Written by Jennifer Redmond, M.Ed., Communications Team
This week we’re shining the spotlight on some truly “behind the scenes” teams. Headed by Pastor Nathan Taylor—who shares his unlikely journey to full-time ministry below—this awesome group is responsible for such critical items like heating and cooling, clean facilities, timely emails, financial management and much more! Their goal is to ensure “that the things that happen in the background illuminate the mission of God in our homes, community, and world.” In doing so, they count the weekly offering, keep the building at the right temperature, process all of the connection cards collected each Sunday, and generally keep things together in many unseen, yet critical, ways.
Keep reading to learn more about Steve Timmons, Butch Seward, Karen Nichols, Annette Barrasso, and Pastor Nate. You’ll learn how they serve, current prayer needs, and how we as a church can be a blessing to them in practical and encouraging ways.
Today’s blog is part of an ongoing series to encourage pastor and church leadership appreciation; read the first in our series, “Why Pastor and Leadership Appreciation Month Matters,” right here.
Nathan Taylor, Executive Pastor
Tell us what responsibilities you hold:
I’m responsible to lead and hold accountable the management team (currently pastors Brian, Brenton, Andrew). I plan and facilitate staff meetings, leadership development, and culture. I have oversight of the finances, facilities, and administration of the church. Additionally, I teach/preach anywhere from six to eight times a year, run discipleship meetings, and just pitch in with anything else the church might need 🙂
Describe your typical day:
What I love about my job is that each day can look different from the next. The consistent component is meetings, which span a variety of topics and needs. My job also consists of preventing and solving problems and looking into the future of Gospel Community Church – Rivermont in preparation for what God has for us next.
How long have you been here:
Been on staff full-time for almost 5 years. I’m thankful to have had the privilege to help found Gospel Community 10 years ago, and I have largely been serving as an elder ever since with the exception of a one year hiatus.
Background in ministry:
When I began attending college, I also started to lead worship at a few small churches and in university ministries. In 2007, my first year of grad school, I was asked to become an elder and worship pastor at a new church plant that would eventually become Gospel Community. I initially declined this invitation because I never wanted to work in vocational ministry—I just wanted to serve as a non-paid volunteer.
However, I fell in love with the local church through my involvement at Gospel and was extremely committed to serving in a lay capacity. I spent four out of the next 5 years serving as an elder and helping to build Gospel Community alongside others, including Pastor Andrew, while working in student affairs, a software company, restaurant management, and higher education technology.
Although extremely resistant to full-time vocational ministry, by 2013 our church had grown and desperately needed additional staff and structure; God did a great work in my wife Rebekah’s, as well as my heart, and I obeyed his clear direction to follow him into this season of full-time ministry.
One thing has remained consistent throughout all of those years: I love the local church, and I specifically love this body of believers.
Introduce your family:
I’ve been married to Rebekah for 10 years; we have our 2-year-old daughter, Scarlett; and our son, Jackson, is due November 24th.
What you appreciate about our church:
I love the heart of humility and service that our church embodies. As a whole, our church is constantly looking for ways to serve each other and those around us, which comes from Jesus’ command to love one another. This culture is a part of our DNA, and we would not be the same church without it. I hope this never changes.
Favorite eats in Lynchburg:
Shoemakers is the best meal in town, in my humble opinion. We also love to hike as a family.
What you’re reading:
The Gospel Comes with a House Key by Rosaria Butterfield, and Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. by Ron Chernow.
Biggest prayer need:
Please pray for the healthy birth of Jackson and for Bekah’s health and recovery through the process.
Our facilities, finance, and administrative teams’ mission is to facilitate environments and structures that will allow for those that come in contact with GCR to love God, grow in community, and reach out with the love of Christ.
Steve Timmons, Facilities Manager
Spent most of his career in the Air Force and the NSA; in fact, there isn’t a lot he can’t do. (I wouldn’t mess with him if I were you.)
Karen Nichols, Ministry Assistant
Has been working in this building for 28 years and tells it like it is (which we love!).
Jon “Butch” Seward, Custodian
Butch has a true servant’s heart and is a lifelong Redskins fan. Do not come into his office with Cowboys’ stuff on!
Annette Barrasso, Financial and Administrative Assistant
She’s originally from New York, has a law degree, and worked for IBM for many years.
Tasks this team is responsible for:
This team is responsible for anything from cleaning toilets, printing documents, and writing reimbursement checks, to overseeing whole building heating system replacements, ensuring the church stewards finances well, and keeping people engaged and connected in the church body. The team assists the entire staff and body of Christ by ensuring that the things that happen in the background illuminate the mission of God in our homes, community, and world.
Share something you want the church to know about your team:
• Karen processes between 25 and 40 connection cards a week.
• Steve currently comes in on Fridays or Saturdays to set the temperature much cooler so that we don’t sweat with the large attendance on Sundays.
• Until a recent installation of an access control system, Butch has spent the last 6 years coming back to the building every night as late as 10 p.m. to lock up the building as requested after events so the building could be used for ministry.
• Annette works very hard to reconcile all of our expenses towards the end of each month, so we can stay agile in our budgeting and respond to ministry opportunities as we become aware.
Biggest prayer need:
Because these team members are largely in the background (as they would all likely prefer), please pray that the Lord will encourage them in times when it may feel that their jobs are not as important to the mission as other visible positions. Pray that they will have wisdom and discernment with their responsibilities.
• Stay tuned for future facilities work days that we use to clean up and refresh our building and grounds.
• We have an administrative service team as well that has opportunities to serve by joining the weekly offering counting team, helping to organize files, or helping to shop for ministry resources as necessary.
How our church can bless your team:
Prayer is the greatest gift and blessing anyone could give. (I’m sure they would love to enjoy pizza one day or breakfast or anything really!)
Today’s blog is part of an ongoing series to encourage pastor and church leadership appreciation; read the first in our series, “Why Pastor and Leadership Appreciation Month Matters,” right here. Click to read more about our Family Ministries team and our Teaching and Outreach team.
Ways to Bless Those in Leadership
Throughout the following month, we encourage you to consider blessing our leadership in one or more of the following ways. We’ll also be sharing more about each pastor and leadership team to help you get to know them better!
1) Pray for them and their families
2) Send them an encouraging email or a handwritten note of gratitude
3) Ask them how you can help
4) Drop off some coffee and pastries at the church offices—or some pizzas!
5) Coordinate with your community group and do an act of service for them (make a meal, tackle a house project, babysit and send them on a date night, etc.)
6) Pick up a gift certificate to a favorite restaurant or coffee shop