My name is Andrea Coli (yes, I know it's spelled like e-coli, but it's pronounced "coley") OK...now that we got that straight...here's a little about me.
I've always loved being up in front of people, and once I learned that God gifts us in the ways that He wants to use us, I knew that He would use me through speaking and teaching.
Along the way two things happened ~ one that grounded me, and one that taught me the sky's the limit.
The one that grounded me with a solid Biblical foundation was my seminary experience at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, CA. There I felt affirmed in my call to ministry, I grew in my faith and understanding of scripture, and I met my husband Chris.
The one that stretched my limits and taught me that the unthinkable is possible, is the opportunity I had to be an Improviser on the Las Vegas Strip with The Second City. You may wonder what improvisation has to do with ministry - but you'll have to read my book to find out more about that. Let's just say that God has a great sense of humor and I try to follow suit.
I live in the San Francisco Bay Area ~ specifically in the East Bay in Livermore. Chris and I have 2 daughters, Quinn and Kennedy. CrossWinds Church is our church home where Chris is the Senior Pastor. I am on staff as a Teaching Pastor and part of the Creative Arts ministry team.
Like many of you reading this right now, I wear a lot of hats in my day to day life. But one of the things I love the most is getting to speak God's truth into people's lives. I am continually grateful for every opportunity that comes my way.
Andrea has been described as “having the ability to transform a room into a fun atmosphere while enriching it with the Truth of God’s word”. She uses her background in improv comedy and her vast biblical knowledge to inspire others to discover God’s unique call for their lives. Having worked professionally in business, ministry and comedy she is able to connect with any audience member regardless of where they are in their spiritual journey. Andrea is enthusiastic, inspirational and relatable. Whether you are laughing, crying or a bit of both, her sense of humor will capture your attention and then lead you on a journey to the heart of the message.
Andrea is passionate about the church and has ministered to youth, women, couples, leaders and church staff across the country for the last 2 decades. Having earned her Masters Degree from Fuller Theological Seminary, her scriptural insights are both grounded and enlightening. In 2003, she moved to Las Vegas and had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to join the cast of The Second City’s “Scriptless” an all-improvised show on the Vegas Strip. Her years of improvisation have equipped her to connect with audiences from the moment she steps on stage. And from that moment on, her listeners are in for a ride that is not easily forgotten as she challenges them to know God and His Truth in life transforming ways.
Andrea ministers at CrossWinds Church as a Teaching Pastor and part of the Creative Arts Team. She partners with her husband Chris, who is the Senior Pastor. Chris and Andrea live in the San Francisco Bay Area with their two daughters.
Here's what Andrea learned about God on the Las Vegas Strip!
When I started taking improv classes, it was just a way to have fun and improve my stage skills. After completing the Training Conservatory at The Second City in Detroit, I figured I was done with improv. It was a great experience and I definitely learned a lot.
But then we moved to Vegas. After living there for a few months I found out that The Second City in Vegas was casting for a new all-improvised show to run on The Strip. Long story short...I auditioned, I was cast, and I had the amazing opportunity for several years to perform in that show.
Shortly after the show began I started to see these parallels between what I was learning about improv and my own faith. In fact, I was surprised about how much improv was teaching me about my relationship with God and what it means to be part of a community. For a long time these concepts simmered in my mind. I wasn't sure what I was supposed to do with the ideas, but I always had this sense that I was meant to share them in some way.
It wasn't until many years later that I came to the conclusion that I was supposed to share them in the form of a book. So I just started writing. And writing. And writing. And writing. The result was Scriptless: What I Learned About God on the Las Vegas Strip. The book is filled with stories about the show, experiences that happen when you are making stuff up on stage as you go, and the spiritual truths that I learned along the way.
If you read my book, whether you are a performer or far from it, or a person of faith or far from it, I hope you will find truths that encourage you in whatever your journey happens to look like.
What does a Vegas show have to do with learning what it means to follow God? In this book, Andrea Coli talks about her experience in the sact of an improv show in the Strip and how God revealed Himself in an unlikely way. Her conversational style invites you to step onto the Las Vegas stage and discover spiritual truths hidden in the rules of improvisation. In the end, you'll agree that life, like improvisation, can be surprisingly remarkable when you're scriptless!