What I do:
Since 2011, I have been working in the Emerging Generations Department (Middle School, High School and Young Adult) of a quickly growing, multi-site church in Central Florida. I primarily oversee the production and branding side of the ministry. Most weeks, that translates to a lot of gathering production, training volunteers (for media, lighting, and audio), video production with some graphic design, web design, and atmosphere. As a part-time staff member with a lot on my plate, I’ve had to develop strategies for working efficiently and only doing high-impact projects. I’ve also had to learn a lot about delegating tasks and training volunteer teams. My hope for this blog is to share some lessons I’ve learned about effectively managing production and creative areas of ministry.
Where I started:
I actually began my career path with hopes and dreams of becoming an architect. I’ve always been artistic as well as having a natural aptitude for math and physics. So, since Middle School, I’ve thought I would love a career that involved designing buildings… some engineering, some creativity – perfect! I worked hard to get a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Architecture from Miami University (of Ohio) and Masters of Fine Arts in Architecture from Rhode Island School of Design (traveling to my favorite cities and interning at small architecture firms along the way). But shortly after I graduated, God began to change my heart about my career path. The catalyst was a short-term mission trip I went on to Guatemala. On that trip, for the first time since becoming a Christian at 13 years old, I realized that God wanted to use my gifts and talents to glorify him. I always knew that I could glorify God in small ways as an architect, but a career of ministry had never been on my radar. Quite honestly though, I had never asked. I had insecurities about what kinds of things I excelled at, and I wrongly assumed that God wouldn’t want me for vocational ministry. To me, ministry meant that I would have to be a good speaker, highly relational, charismatic, and extroverted. I was none of these things. So, when I returned from that mission trip and felt God calling me to ministry (specifically youth ministry), I was confused and anxious. But my passion and vision for youth ministry continued to grow, so one night, I made a deal with God (which I wouldn’t necessarily suggest). I told Him I would follow any plan He had for my life, as long as He was with me and He would help me figure out the details… Within the next year, He opened doors for ministry opportunities that were perfect for my specific skill set.
More about me:
I enjoy painting/drawing, doing home improvement projects, travelling, reading, swimming, volleyball, discovering new music, cooking, listening to podcasts, and finding a good bargain. I recently married my best friend and the funniest man I know, Andy. We met through serving together in our young adult ministry, a passion we share. We also share a love of really good coffee! We have 2 dogs and 9 nieces and nephews. We spend a lot of time with our family and friends. We’re outdoorsy… (when we feel like it), which means a camping trip, a beach trip, a theme park day, or an outdoor festival every now and then. We like to share and explore culture together by going to concerts, visiting galleries and museums, learning to cook exotic foods, travelling, and trying new restaurants.
Hopes and Dreams for the Future:
We hope to start a family soon and are praying about adopting.
We are dreaming about and working towards getting out of debt.
We are designing a tiny home on wheels that we will build ourselves within the next 5 or 10 years. We plan to transport it to some land in the Tennessee mountains and vacation in it with our family.
The church we’re a part of is growing quickly so we’re excited about being a part of some transitional steps that are forthcoming. As a couple, we see ourselves continuing to be a part of young adult ministry, worship/production, and missional community leadership (our version of small groups).
In my current role on staff, I would love to see our Student Ministry as well as our church taking new strides towards networking with other churches to share resources and strategies. I also have a goal for our Student Ministry to have a more intentional and effective social media strategy. And, I would love to help develop an even more relevant, energetic, contextualized environment for students. And finally, I am continually focused on building these dreams on the shoulders of a team, not just myself. Each day, I have to approach my job with the goal of equipping the saints to do the work of the ministry.