Meet the Worship and Communications Team

by Jennifer Redmond, M.Ed., Communications Team

As someone who volunteers with the teams spotlighted this week, I can tell you firsthand—they are a lot of fun. (One of these leaders even plays on a semi-pro Frisbee team!)

They’re also incredibly passionate about what they do at GCR, from debating the punctuation of a church announcement to deciding on worship sets, coffee or food for events, and, even in October, actively preparing for the season of Advent.

Can you picture a Sunday with no one to greet you at the door? No one to hand you some hot coffee? Worse, no worship music or sound system? No microphone so we could hear Pastor Andrew share the Word? This week we take you behind-the-scenes of all of these critical processes, and the people who keep them moving.

As Spenser Foley says about hospitality:
“People can’t be reached unless you are available to reach them. They can’t feel at home unless you are friendly and kind towards them. They can’t feel the love of God if we don’t show them His love whenever they come to church.”

[Today’s blog is part of a monthly series to encourage leadership appreciation; read the first in our series, “Why Pastor and Leadership Appreciation Month Matters,” right here.]

Brian Friberg, Worship and Communications Pastor
Tell us which responsibilities you hold:
I oversee all Sunday morning “first touch areas”—Sunday service flow, worship teams, communion, communication and hospitality areas, special services, sound, production, and decoration.

Describe your typical day:
My days typically consist of praying, planning, and evaluating our weekend gatherings, leading and attending meetings with staff members, creating and arranging songs for Sundays, as well as training intern and practicum students in church leadership.

How long have you been at GCR:
6 years

Background in ministry:
I have served as a worship pastor for over 20 years, leading worship in churches around the country, as well as at national and local conventions and convocations. I have worked with multiple denominations through leading worship, serving as an informal consultant, and assisting with leadership training.

Introduce your family:
My wife and I have been married for over 15 years, and we love raising our son together.

What you appreciate about our church:
I appreciate how genuine and caring everyone is for each other.

Favorite eats in Lynchburg:
I love the sushi at Suzaku Cafe, Joe Beans coffee, and I love watching movies and hiking with my wife and family.

What you’re reading:
The Eternal Current by Aaron Niequist, Insider Outsider by Bryan Loritts, and re-reading Everybody Always by Bob Goff with the communications team.

What worship songs you have on repeat:
Living Hope, Touch of Heaven, and Here Again.

Biggest prayer need:
A strong finish for the 2018 year. The Advent and Christmas seasons are right around the corner. As we prepare and plan for the holiday season, pray for vision, direction, and creativity, as well as for the Lord to meet and encourage the church through the power of the Holy Spirit.

What would be a blessing to the Communication team:
Prayer is always first and foremost, but coffee, encouragement, or a sweet treat (anything Reese’s) would not be frowned upon either!

Becca Baumbick, Communications Director
Tell us which responsibilities you hold:
I lead a team of graphic designers, videographers, photographers, writers, etc. and filter communication coming in and out of GCR.
While our team may be doing temporary work at GCR, we are ultimately investing into something far more eternal. We are investing our specific talents to bring glory to the Lord. We are the team that creates invitations to the masses.

Describe a typical day:
Every day brings new tasks, which is the best thing! I usually spend time responding to emails, sending out graphics requests to my design team, filtering announcements, delegating photographers and videographers to different tasks, and brainstorming for future sermon series.

Fun Fact:
I can touch my nose with my tongue!

How long have you been at GCR:
I’ve been attending GCR for a little over a year now and have been serving on staff for around 5 months.

Tell us about your family:
My family is all from NE Ohio. In Lynchburg, I have my soon-to-be family, my fiancé, Connor, who serves on the worship team here.

What you appreciate about our church:
I absolutely adore how GCR feels like home. It’s a warm atmosphere of safety and incredible community with solid, Scripture-anchored teaching.

What’s something you want others to know about your team:
A lot of our work is done behind the scenes! You could be sitting next to the designer of a GCR event graphic, and you may never know it!

What opportunities do you have for others to serve:
We love to expand! Calling all videographers, photographers, writers, and graphic designers!
What would be a blessing to your team?
Affirmation. Since a lot of what we do as a Communications Team is done behind the scenes, our team could always use encouragement and a thankful heart! Our team is full of gifted individuals with so much heart for Jesus and His people—they deserve it!

Spenser Foley, Hospitality Director
Tell us which responsibilities you hold:
I lead all the Hospitality Teams including First Impressions, Greeting, Coffee, Connection Table, Ushering, Communion, and Counting. Every team member a guest interacts with on Sunday morning is under one of my teams. From parking, to getting coffee or asking questions, and to giving you tithes and offerings, the Hospitality Teams help provide a loving, home-like atmosphere every Sunday.

Describe a typical day:
I like to get here early and catch up on emails. Then, depending on what’s going on that week, I talk to my team leaders, send out what they need to know, and make sure every team is scheduled for Sunday. I also run an event company separately, so I spend a lot of time planning and running events.

Fun Fact:
I play for a semi-professional ultimate frisbee team in Charlottesville called Tyrannis.

How long have you been at GCR:
I’ve been going to Gospel for 8+ years, serving for four, and working here for 8 months.

Tell us about your family:
I’m married to my beautiful wife Hannah, and we have two adorable cats named Rupert and Tiger.

What you appreciate about our church:
How much we love on the community. I love how much time and finances we direct to serving the immediate and extended community around us.

How can we pray for you:
Running a business is tough, so I could always appreciate prayers for that. Also, that Hannah and I can make a bigger impact in our neighborhood around us.

What’s something you want others to know about your team:
My team is led by volunteers. I only help schedule or lead when needed. But my team leaders schedule their teams out, train them, and provide support and care.

What opportunities do you have for others to serve:
We currently would love to have more team members for our First Impressions and Usher Teams.

What would be a blessing to your team:
Prayer is always appreciated, as is donuts or chocolate-covered pretzels.

Karen Nichols, Ministry Assistant
Tell us which responsibilities you hold:
Assist the ministers with clerical tasks.

Describe a typical day:
Answer telephone and door; process use of facility requests and schedule rooms; process Connection Cards; compile the weekly newsletter; type and print the bulletin; assist with other clerical tasks as requested by pastors and other staff.

Fun Fact:
Reading Christian fiction or binge watching “NCIS” is my guilty pleasure.

How long have you been at GCR:
Before the adoption/rebirth, I worked at RABC since Dec 1989, and I transitioned into Gospel when the two churches came together a year ago. December of this year I will have worked in this location 29 years.

Tell us about your family:
My husband Tommy and I were married in June 1986. My daughter, Jessica, is 30 years old and my daughter, Heather, is 26 years old.

What you appreciate about our church:
The genuine love for others that flows from the pastors and elders.

How can we pray for you:
That I remember no matter how busy I am with the clerical work, people that come in my office are an opportunity and not a distraction from “work.” That my family’s ongoing health issues will stay calm for awhile.

Today’s blog is part of an ongoing series throughout October to encourage appreciate of our pastors and church leadership; read the first in our series, “Why Pastor and Leadership Appreciation Month Matters,” right here.

Ways to Bless Those in Leadership
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

Read all of the blog posts in our series here:
– Why Pastor and Leadership Appreciation Month Matters
– Meet the Family Ministries Teams
– Meet the Teaching and Outreach Teams
– Meet the Executive and Administrative Teams

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