Listening to Dan Allender spurred me on to get back involved with life. I emailed Ian and said thanks for the opportunities, but that I was going to look around for places where I could be more involved and even perhaps find a paid position. Ian emailed back saying he wanted to meet to talk. When we met he was emphatic that he still wanted me to be a part of things, but that he just didn’t have a position he could hire me to. He did offer for me to be non-paid staff on the Bridge Team. Not only would there be greater involvement, but it would open some up opportunities to connect and network.
Jana and I talked about this and she was concerned that I was going to get hoodwinked. She knew I’d throw myself into the work, but was concerned I wouldn’t be adequately rewarded for it. Plus, if we were to take the next step with our family I needed to find steady income. I was on board with the idea. Jana wasn’t all the way, but she trusted me in this decision.
Before I was even involved with the Bridge Team, Nancy Fager contacted me and wanted to meet. She had heard through the grapevine about my situation and wanted to help. When we met she offered me an hourly position where I’d be a consultant for Communications. It seemed like a good gig. I could do a variety of things Communications related because of my background with the ministry in Arkansas.
So in the Spring of 2005 I started my new consultant position. I was initially asked to design a magazine that would be a quarterly publication for the church. As I was helping out more and more, though, with Communications I was asked to take on other tasks and responsibilities. My work ethic was also a plus and that endeared me to Nancy more. So much so that I was becoming her go-to-person within Communications. That Fall of 2005 Nancy offered me a full-time paid position at Christ Community on the Communications Team. I gladly accepted.
I was already working over forty hours a week when I started full-time, officially, in February of 2006. Immediately my hours seemed to shoot up to over sixty hours a week on average. Communications was in a time of transition and I seemed to come in at the beginning of it. Right around the time I was offered the full-time position the individual who had been overseeing the Communications Team, under Nancy, was transitioned out into another role at the church. Thus started an exodus of personnel who had been working with the team. The people weren’t bad people, but where God was wanting to take the Communications Team meant that new personnel were going to be needed. Personnel who were specifically trained for their roles. And me? Well, I’m the Jack-of-all-trades, worked hard and was bought into what Christ Community was doing. I worked well with Nancy. It just seemed to be a great fit.
Over the course of 2006 I helped Nancy manage Communications through a variety of ways. This could be via her representative at meetings, giving responsibilities to others or just making sure everything was running smoothly. I was working hard, being effective and making a positive impact.
As personnel were transitioning out of the office we needed to bring in people to fill open positions. This may have been my greatest asset in grand scheme of things. Nancy wasn’t always going to be able to be over Communications so we needed to find someone who could come in, be mentored by her and take on the role. An old friend of mine I thought could do the job, but I didn’t think he’d want to move back to Omaha. He was into the outdoors, an adventurous kind of guy, and Omaha didn’t have the kind of things he was into. Still, he always came to mind so I finally talked to him about the position one day. Amazingly, he (Nick Kelly) was interested.
Nick was thinking of moving back to Omaha because his father was battling cancer. When we talked about the position, and when he had discussions with Nancy, we all knew it was the right fit and God had orchestrated everything. Nick had been wanting to get more involved with ministry and this was a great opportunity for him on a number of fronts. He came on full-time in the early Fall of 2006.
Around this time I also was introduced to Greg Nunamaker. He was a web designer who was also teaching digital media at UNO. We were emailing back and forth and I mentioned to him about the web position at Christ Community. He was interested in the role, and was also looking to be more involved with ministry. He like the idea of putting his skills to use for God. He started meeting and talking with Nancy and my dad about coming on staff. He then talked with Nick, since Nick would be his boss. After deliberating for awhile he accepted the position and started on October 31, 2006.
We had also hired a part-time designer in the fall, Christine Gerhart. When our other designer transitioned out I, along with others, pushed for her to be hired full-time. She got the role and immediately was doing double the work we were use to from the position.
With Jen Lathrop transitioning into the team as well, from another position at the church, we had a fully functioning team. (Just in need of a video person.)
I was stoked because I had helped out in crafting this team of people who were extremely qualified in their roles. It also meant, though, that I was releasing a lot of my former responsibilities and roles to the new members of the team.
In November I had a huge change come when Liam was born to Jana and me. Even more subtle, though, was the change that was coming to my role and the question of what would be next in life and work.