We had the good fortune of connecting with Chelsea Cardenas and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chelsea, what habits do you feel helped you succeed?
It’s less a habit and more of a principle; care more about your people than what they can do for you. Yes, you run a business and it needs to run effectively and efficiently, but the truth is everyone’s personal life affects how they perform. If you care about them and they know that, I guarantee they will go above and beyond for you and your company. My job is a little different since I’m in ministry and my teams are completely made up of volunteers, but the principle is the same and even more important. Every year I write personalized thank you cards by hand. It’s a small gesture that honestly takes a lot of time and energy for me, but the feedback of people feeling special and loved makes it worth it. I have some of the most amazing volunteers who go above and beyond for my ministries and our church and it’s because they feel connected and like they’re a part of something that not only they give to, but something where they receive as well.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Working in ministry is both fulfilling and extremely challenging. When you mix your passions with work there’s bound to be some bumps in the road, not to mention throwing an 18 year old in there, but I wouldn’t trade the last 6 years for anything. Getting this opportunity so young taught me a lot of hard lessons very quickly, but I wouldn’t change that either. It certainly hasn’t been easy and it definitely hasn’t always been fun, but my teams and this church community make it all worth it. Honestly, I don’t really think the world needs to know about me. If the world knows more about me than God, I’m doing my job wrong. What I hope people see is an honest look at a normal, flawed person leading an amazing community of other normal, flawed people. Worship leaders are everywhere. There are certainly ones out there better than I am, but there’s no one that loves my people and this church community more than I do and that’s what makes a difference. My hope for my life is that people see more of God in me than me.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Sunset cliffs is definitely a must see. I love walking the cliffs and catching up with friends. Blancos at fashion valley is pretty much my girl’s night go-to and my absolute favorite sandwich shop is a little deli right down the street from my church called Monroe’s. Best sandwiches around, hands down.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Well my parents absolutely deserve a shoutout. I learned everything I know about how to be a good leader from them growing up. My brother has loved me unconditionally through all of my awkward and not so pleasant phases and as I’ve gotten older, my mentors, friends and counselor deserve some huge credit! They keep me going day to day. To my teams, each of you are a large source of joy in my life!
Image credits to our social media team at Grace Church San Diego