Who’s Who at AC3–Johnna Thiessen

In our mission to be a safe church for seekers, we sometimes hear those attending say that they don’t know who someone is. We want you to get to know the faces you see around AC3. We are starting with the Triad, and last time we introduced you to Shea Caperoon. Next up, we have Johnna Thiessen, our Creative Teams Director at AC3…and rumor has it she may have a family member or two who also work at the church!

Questions: Spiritually-minded
  • How I clear my mind after a challenging day:

Music is a powerful tool for me to express my frustration.  I have go to songs for when I’m sad or angry or discouraged that remind me of who God is and who I am.  Those usually right size things for me. If it’s really bad, I send up the bat signal for an emergency coffee with one of my friends.

  • Advice to a person of faith dealing with a broken relationship with their church:

Reconciliation isn’t one of the options God gives us…it’s the ONLY option he gives us.  God’s whole plan here is reconciliation. I know it’s hard…I do. I’ve been there…especially when you are hurt and it feels hopeless.  Find someone to walk the road with you, someone who loves God and his peacemaking plan. NOTHING feels better than when something you thought was broken forever gets fixed God’s way.

Johnna, her husband, Rick, and their two daughters, Laila and Marley
  • Change I’d like to see among Christians today:

I wish we would all realize how much we need each other.  We live such isolated lives. We need to be in church together, in small groups together, eating meals together, walking the hard roads together.

  • How I found my way to AC3:

I was here on day one…but we planted this church because we felt strongly that there needed to be a place like this for people who didn’t feel comfortable in “normal” church services.  Church shouldn’t just be comfortable for people who have always gone to church. It needs to be understandable and accessible for people who have questions they need answered, who haven’t grown up in the church but want to explore what Jesus has to say…and to be a place where you know you can bring any friend and they’ll feel welcome.

  • Advice I’d give to Younger Me:

Judge less…love more.  Major on the majors and stop sweating the small stuff.

  • Gifting I most admire:

I wish I could sing.  I’m so moved when one of our vocalists expresses what my heart wants to say through a song on Sunday morning.  I wish I could show people what’s in my heart that way…but I also know NOT being able to sing forces me to find other creative ways to communicate and that’s probably good too.

  • Favorite serving experience:

I’ve had so 23 years of serving experiences to choose from so it’s hard to pick just one.  I love what I do! I love when I see a new person join one of our teams and get amazed by what God can do through them.  I love seeing our young people finding their voice for God. I love when people really get that they were made to serve and feel the joy that comes from being right where God wants them to be.

  • What I tell others about serving:

My sweet friend Chrissie once said that everything we create for God is like pictures that we bring home and God hangs them on his fridge because we’re his kids and he’s proud of us.  I LOVE that imagery. I love knowing that when we use whatever God has given us to use, when we do it his way for his reasons…it goes on the fridge. Each week, our goal should be to add another piece of art to the fridge collection.

Johnna and her small group
  • 3 disciplines/habits that keep me connected to community:

1)  Attending church regularly, making it a priority  2) Be in a small group…a group of people with whom I feel safe and can be real (walls down) 3)  Make time for people…get them on my calendar, prioritize time with my community.

Questions: Secular-minded
  • If you could eat only one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Cookie Dough Ice Cream

  • Marvel or DC?

Marvel all the way.  DC hasn’t got it dialed in yet.

  • What is your favorite sport to watch? Team to follow?


  • You can only listen to the same song OR watch the same movie for the rest of your life. What do you choose?

Groundhogs day…see what I did there ☺

  • What is your idea of a dream vacation?

I just took a dream vacation so now I need a new dream.  I think those floating hotel rooms off the coast of Africa would be so cool!  Maybe that can be my 35th anniversary trip.

Johnna’s idea for her 35th wedding anniversary
trip…Hint, hint, Rick
  • What are your top 3 hobbies?

I love to read…I love Netflix…I love games

  • You have a day with NOTHING planned and no responsibilities!  What do you do?

Sleep in…stay in my jammies all day eating ice cream and rotating between reading, watching tv & playing games.

  • Something that your mother/father said to you when you were little that you now say to your kids (or did when they were younger.)

Take everything as a compliment…unless specified otherwise.

  • What is the last thing you binge-watched?


  • Morning person or night owl?

Night owl.  I think DAY should start about 11am ☺