Toni Collier is a communicator and host at North Point Ministries (founded by Andy Stanley), on-camera personality at The reThink Group, Fellowship of Christian Athletes public school speaker and co-founder and consultant of The Resource Group: A faith-based consulting firm.
With a degree in business logistics and entrepreneurship, she has used her talents to grow churches, ministries & businesses in the areas of; student ministry, creative marketing, leadership, innovation and strategic planning.
Toni is known for her vibrant personality, charisma and all around welcoming spirit. You will frequently hear her shout the sentence; “Broken crayons still color!” as she has a passion to help women and teens believe in the idea that no matter their difficult story or walls of weakness, God still has an incredible plan to go along with the purpose He’s placed in their life.
Can you share a typical 24 hours with us, Toni?
Every day looks different, which I absolutely love. Being in full-time ministry as an entrepreneur and an adventurer at heart, the fact that my husband and I get the opportunity to create our days and schedules is such a joy to my heart! The one thing that is consistent is that when I wake up I make sure to; do my devotional, pray and meditate with my Headspace app! After that, its a mixture of preschool for our threenager, traveling with my husband for speaking engagements, consulting Christian organizations and having as much fun as we possibly can!
Can you talk to us about what you do as a host and consultant at North Point Ministries?
I love North Point with all of my heart! Being at this church has changed and strengthened my relationship with God and given me the opportunity to fulfill my purpose at the highest level. I get the honor to host and speak at Sunday services to adults, Middle School and High School Services as well as special services like Easter, Good Friday and Christmas. As a host, I get to welcome attendees, talk through giving/offering and lead fun openers for our services. As a speaker/communicator, I get to speak to adults, teens, and women about topics that lead them to a growing relationship with Jesus Christ.
North Point Ministries was found by Andy Stanley, how did you two connect?
Andy is one of the greatest leaders I have ever met. He is a true example of a humble thought leader who leverages his influence for the benefit of others. My incredible husband, Sam Collier, has been at North Point for around 5 years and even before we got married he’d agreed to help me with my purpose (he has a true gift for connecting people to their purpose at the highest level). One of the ways that he did that was connecting me to organizations like North Point Ministries, Orange (ReThink Group), Chick-Fil-A Inc and so many more other incredible opportunities!
You hold a degree in business logistics and entrepreneurship, how has this come into play as we know you are using this as a vehicle grow churches, ministries & businesses in the areas of student ministry, creative marketing, leadership, innovation and strategic planning?
When I got out of college I hopped right into Corporate America and my degrees were immediately put into use. Honestly, I was really nervous about hopping into ministry because of the fear of “wasting” my degree. Surprisingly, God stepped in and showed me that while the ministry is a very social environment it also takes a level of business and strategy to operate at the highest level. I’ve now been able to help churches develop strategies through both a social and business lens that help them reach their goals and ultimately grow. My degree taught me the structure, gave me the fortitude and skills to be able to do that.
As a co-founder the faith-based consulting firm The Resource Group, can you tell us how you launched and what inspired you to do so?
I remember the day Sam (my husband) and I decided to start this business! We had been thinking and praying about how we could take all of the things that we were doing, the relationships we had and the talents God had given us and combine them in a way that helped others. So, we have a whiteboard room in the house and we took a few nights to brainstorm and it literally hit us; The Resource Group. We had tons of resources and we wanted to help leaders and organizations by giving it to them in strategic and growth-producing ways. In steps “The Resource Group: Helping organizations and leaders connect to resources that help them grow.”
We are in love with your well-known catchphrase “Broken crayons still colour”, can you tell us where it stemmed from?
My little one, Dylan is totally a little artist! She loves to color, so, I bought her the huge pack of crayons one day and let her have a coloring party in the living room. Well, I head to the kitchen to start working on dinner and I come back to a plethora of crayons ripped to pieces, all of their “clothes” torn off, totally broken to pieces. I immediately regret giving her the big box of crayons and not just one tiny box. Well, during that time I was going through a pretty rough patch in my life and while cleaning up all of the crayons I thought about all of the broken pieces of my life and started to cry. After I picked myself up and got in the bed, I started scrolling on Instagram, saw an image that said “Broken crayons still colour” and it gripped my heart in a way that I’ve never felt before. I immediately started writing a talk that I began doing in schools for middle school and high school students, then it grew to women and adults and it’s been an amazing journey so far!
