Podcast Episode 54 - Special Edition - Chip Wears His Sunglasses at Night Published Dec 21, 2018 Today we're going to take some time to look back at 2018 and share things that have really impacted us individually - hopefully this will give you some insight into us, how we work, and some of the cool things that have happened.Jon:The growth this year has been crazy. The size of the community is amazing. All of the different churches make up the community, and sometimes we know people are coming in, and sometimes churches just show up one day and start doing amazing things. We love both of these. Also, the growth of Spark has been remarkable this year, as has the growth in opportunities. I feel like every week thereʼs a new opportunity to work with a new group or a new church.And Spark has never been stronger with the talent that we have than we are now. I love the people we get to work with personally, what they do, what they have sacrificed to be here, to help us push this Rock up the hill.Emily:We leased this office space early this year, and it seemed huge. We decided to buy all the furniture ahead of time, not knowing how long it would take us to fill them. But we're closing out the year now with almost all of our desks full. Thereʼs so much momentum that has picked up this year; candidates that want to work with Spark, and churches that want to work with us and get a feature into Rock that will benefit all churches, as well as how our team and our community have grown. God is doing a new thing through Rock - and our team and the community (which are really one thing) gets to be a part of that.Nick:Seeing the community blossom at RX2018 was amazing. Even at the lunch tables, we didn't have to organize anything; the people just took over and led the discussions themselves. I also think of some amazing Capterra reviews, it was so neat to see people talk about how they're using Rock. I also remember the photo of the south east region usergroup when they met - they sent an encouraging note along with it that really brightened up everyone in our office.Emily:We have seen an uptick in things like that this year- handwritten notes that come in and encourage us. We sit in this office and work and really usually experience the community just through Slack. So when those notes come in, or direct messages in chat, it really helps us feel connected with the community. These messages carry us for a long time.Nick mentioned the conference- I have a memory that stands out for me, of standing outside the main conference room just as a session let out. I was like a salmon, trying to swim upstream, there were so many people coming out. It was amazing to me that I didn't even know who so many of the people were- the year before I still felt like I knew most of the people and was simply connecting names to faces. And itʼs a really neat word picture as well, that I couldn't even move in the opposite direction of the community. The community is all moving in one direction together, and bringing everyone along with it.Nick:I'm new to the team, at least officially, and I just have to say that something thatʼs really impacted me is the mentoring and leadership I've gotten from being on this team. Itʼs been many years since I've gotten that. And I also distinctly recall seeing the relief on Jonʼs face as I've come into my role.The last big thing I remember from this year is what the Spark team did for me when I was in the hospital, recovering from a surgery. You'd coordinated with my wife and went in and finished up the household tasks I'd been trying to get done for a month, plus. Things like removing the carpeting in the house we'd bought, removing baseboard, and moving furniture. I've never experienced that level of family in my adult life.Emily:When I joined the team, I had to spend a lot of time trying to set expectations for funding, and trying to help understand our financial model. We require donations to survive, but we don't _require_ donations from everyone using our software. But for the first time this year, I started having first time communications with churches that would tell us they're getting ready to move to Rock, AND that they have plans to support us with an amount and a start date. The fact that the community is being able to have those conversations without us having to be involved, is just amazing to us.We'd also be a little remiss not to have a little bit of a throwback to our "duck on fire" analogy from earlier this year on this podcast. Thatʼs probably the longest-running analogy in the podcast so farJon:But I was thinking about that, preparing for this podcast, and looking forward to 2019. I really think that the future is so bright, that Chip is going to have to wear shades. Itʼs going to be amazing.Sponsors:This episode of Rockcast is sponsored by Rock Partner Gloo, a Data science and predictive analytics provider.