Getting to Know You:
I was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil while my parents were living there planting churches. Unfortunately, eu não falo português. When I was 5 years old, our family moved to San Diego, California where I fell in love with baseball. When I was 8, we moved to Garland, TX because the scenery is a lot better than Rio and San Diego. I went to Luna Elementary, Webb Middle School, and Naaman Forest HS. Our family was a part of Lake Highlands Church, and Donny Martin (who is on the board of Antioch Dallas), was my youth pastor. Our youth group did a combined summer youth camp with Antioch Waco and Christ Fellowship Church, and that is when I first connected with Antioch. After graduating High School, I moved to Abilene, TX to attend Abilene Christian University. While in college, I got connected and involved at Beltway Park Church. After graduating with a degree in English & Teaching, I started working full-time at Beltway as the associate college pastor AND got married to Cara Lee (Gombert) West. Cara Lee & I have 3 kids...Jireh (6yr), Elim (4yr), and Brielle (2yr). I worked at Beltway for 9 years as Associate College Pastor, College Pastor, Worship Leader, and Discipleship School Director. This past year we sensed God calling us to move to Dallas and join Antioch Dallas, so in August we moved back to Dallas and are THRILLED to be here!
What role do you serve on? What do you do on a weekly basis as a part of that team?
So I have a multi-faceted role that I LOVE! I serve as the Worship Pastor, Discipleship School Director, and a part of our Executive Leadership Team. As Worship Pastor, I’m privileged to work with the many musicians, singers, sound guys, and production team that work together to lead worship for our collective gatherings. This includes: scheduling our worship teams for all events, planning worship sets, rehearsals, arranging songs, writing songs, stewarding our equipment, but most of all getting to lead worship with an amazing group of people! As Director of the Discipleship School, I get to help people in our church take steps in their discipleship journey in a more structured and intentional way...this includes planning the curriculum, teaching, and activities, facilitating class time, coordinating with other staff and Antioch leaders who invest in our students, and organizing outreach trips! As a part of the Executive Team, I help oversee our staff and the overall vision and direction of the church. It is a great joy to wake up each morning and get to serve God and our church family at Antioch!
Why did you want to serve on this team? Why is this role important?
I believe the local church is the hope of the world. God is using the local church to transform the world one day and life at a time, just as we can read about in the Book of Acts. As a leader in the local church, my role is to equip and empower the saints to do the work of the ministry in their families, workplace, and other circles of influence. Many people have the wrong belief that being a pastor is more important than being a school teacher or business man or doctor or stay at home mom, nothing could be further from the truth! One of the reasons I wanted to serve on this team, is because I’ve seen how Antioch is so intentional to equip and empower the people of God to live out the purposes of God in whatever station and season of life they are in. I love that Antioch is not a self-seeking church, but a church that is seeking first the kingdom of God and seeking to advance the kingdom of God outside the four walls of the church! I love coming alongside people and helping them live out all God has for them.
How have you grown in your faith through being on staff?
Great question. I heard Bill Hybels say one time, “When a leader gets better, everyone wins.” I always want to be growing and becoming more like Jesus! I have come so far, but still have so far to go. Since joining the Antioch staff, one area I have grown in faith is in believing God for more! I am so challenged by the people in our church and on staff, the vision they have for advancing the kingdom of God, for believing God for impossible things. Whether it be people giving radically financially, going to the nations, being bold in evangelism, or believing God for miracles in their family; I have been so encouraged and challenged and inspired to do the same.
What challenges have you encountered as you invested in this team? How have you seen God use you through this team?
I want to shave my beard, but everyone has a beard and I’m nervous, so that’s kind of a road block and challenge for me right now. In addition, the building has been... well...the building. But that’s changing soon! It’s been a unique and fun challenge coming from a church that was 5,000 with a staff of 120 people, to a smaller setting. I love the intimacy and camaraderie we have on our staff and in our church, but there have been some adjustments for me to get used because of the stage of life and size of our team. I think I have been an encouragement to our team by being able to bring some fresh perspective, vision for steps we need to take as we grow, and hopefully people have been encouraged by my passion and authenticity as I lead worship!
Describe some of the relationships you have been able to build through being in this role?
Since joining Antioch, it has been so much fun to reconnect with old friends and to make a bunch of new ones! Joe Paolino and I played baseball together when we were 13-14, Craig & Hannah Klement, & Meredith Tapie have been close friends of Cara Lee and I since childhood, and Donny Tapie was in my college ministry in Abilene. Being in ADS has opened a ton of new doors for relationship; both my wife and I have gotten really close with the fellow students in our dgroups, as well as many others. Through the worship team, it’s been a blast getting to know all of the singers and musicians here. We have such a fun time together, and I’m consistently blown away by their pure hearts of worship, combined with great skill. In addition to the relationships here in Dallas, it’s been awesome to build relationships with worship pastors and leaders throughout the Antioch Movement!
Where do you see our church in 5 years?
I’m new, so I’m still learning the great history of this church family, but one thing I have gathered is that the people of Antioch Dallas are some of the most authentic, hospitably, friendly, and faith-filled I have been around. I think that those attributes are going to continue to attract people to this community. I really sense that in the next 5 years we will have an explosion of growth in the size of our church and in the scope of our ministry as God pours out his grace on us. Lord willing in 5 years, we’ll have planted 5 more churches! We’ll have a youth group developing! We’ll have some sort of ongoing prayer at the center of our church life! We’ll be a multi-generational, and multi-ethnic people, wholeheartedly loving Jesus and making him known here in the Dallas area and around the world!