’s lane. And I think the more we can stay in our own lane, and cheer women on who are not in that lane. I want to spend the rest of my life just fearlessly, cheering women on. A lot of times we’ll have a woman preach her first sermon at a church.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
I want to be that person that sends her a text in the morning and says, “You’re going to kill it today.” I, a lot of times will have women who may just serve in a new area that they’ve never served before or learn something about themselves at an assessment. Assessment is a great incubator for women to learn about themselves. Where it could be the first time that a woman has ever heard, you should be speaking upfront or you provide warmth, and care in a really impactful way. How can you stay in that lane?

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
Like I want to be that woman who says, “Go, do it. Do what you uniquely have been gifted to do,” and I want to spend the rest of my life cheering on women to do that.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
What would you tell a woman who feels called to plant a church or called into a new area of leadership, but isn’t sure where to start?

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
Yeah, I would say find someone who’s been there. So whether you find my email address on the show notes page today and email me, I would be happy to connect to you. We have some great people on Stadia’s discovery team that would love to just explore what could church planting look like for you? I think about who in your life who’s a little bit further along on the journey could help you. I’m in the process of doing a bunch of learning around mentoring, and I think I am seeing and see data that backs up this need for someone who’s a little bit further along than you.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
Sure.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
That takes us being brave and asking for help. But I have learned this firsthand that the more we ask for help, the more we say, “You’re a little bit further along. What can I learn from you? Follow me as I follow Christ,” right? That really is an incredible experience. I’m actually leading a workshop with my friend Carrie Williams at Exponential on mentoring. And so she has done a bunch of research shout out to my friend Carrie, about mentoring and that we need, in an ideal world… Now I’m a numbers person, so I want to follow the rules.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
A really helpful way to think about mentoring is having three people that have gone before you. So three people ahead of you, on the journey. Three people who are right with you that you can send a Voxer message, or a stress text, right? Somebody you can just say, “Yeah, I’m there too. Nobody came this Sunday. It was hard,” or “It was a down Sunday and we had donuts and we thought it was going to be amazing.”

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
Right. Somebody who can share in the journey with you, and can celebrate with you two and then three people that you are pouring into and investing in. And so three mentors, three really… Like just kind of same space relationships and then three people that you’re pouring into and that can make a significant impact.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
For sure. Because you have a built-in community.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
Yes.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
Yeah.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
Community is intentional. I think a lot of times women will say, “I don’t have anybody pouring into me.” And I will challenge them and say, “Have you asked for it?” And maybe you’ve asked for and it wasn’t a good fit. But sometimes we have to keep asking.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
Yeah.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
And it’s worth it. It is worth it. I have met with the same mentor monthly since the fall of 2015, Vanessa Pia, we’re about to celebrate five years. But every month, she’s asking me questions, and helping me to just lead stronger. And that’s looked different in five years, but I’m grateful for it. And it took me putting myself out there and saying, “Would you have time to mentor and disciple me once a month?”

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
I gave her specific questions I wanted her to ask me about, and it has worked. And it doesn’t have to be, we go through a book and we talk about all these things, will you just check up on me? And that’s enough.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
Yeah. Yeah, for sure. And that’s beautiful.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
Thank you.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
Why do you think it’s so important that we equip and train both men and women to be church planters?

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
So good. I love this question. Because I think, well, 50% of the population, it’s 50 point something are women. And so we want to make sure that our churches are empowering men and women to lead in whatever that looks like. And so I think men and women both need both kind of internal training to know themselves. Like I’ve talked a lot about in this podcast so far, but then just nuts and bolts training about what does it look like to actually plant a church.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
And so at Stadia we talk about aptitude. So your makeup, your gifts, just who the Lord has made you to be. Things that may not change, right? Like everybody has their own aptitude. We say a six-foot-nine person may have the aptitude for basketball, right? Like there’s an attitude there. Now, not every six-foot-nine person is going to play in the NBA. Right? So we talked about aptitude, but then readiness. The readiness piece. Are you ready to plant a church? Have you had experiences and training, and even just people around you who can help you have this right skillset that is going to help you plant a stronger church for the longterm, right?

