DaySpring approaches the work of the church in a unique way. From the very beginning we have said that we will be church that is cared for and run by the laity. To facilitate this process we have created The Chart, which has five areas: Worship, Hospitality, Missions, Spiritual Formation, and Stewardship. In September our members have the opportunity to make a one-year commitment to caring for a specific ministry of our church. Some will sign up to organize and serve at Gospel Café, others will sign up to clean our facilities or care for the grounds, or teach Sunday School. Each year we start from scratch, giving everyone the opportunity to serve in new ways or take a season of rest as needed. We have found this process to be a meaningful way to develop trust while enabling our members to become stewards of our church and ministries.
The church is led by a five-member Coordinating Council, who each serve as chair for a six-month term at the end of their rotation. The Coordinating Council has direct oversight of the ministerial staff and, from time to time, appoints ad-hoc committees for various purposes. The Council reports to the church at Quarterly Meetings and often brings forward various motions regarding the life of the church. As a Baptist church, the congregation is the final authority on all matters and often votes in business meetings on various proposals brought forward. Every member of DaySpring is a "voting member" and is encouraged to participate in the governance and decision-making of the church.
Our laity-centered approach has resulted in maintaining a lean staff. We have always had only one full-time staff member. Most of our staff is bi-vocational, employed at a part-time level. Most our current staff have been called out of the congregation. Although this has not been intentional, it reflects the trust we place in one another as we minister together and our staff's commitment to DaySpring as their church.
The DaySpring ministerial staff includes:
Eric Howell, Pastor— Email Eric
Eric and his family came to DaySpring in 2008. Prior to coming to Waco, Eric pastored churches in Virginia and North Carolina. Originally from Ft. Worth, Eric has degrees from Texas A&M and Duke Divinity School. He and his wife Jenny have three children.
Tiffani Harris, Minister for Children and Community Life — Email Tiffani
Tiffani and her husband, Brent have three children and have lived in Waco for many years. She has a Masters in Divinity from Truett Theological Seminary at Baylor University.
Kyle Knighton, Minister of Spiritual Formation — Email Kyle
Kyle and his wfie, Emily, have been involved the life of DaySpring since 2010. Kyle became the Youth Minister in 2014 and is currently in seminary at Truett Theological Seminary, Baylor University.
Susan Thrift, Music Minister — Email Susan
A native of Waco, Susan has been in the music ministry for over twenty years, having served on staff at several churches in the area before coming to DaySpring. She is a retired high school choir director who enjoys writing music published for school and church choirs. Her son and family live in Austin where he is a software engineer, and her daughter and family are CBF field personnel in southeast Asia.
Nancy Cox, Office Manager - Email Nancy
Pastoral Associate Program
The DaySpring Pastoral Associate Program engages those going into vocational ministry in the pastoral work of the church and enables them to gain needed and valuable experience. The Pastoral Associates and the church enter into a teaching/learning covenant for a year, providing the student with the opportunity to function in a variety of pastoral roles. Each Associate is a member of the church staff team and is assigned to particular areas of ministry throughout the year based upon his or her gifts and interests and the church's needs. The Pastor, Staff, and the Coordinating Council are responsible for admitting candidates to the program. The Pastor is responsible for the supervision of each Associate.
The current DaySpring pastoral associates are Madi Harner, and Paulette Taylor.