Director & Organizational Architect
Connecting churches and leaders together is something that Chris has always tried to do, so it makes sense that he would be instrumental in the founding of Ecclesia, and would also serve as Ecclesia’s Director & Organizational Architect. Chris also serves on the pastoral team of Imago Dei, and works with fellow board member Brian Hopper in trying to develop fresh expressions of church in Richmond, VA. In addition, Chris works with the Baptist General Association of Virginia as an Emerging Church Strategist and in his spare time is attempting to finish his doctoral program at Fuller Seminary in Missional Church Leadership and serves on the board of the Network of Giving. He is married to his high school sweetheart Rachel.
Contact Chris: chris.backert at ecclesianet.org | 540-818-3945
Church Coach & Network Catalyst
JR is a person who helps individuals and communities awaken to their God given dreams and live them out. He is the founding pastor of [nlcf] at Virginia Tech and he and his current team are starting three new churches in the Los Angeles area – Hollywood, West LA and Downtown/USC. These multi-ethnic communities of faith are helping to bring the reality of the kingdom of God to the Los Angeles area, through building neighborhood churches that are committed to social justice, walking with God and pursing wholeness in the context of community as they immerse themselves in the narrative of God. JR is a church consultant, a conference speaker, a blogger (www.jrwoodward.net) a church planter assessor and coach and loves to awaken churches live out Missio Dei. He is currently pursuing a Masters of Art in Global Leadership at Fuller Seminary in Pasadena. He loves to surf, travel, have a glass of wine with old and new friends, watch films and engage in the art of photography. He resides in Hollywood, California.
Contact JR: jr.woodward at ecclesianet.org | 323-251-3503
Church Coach & Northeast Regional Coordinator
J.R. Briggs serves as Cultural Cultivator of The Renew Community (www.renewcommunity.org) a Jesus community for skeptics and dreamers in Lansdale, PA – a suburb of Philadelphia. He recently created Kairos Partnerships, an initiative that partners with leaders, pastors and church planters during significant kairos moments in ministry.
He also oversees the Renew Apprenticeship Program, a year-long experiential program that equips, trains and teaches young leaders and pastors to become effective and faithful church planters for contextual ministry in the 21st century. In addition, he is the creator of the Epic Fail Pastors Conference (www.epicfailpastorsconference.com) which helps pastors embrace failure and see it as an opportunity for grace and growth. J.R. is on the Board of Directors for Ecclesia. and loves connecting and networking with other new churches and serving as a church planting coach.
Contact J.R.: jr.briggs at ecclesianet.org // 215.833.4424
Church Coach, Network Developer and Communications Director
Todd Hiestand is the pastor of The Well in Feasterville, PA (suburban Philadelphia). He has served bi-vocationally in this role since 2001. In this role he has spent a lot of time working through the reality of team based leadership environments and the challenges of suburban ministry.
He serves Ecclesia by using his connections in the States and overseas to develop national and international relationships and also serves as a church coach and consultant. Todd is also our web developer and communications director. Todd has an MA in Missional Theology from Biblical Theological Seminary and blogs at www.toddhiestand.com
Contact Todd: todd.hiestand at ecclesianet.org | 267-254-8201