Melanie Smollen at The Center for Congregational Excellence


The Center for Congregational Excellence is pleased to announce that Melanie Smollen has accepted a full-time position as Missional Strategist. The focus of this new role is to develop systems that find and equip missional leaders who plant and multiply New Places for New People. She will also coach and consult with pastors and existing churches to bring transformational change.  
Melanie has most recently served as founder and president of Faith Perceptions, a church hospitality consultancy firm. For years, the Missouri Conference has worked with Faith Perceptions through their mystery guest program helping churches discover exactly what first-time visitors think and feel about their experience. Melanie has worked with over 1,500 churches of every size helping them grow and connect with those they are trying to reach, leading her to develop best practices for church hospitality. She also brings with her over 10 years of experience in market research, using that expertise to oversee the market research projects for Hendrickson Business Advisors.
Director of Congregational Excellence, Roger Ross, is enthusiastic about Melanie coming onboard. “From my first conversation with Melanie, I was impressed with her authenticity, extensive experience in church consultations, infectious curiosity and deep passion to connect people to a life-giving relationship with Jesus Christ. She is a great fit with our team and the kind of work we do.”
Melanie is a native of Traverse City, Michigan and currently lives in Cape Girardeau with her husband, Paul, who is in full-time ministry. They are parents to four kids, a dog and a cat. Away from the office, you can find her enjoying the simple things in life like quiet time with a cup of coffee, eating good food (southern style), and cooking up a big meal for her family and friends.
Melanie will be working remotely from Cape Girardeau and making periodic visits to Columbia to connect with the team as well as traveling through the Conference to connect with churches and local leadership teams. You can reach her at: She will begin her work on November 1.