What are you learning about still in this journey of life?
That God can still use you in your most broken places. The world tells us that we have to be fixed and perfected before we can do amazing things. It even goes as far as putting “perfect looking” people in front of us to prove that. But, I believe the truth is God can use us right in the middle of our brokenness and that in fact, he has used some off of the least, most broken rule-breakers to do some of his greatest works. Just read Acts!
Any motivational anecdotes to share?
COUNSELING. I can shout this from the rooftops! Counseling has totally changed my life. I’ve processed through trauma, insecurities, past relationships and so much more. It’s made me a better mom, wife, friend, Jesus-follower, and friend! So, go to counseling.
What about any challenging times you have had to overcome? When were they and how did you learn to overcome them?
I’ve been through a whole bunch of challenging times in my life, but one of the hardest was a moment when I doubted my God-given purpose. About two years ago, I’d been working in full-time ministry at a church and unfortunately transitioned out of that position. It was a hard transition and I turned completely away from ministry.
The hardest thing to do is turn from the thing that makes you the happiest to search for things that will never fulfill you as much. I overcame that season by learning this; if your dreams and purpose don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough. Once I embraced that fear, I was able to develop a strength that it takes to endure through storms for what God is doing in my life.
Have you ever had to deal with any doubts of contention or lack of support from relatives or friends? If so how did you push through?
I’ve honestly always had a lot of encouragement from friends and family which was so great! What I would say for people that don’t have that is to make immediate shifts. My husband is releasing a book called; Find Your Voice and the idea behind it is that there should be an atmosphere and a community that contributes greatly to your success. And, because of that, it’s important to distance yourself from the atmospheres and the communities that aren’t doing that for you.
What is the best piece of advice you have received to date?
I’ve gotten the privilege to work with our Gwinnett Church campus pastor Jeff Henderson and gosh is he an incredible leader. One of the things that I’ll never forget is his talk on a concept called “Confident Humility”. It’s the idea that you can maintain a healthy balance of humility while still being confident in who you are and while confidence is needed to perform at the highest level, we should never forget to be humble and grateful for every single moment that we walk this earth.
What would you tell your 18-year-old self?
So many things, but the thing I needed to hear was this, “Toni, you are enough. If you didn’t do another thing, accomplish another goal, have another boyfriend or put another spec of makeup on, you are enough. Just the way you are.”
If you could go back in time, what would you do again?
I would totally marry my husband over and over again. Cheesy right? But, so true! He’s my best friend, my soulmate, the person that makes me laugh the hardest, dream more and work harder. I wouldn’t change that for the world. I also would have my beautiful, charismatic, strong-willed blessing Dylan again. She’s the daughter I didn’t know I needed. She challenges me, teaches me a whole lot of patience and gets me excited for the future.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
So Long Insecurity, by Beth Moore. Literally a game changer for women. READ IT!
Can you give us 3 tips for staying positive?
I’m totally a fan of meditation. Download the app headspace and give it a try! Also, figuring out the things that make you really really happy and doing it as often as possible. For me, it’s outdoor adventure. The more I do it, the happier I get. Lastly, write down your strengths and accomplishments and look at them often. The more you can see your successes, the more you’ll push for more!
Lastly, what is next for you?
I am excited to partner with Sandra Stanley, Andy Stanley’s wife this year in taking Breathing Room (a women’s curriculum helping women pursue a pace in life that gives peace) to churches and women’s groups across America. I am also working on a Broken Crayons Still Colour book and bringing that message to as many women as possible! My hubby Sam and I are also going on a tour with brightpeak financial an incredible company that’s helping young couples write better love and money stories!
More can be found out here www.breathingroom.org and also www.brightpeak.com/samandtoni
Twitter: @tonijcollier | Instagram: @tonijcollier