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
Not just somebody that’s going to have a great launch Sunday, but somebody that can lead a community to make an impact for the longterm, right? Men and women. And so the aptitude and readiness piece is huge when we think about church planting in general. And I think there’s a lot of people that want to explore church planting, and I love that. But is the aptitude and readiness there? I think those are good questions to ask if someone’s considering church planting, both men and women.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
Yeah, for sure. For sure. As we wrap up the podcast, is there anything else that you want to talk about that we haven’t covered yet? I mean, I’m sure there’s a lot more than we can cover, but we’ve covered a lot.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
We have really covered a lot. If you are called to church planting, if you believe that God has planted that seed in your heart, I just want to say, go after it. It’s the adventure of my life. I love it. And I believe that church planting is a great way, and a really powerful way to engage lost people. I mean, we’ve always said with our church that we’re not interested in transfer growth. Like if you’re going to a church go there, pour in there. But there are millions of lost people in the world, billions of lost people in the world.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
And I believe that church planting is a great way to help more people find and follow Jesus, that without the local church wouldn’t ever have a opportunity to hear the gospel. And so if you’re called to plant a church, I’m saying yes, do it, do the work. But I really do believe in church planting even though it’s hard.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
Yeah, for sure. Well, nothing is easy.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
Right? Right.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
Yeah, for sure. So we have one question that we ask everybody as we wrap up.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
So excited for the last question.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
Yeah, as we warp it up. So because our podcast is called the Thrive with Asbury Seminary podcast. What is one practice spiritual or otherwise that is helping you thrive in your life right now?

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
Okay, I am going to go with two. I couldn’t narrow it down. I almost came with a top 10 list for you, Heidi. But I’ve got two for you. One is silly, one is not. First, I’ll go with the silly one and if this podcast comes out in March, I understand this will not be as popular, because it just came out. But I loved the show Cheer on Netflix. I watched it all in two days. It was great. I just really like a good comeback story, and I felt it was just really well done and I really enjoyed it.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
I actually don’t watch a lot of TV, but I loved Cheer. But then a practice is helping me thrive is I love the, She Reads Truth Bible reading plans. And I have the hard copy Bible that I really enjoy.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
It’s beautiful.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
It is beautiful, from the maps, to the scripture graphics, everything. I really enjoy it. And I just really want… The language I’ve been using in my head is primary versus secondary source. Like I really want to get back to the primary source this year, to get in the word before I read a book, or read an audio book, or listen to a podcast. Like I want to have gone to the word of God first. And so the, She Reads Truth plan that I’m doing is a Bible in a year plan. Right now I’m in Genesis and John, and just sitting down and having the discipline to just get in the word every day is really helping me thrive.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
And it is a discipline.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
It is a discipline. And discipline doesn’t always mean that there’s doves flying down from heaven. Right?

Heidi E. Wilcox:
Right.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
Sometimes I sit on my couch and I get it done. And I may not have had something that jumped out to me that day, but I still showed up. And I think that’s really important.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
Yeah. It’s the showing up.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
It is. It totally is. I made this goal that when I’m 40, I want my Bible to be completely marked. I want to tear up my Bible by the time I’m 40. Because I think sometimes I go to my phone, and then I forget what I’ve underlined and highlighted. So I love thinking about, “How can I really just mark up my Bible?” But then I also have the same plan on my phone in case I’m at a spot where I want to read scripture in the line.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
Yeah, totally.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
And a pickup line, and I don’t have my Bible, etc. But yeah. Scripture has been something that’s really been helping me to thrive, and I hope that that is my story for years to come.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
Yeah. That’s awesome. Thank you so much, Heidy. I’ve really enjoyed our conversation and just appreciate you taking the time to stop by.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
Thank you. Thank you. I love the studio. This has been so fun.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
Yeah. Thanks.

Heidy Jo Tandy.:
Thank you.

Heidi E. Wilcox:
Hey everyone. Thank you so much for joining me for today’s episode with Heidy. I really appreciate her words about finding your identity in Christ, comparison and expectation. And I’m just so grateful for the work that she’s doing in the world. Like we said during the show, we’ll link to all of the resources that she mentioned, especially her book Named and Known. And if you haven’t already done so, you’ll want to be sure to grab a copy of that. So thank you Heidy, and I’m just so grateful for the work that she’s doing in the world, and I hope you guys enjoyed this conversation as well. Until next time, I hope you all have a great day and go do something that helps you thrive.