Colin Saxton will assume his new role as FUM general secretary on January 1. He comes to FUM from Northwest Yearly Meeting in Oregon where he has served as pastor, adjunct professor at George Fox University and superintendent of the yearly meeting. Staff members in the FUM-Richmond office quizzed Colin in preparation for what life will be like with a new general secretary.
Tell us about your family.
Our oldest daughter, Hanna, is a nurse in Salem, Oregon. She works in the neurological trauma unit. She’s married to Kyle.
Ellie works for the University of Oregon in their sports marketing department.
Amy finished her first year of college and transferred to George Fox for her sophomore year, so she’ll be living in Newberg.
Sam is a high school senior, plays rugby and is very musical.
And Janine, she and I have been married for 28 years. She recently travelled to Guatemala for language study for two weeks. She’s involved in Newberg running a community school program that works to connect people in the town and also provide educational options — affordable and for people of all ages.
Do you have any food allergies?
I don’t know, but I am a vegetarian. I’m not a zealot about it though. It’s mostly for health reasons and because I just lost my taste for meat.
What is the biggest question you have about Wayne County and Richmond, Indiana?
The weather — what is it really like? We’re eager to know great places to go and explore and get to know the area.
How would you describe your leadership style?
There’s a book called Leading from the Middle, which I like a lot. The notion behind it is, rather than leadership that drives people from the back or leadership that says come on follow me — both of which are appropriate at times — there’s also something about being invested in and involved in and relationally connected to the community. It’s leadership that listens to people. Vision isn’t necessarily something that is always cast from one particular person, but it’s evoked from the community; it’s called out from the community. And I think that that’s probably more my way. I think that part of my leadership style or approach is I try to be somebody who at least works at embodying the values of the organization and works at reminding the folks of who we are called to be and what we are called to do. Something that has become more and more critically important to me is learning how to not be an anxious leader, but to remain calm in the midst of times when everyone is upset and frustrated and discouraged. There is something that is redemptive about that, when somebody can be that.