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Sacred Starters - An Interview with Bill Woolsey

In this episode, Andrew sits down with Bill Woolsey, Founder and President of FiveTwo Network. They discussed the qualities of a good founder, mistakes that founders typically make and what it means to be a sacred starter. If you have started or are thinking about launching a new ministry or company, you definitely want to check this out.

Show Notes:

Bill has been a pastor since 1987, and he and his wife currently call the Land of Uplift in the Texas hill country home. He was always the evangelism guy and realized that the older the community, the older the members, the harder it is to break in and plant a new church. 

In 2009, he founded FiveTwo Network to support church planters and entrepreneurs of the church. 

In 2015, he left his pastoral placements and went full-time with FiveTwo. 

FiveTwo was named for the story of Jesus feeding the five hundred when a single young man gave what he had to further the mission of Christ. And that everybody who starts something has two questions, where is the money going to come from and where are the people going to come from. And when you look at the story, the food came from the people to feed the people. 



What are the elements of success in a client?

  • Are you cause driven?
  • Are you collaborative and able to build a team?
  • Are you an influencer, able to convince people to your cause?

Understand a theology of presence. What does it look like to be the hands and feet of Christ in your community?


What are the most common mistakes? (And what do you do about it?)

  • Lack of self-awareness
    • So much attention needs to be in clarifying the calling 
  • Lack of customer-centric creation
    • Hold your idea loosely, but let's figure out who you want to be serving?
  • Not knowing what the revenue stream is, what is the earned income?


Sacred Starter

You're going to hit financial sustainability and more people are going to be introduced to Jesus, these are the main things to be a Sacred Starter. 

FiveTwo takes a client through an assessment, testing and driving down to core values to help you be successful and to be a Sacred Starter.

Bill takes us through the process for one of their clients. What did it look like, what questions were asked, what pivots needed to be made to be successful.


Lightening Round

  1. If you could fund-raise for any organization or cause at any time in history, what would it be?
    • the Church, his Network
  2. If you could get a donor meeting with anyone living or dead, who would it be?
    • Warren Buffet
  3. Is there enough money out there for every organization that's doing good work?
    • Yes, doing God's work
  4. What is one piece of advice that you would give your past self?
    • Enjoy the ride
  5. Who are 3 people who have most influenced you, professionally?
    • his Pastor while growing up, Professor Robert Cole, Chris Copka, Randy Rutledge
  6. What is one fact about Bill that most people don’t know?
    • He'd be a landscaper
  7. What is a book that you would recommend?
    • The Leadership Pipeline by ; Luthor on Vocation by 

If you would like to connect with Bill, you can find him at his website or you can email him directly at [email protected].


Andrew's Take-Aways:

  1. I loved how Bill pointed out that the qualities of successful and enduring founders are almost always the same. They have to be cause driven, collaborative and able to influence others and move them to action. This is so true. Knowing and understanding your why is what sustains and fulfills any founder or builder when they hit a wall...and they will hit a wall, have no doubt. So knowing and believing in the cause is so important.
  2. Being collaborative and being able to build a team around you is also important. Too many people struggle with this because a) they are afraid to invite people into their mission that could potentially fail or b) they are afraid to invite people to join because they might steal the show. Confidence and humility are both necessary to build a solid team.
  3. And being able to influence others and inspire them to support, partner and participate in your cause is critical for building something sustainable. This doesn't always mean that founders have to be extroverted and the life of the party or that they need to have a massive social media following, but it does mean that they need to be fearless, faithful and inviting. Think about the example of Jesus. He wasn't some larger than life personality. But he spoke the truth and he invited others to join him. He was definitely a sacred starter and gave us a great example to follow.


If you have any questions, email us at [email protected]. Please reach out and I would love to connect. God bless you and your work and I will continue to pray for your success.


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