Stadia Bookkeeping Helps Us Focus On Vision
Hey all you church admins out there! I invite you to take a minute to learn a little more about my experience with Stadia as a professional human resources individual that loves her church, loves God, and wanted to do her part in kingdom growth with absolutely zero administrative ministry experience. Yep, that’s me.
My name is Lauri Suchey and I am currently the Executive Admin at Rise City Church in Lakeside, CA. Rise City Church was established in 2013 by a few adventurous families that felt called to move from Illinois, land of cornfields and four seasons, to sunny Southern California. Interesting choice to move to an area that virtually has no snow and no seasons. But did I mention it does have year-round beautiful weather and sunny beaches? Well, in any case, they were definitely called by God and definitely had the courage to follow.
As for me, I was born and raised in southern California. So I was considered a “local” when they arrived. After only one year as a newly planted church, Rise was in need of an admin person to do general things like deposits, processing connection cards, and general office duties. While I had nearly 30 years of Human Resource and business management experience in one of the most challenging state environments, I had zero experience in the church administrative world. But that was okay. I was ready to get out of the Human Resource Management area and was ready to help out where I could so the Pastors could focus more on bringing Jesus to the community.
This is when I was introduced to Stadia. About this time Rise’s average weekly attendance was 250 and growing. Deposit processing was a rather simple task and all was well. Stadia was there to help me understand the execution of my new role. Then God showed up and put His amazing touch on the leaders of Rise and on the community. Only five short years later, Rise’s average attendance is now 835 and offerings alone topped over 1 million in 2018. Through all this growth, I knew Stadia and our bookkeeper were only a phone call or email away. Whenever I had questions about anything to do with church administrative functions, they were there. They might not have been able to answer every question I had (some of them were definitely not accounting/bookkeeping related!), but they always were able to point me in the right direction for resources that could help.
Our bookkeeper Alyssa is simply amazing. I know that she is in place to help Rise be successful. She is knowledgeable and professional, yet totally transparent and supportive. Alyssa is an experienced professional that not only demonstrates a positive attitude in all types of communication, but is flexible and accommodating. Oh, and she has a since of humor. With Alyssa, I truly feel we have a partnership and friendship, not just a business relationship. One practice that I feel significantly impacted this relationship was her taking the time to have video calls. What a difference to actually see the person you are working with! With the accessibility of the internet and various software out there, working remotely is a breeze. Developing relationships takes work. The extra step to solidify any remote support is taking the time to share, brainstorm and laugh through video calls. Alyssa has initiated these calls and has always been available at my request. I know, 5 years later, that Stadia and Alyssa have our back.
Having this relationship with Stadia has been truly a blessing to Rise and to our staff. Time and resources that would have otherwise gone to an on-site bookkeeper is now being redirected to areas that directly impact kingdom growth, areas like ever-growing kids and student ministries or community events and involvement. Bringing Jesus’ name to our surrounding community takes a measure of resources. However, with growth comes tension. Resources are needed to both support the administrative functions and to be more present in our community so that others come to know and develop a relationship with Jesus. Rise’s vision is to be a loving and life giving church that brings hope and healing in Jesus’ name. Stadia’s services have allowed Rise to focus more on this vision by being a good steward of resources and by outsourcing some of the necessary administrative duties at a truly competitive market rate. One important practice in an evolving business world is that of continuous improvement. Stadia has proactively implemented timesaving programs and processes that help to make their services more efficient and have done so only if it works for Rise, also. This spirit of improvement coupled with the current needs of Rise demonstrates their commitment to partnership and not just being a service provider.
Stadia has adapted to Rise’s needs from a new start up to where we are today and I have every confidence that they will continue to provide the level of service that we need at the time we need it. It is reassuring to know that Stadia and their bookkeeping team are there to share their knowledge. They provide their support in a professional yet unassuming manner so that Rise can focus on other ministry areas and efforts to advance God’s kingdom.
As for me and Human Resources, Rise’s growth has resulted in needing to bring on more staff and I’ve come to realize that God had other plans for me as far as getting out of Human Resources. As for Stadia, they provide us with the peace of mind that we are taken care of on the bookkeeping side and without a doubt they are good at what they do!