Operations & Administration Division Coordinator (a.k.a. Administrative Pastor, Business Administrator; Corporate Secretary and Treasurer))
Hi, I'm Steve Bauer. I'd like to share some elements of my life in God's church and here at Xenos.
I came to work at this uniquely God-led organization in May of 1995. I worked in the for-profit corporate world for 12 years (more on that below). When I began work for Xenos, a church where I met Christ in 1988, I didn't fully understand the breadth of career change I would experience. What a rewarding challenge - to be able to match career experience and work strengths with a desire to see God's purposes move forward in Central Ohio and the world beyond.
Beyond the church work I'm blessed to be able to do, I am so joyful to be part of a local church in which God manifests His grace and love so actively through His people. Ministry opportunities abound in and through Xenos. I am part of a dynamic and diverse home group here at Xenos. I am one of the older members, chronologically, but more importantly as a maturing (though farther from mature each year it seems) Christian. I believe as we grow more in Christ we learn more how far from His character we truly are, driving me to His grace. It has been a true joy to help younger Christians discern God's word and make tough life decisions within a biblical world view. I worked in the Junior High ministry for 20 years, a true stretch of faith for me to give myself away, during which I finally got to minister with my own son for his 3 years of middle school.
I have had an amazing journey in growing a wonderfully unique family. In September 1998, we traveled to Hainan, China to adopt our beautiful, energetic and loving 9 month old daughter, Andrea Li. We then traveled to Cambodia in March 2000 to receive our 2 month old son, Evan Arthur (middle name is my dad's). God blessed me in the fall of 2003 with a new partner for life, Malia. I had became a widower in January 2003, losing my partner, friend and co-worker for Christ. I was blessed to have Marilyn in my life for almost 23 years, with almost 19 as my spouse. She was absolutely sure of her eternal destiny in God's hands, and felt she was leaving the world a legacy of two amazing children. And we will all one day be reunited with no more tears!
God made it so clear that Malia and I were to be together, through many avenues. I feel like Job at the end of his travails, as his life is put into perspective with God -- in Job 42:12 the Bible relates that God blessed Job “in the second half of his life” (NLT) greater than in the first. I am a living testament to that kind of incredible grace and loving gift, as He chose me as Malia's husband. His plan for me has been a great one.
I'm always happy to have Columbus as the place I return to when I travel, since Malia and I are blessed to have extended family here and are part of such a unique and wonderful church.
Specifics of My Current Work
My position as Operations Coordinator keeps me busy with overseeing the many administrative aspects of church. I oversee facility development (including construction projects) and maintenance, information systems, accounting, office management, and light & sound systems for our meetings, events and seminars. I also serve as the church’s human resources director. I also am privileged to oversee the facilities and systems at Urban Concern, our inner-city 501(c)(3) ministry, and am responsible for facilities and systems at multiple locations for Xenos Christian Schools. When I explain this role to friends and family who haven't had contact with such a job, I usually explain that I oversee, "the indirectly spiritual areas that support and affect the work in the church’s directly spiritual activities". As secretary / treasurer of our corporation and also for Urban Concern, I've been able to have a complete first-hand view of the inner operations of our organization.
I've earned a working degree in construction management... As part of my initial work for the church, I was responsible for oversight of the construction of our main campus on the 60+ acre site Xenos bought in 1991. After spending a large part of my time in 1995 through 1997 with bankers, lawyers, construction managers and related professionals, we finally reached the point where our two main facilities were completed. More productive offices, our extensive library, enhanced youth facilities and large meeting capability are really paying off in God's work. We moved into our meeting facility and classroom space in August, 1997 and are reminded constantly of God's blessing through these enhanced facilities, especially as we look back to where we came from. In 1999, we added another facility to our campus - a 12,000 sq. ft. building oriented toward the needs of our youth, ‘Building X’. Another major addition was completed in 2001 - a 6,000 sq. ft. addition to our Main Campus, referred to as ‘The Atrium’. In 2006 we completed a unique ‘Cafe’ addition to our facilities – a modern and warm large meeting space (for 400 people) with a full service kitchen attached. What we learned from other building projects went into creating a very usable space that includes dedicated a small child play area viewed from the main meeting area, along with a huge play room for older children. With this addition, our Main Campus facilities have almost 92,000 square feet of ministry space, along with outstanding grounds (including fire pits and our 1-mile loop through woods and hills). God has certainly supplied for the needs of His church on our main site.
In 2005 we started two major construction projects in the urban areas of Columbus – in South Linden and in the Ohio State University District. I was able to be a key part of the acquisition of properties in those neighborhoods, working with city officials and various community groups. Our goal was to build facilities to get God’s church deeply invested into these – some of the most desolate and forgotten areas of our community. Over the next 2 years Xenos went from planning to building and renovating 2 incredible new facilities in those areas. Our 4th Street Study Center & Coffee Bar and 4th St. Pavilion were opened in phases from 2007 into 2008. Over 43,500 square feet of ministry facilities now serve the OSU area, providing a home for our growing college group and our adult church sphere in that area. The Harambee Christian School & Community Center is a jewel in the South Linden community, from which we serve the poor in the area and seek to show God’s love to the lost and hopeless. Over 30,000 sq. feet of space house a K-5 school, with extra room to grow, along with an incredible gymnasium and grounds. I have been blessed to be at the center of the development of each of these God-honoring facilities and feel I've earned a degree in construction management through my oversight of each phase of the process – from need definition to conceptual development to fund-raising and on to reality.
As our student work on The Ohio State University campus flourished and out-grew the 4th Street location, we acquired and renovated an old office space in the Clintonville area of Columbus, off of Oakland Park Ave. "The Warehouse" opened in 2015 and serves as a venue for high school, college and adult central teachings and hosts many other events and functions. Like all of our facilities, we want them to be used as much as possible, and it's exciting to see in what new ways this is accomplished as time goes on.
I would be very happy to discuss any aspect of practical church organization and management, finance, construction or related (and even unrelated) areas of church work and life.
Some Brief Thoughts on My Early Life and Early Work Background
I grew up in Upper Arlington, a wealthy suburb in Columbus, Ohio. We weren't necessarily "rich" by the standards of the community there, but I never wanted for anything and grew up believing money and position were tantamount to happiness in this life. I was baptized and confirmed as a Lutheran, before leaving the church as a teenager to pursue my own agenda and just have fun. After 15 years of seeking after all the world had to offer, a friend invited me to "come and see" what he had found at Xenos. The rest is history unfolding, as I feel I answered a deep call on my soul that could only have come from God.
I spent 9 years with the management consulting firm, Andersen Consulting / Accenture, moving toward partnership as a senior manager until 1992, focused first on the utilities industry and then on the manufacturing sector. I then spent 3 years with Nationwide Insurance as Systems and Programming Director, with an investment products focus. I gained a capacity to work hard and grew in experience through these incredible career opportunities and am very thankful for those jobs. I did not want to really leave my first position out of college with Andersen, but change came as God called on me to give greater weight to my family, friends and my relationship with Him. Some are able to handle the pressures and constraints in careers that will take all you will give, but I couldn't seem to draw very good lines between work-life and "everything else" without a renewed perspective. Nationwide was a great fit for my life, a great company filled with opportunities, and I would not have left without a the clear vision painted for me by God and by my friends when a role in the church came calling.
I thought that after a few years I could make an impact and move on to other endeavors. Little did I know plans God had in store for me... over 2 decades later.