Alumni Focus: Terry West

Each month, we feature an unleash alumni and how they’re living out God’s dream for their life.

This month’s featured unleash Alumni is Terry West. Terry is in his mid-50’s, 15-years married to Lesa, and is the CEO and co-founder of Serious Integrated, Inc., an Arizona-headquartered technology company.

Terry participated in the 2018 inaugural Men’s unleash cohort at Cornerstone Church in Chandler.

Rick: Your unleash cohort wrapped up about a year ago: how is God’s calling for your life becoming clear?

Terry: Going into unleash, I must admit I was pretty vague on the whole question of why God put me here! I had a bunch of ideas that were all over over the place. Now I realize there is a pretty clear umbrella for all of these ideas that brings clarity of intent as well as a helpful filter when presented with opportunities. We got pretty close by session 6, but it’s even become shorter and more concise since then:

Terry’s Life Calling: To nudge one billion people closer to Jesus

It’s a bit big and audacious , but I do think God wants us to be as crazy and out there as we can about impact.

Rick: You’re a deep technology guy — the very first employee of Blackberry back in the late ’80s. But now you’re a tech CEO with a background in marketing and corporate strategy as well. So help us understand how all this fits together in your calling?

Terry: In unleash Session 1, we talked about our spiritual gifts and strengths.. mine are Strategy, Leadership, Exhortation. The whole concept of “all things work together for good, for those love the Lord and are called according to His purpose[Rom 8:28] makes a lot of sense when you look at your life story and your calling side by side! I’ve been blessed with some great opportunities, and had failures and some successes along the way. But it feels like all those technology, marketing, leadership, and life experiences give me a unique personal toolbox to apply to my calling that show’s God’s hand in it all. For example, I was deep in the early internet back in the ’81 (remember modems?) so things like web marketing and computer tools are second nature. For me, nudging a billion people towards Jesus has got to involve the web and a whole lot of marketing and strategic planning.

Rick: You’re a full-time CEO of a small tech company, so that has to be, what, 60-hours a week? We’ve been blessed by your help here at unleash, so spend a minute talking about what (and how!!???) you are activating yourself in this season towards your calling?

Terry: I have no clue how God’s is making time when I have no time. It feels just like when you tithe financially, God somehow makes the math work in unexpected ways. I guess once you know what you’re put here for, and you have that big mission, you get a different sense of urgency and alignment in your activities. Every day I try and ask what I should be doing to move the ball down the field. Knowing your calling puts a self-accountability metric in place: what did I do today/this week/this month that was what I was supposed to be doing?

I’ve been blessed to be at the right place at the right time and be able to help bring up the unleash web presence and start some of the marketing activities. The Bob Buford book we read in unleash talked about running experiments: working with the unleash team to nudge people through the process towards Jesus has really validated some of the ingredients and activities I am wired for in my calling.

Rick: Speaking of the various books and material in unleash, aside from Bob Buford’s “experiments”, were there others that had a particular impact on you?

Terry: You bet. Bob Goff’s “Love Does” was, and continues to be, a constant challenge to me to engage in relationships instead of goals. I think men especially think of impact in terms of accomplishments rather than relationships, and Goff’s book in the context of my calling has changed how I think about impact and success for Him. I’m not normally wired to be a small group facilitator, but co-facilitating another unleash group with you, Rick, over the past year gave me some new relationships with amazing people.

Rick: Are you still connected with any of your unleash cohort?

Terry: Grin. That reminds me, I have to send my unleash buddy, Matt, a text about lunch again next week. And Steve B and his wife are overdue for a dinner with Lesa and I. And….

Rick: So what’s next for you in living out your Calling?

Terry: I still am likely to have a number of years running my company in front of me, but I’m really looking forward to scaling unleash and experimenting with how we can reach hundreds and thousands of people to align their lives with God’s calling. I’ll insert a shameless plug here, Rick, because I know you won’t… we could use $10k here to take the website to a commercial web team and take it to the next level with some metrics and more regionally customized content. But there are a ton of ideas we’d like to try out that could be portable to other ministries. I’d love to engage with some of the brilliant people over at YouVersion and some of the other websites that are highly engaged in reaching and nudging people towards Jesus. And I’m fascinated by the fact there is a growing mass of video content from great speakers like Andy Stanley and Erwin McManus that could be aggregated into an incredibly powerful portal to help people wherever they are in their walk.

Lesa’s also going through an unleash cohort right now, and I’m super excited to see how that lands for her and us. I know whatever God has in store for us individually is somehow bound up in us as a couple with a calling for Him.

— Gilbert, AZ November 2019