Who’s Who at AC3-Rick 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 Sarah Ade. Next up, we have Rick Thiessen, our Senior Pastor.

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

I usually unwind on my Kindle, some games and recreational reading.

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

Don’t avoid the “Tunnel of Chaos”.  Broken relationships tend to stay broken because we live with a tolerable amount of awkwardness and pain that we suppress.  Moving past this means a temporary bump up in the pain and awkwardness as we approach rather than avoid the person, by committing to examine ourselves, and speak the hard truth in love.  So that’s the “tunnel”. But as we all know about tunnels, there’s light on the other side!

  • Change I’d like to see among Christians today:

Reject the lure of pleasures and worries to live radically and sacrificially for Kingdom priorities now, not “someday”.

  • How I found my way to AC3:

As a 27 year old youth pastor in Arlington, I was invited to be the senior pastor of AC3 by 2 courageous couples in Marysville (the Holland’s and Getty’s) who had already formed the core of a vision for a church for the unchurched.  It took me a while to say yes for many reasons, but AC3 has become my life’s work and God has blessed that risk we took over and over in hundreds of changed lives.

  • Advice I’d give to Younger Me:

Your wife is always right!

  • Gifting I most admire:

Mercy or Administration.  These people baffle me with their wizardry around people or details.  What kind of magic is this? Oh, right, the Holy Spirit!

  • 3 disciplines/habits that keep me connected to community:

a. Commit to a small group. b. Get real in the small group or else it’ll die or grow stale c. See a & b

  • 3 disciplines/habits that keep me connected to God:

1. I prayer journal.  Besides a regular time of prayer on my knees in the morning, I write out prayers and significant dreams and spiritual musings a few times a week.  It helps both reveal and cement what the Holy Spirit is saying, doing or changing in me. 2. I read the Bible every morning when I walk the dog.  I’m reading the Old Testament thru this year. 3. I take a once a year (or so) spiritual retreat.  Usually three days, just me, my journal, a bible and a couple of books.

Questions: Secular-minded
  • What book left a lasting impression on you?

I’m sorry to be so cliché, but it must be Lewis.  I’ll try to be slightly original and say that Problem of Pain probably outranks Mere Christianity in its formation on my thinking.  You know an author has had a lasting impression on you when you can’t tell which thoughts you read and which are yours.

  • If you could eat only one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Rick, wife-Johnna, sons-Joren and Jaden,
daughters-in-law-Becca and Ariel


  • There is a zombie apocalypse…What is your weapon of choice?

Does Fallout Shelter count as a weapon?

  • Beach or Mountains? Why?

Cannon Beach may be my favorite place on the planet (and I’ve been places!) so I’ll say beach.

  • Favorite season? Why?

Fall and Spring.  Temperate weather, and change.  I love change.

  • What is your idea of a dream vacation?

Being with my extended family for a week or two with nothing to do but joint outings, games, movies, great food and watching the grandkids (and great-grandkids) play together.

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

First, marvel at the unique miracle that just occurred.

Rick, wife-Johnna, daughters-Layla and Marley
  • What is the last thing you binge-watched?

Lost in Space!  (The Netflix version – Robbie’s robot has changed!)

  • Morning person or night owl?

Yes, all that.

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

Sing it with me: Da… Hawks, Da Hawks, Da Hawks, Da Hawks, Da Hawks!

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

I guess I choose a movie, and make it “Saving Private Ryan” because a 3 minute bit on repeat would get a lot older faster than a 2 ½ hour epic story.

  • What are your top 3 hobbies?

Basketball, Golf & my backyard