When Taylor* enters a room, the energy changes. Although she could easily entertain a crowd from centre stage, she’s usually too busy mingling, catching up with her friends and making new ones. If her presence is less noticeable, it’s because she’s filming.
“It’s such a funny thing to me to see how the Lord has moved me behind the scenes—to capturing the action instead of needing to be the centre of attention,” said Taylor, who serves as a videographer and producer with OM. “He’s grown me in wanting to see others’ stories, others’ experiences elevated and seeing Him in the details of other people’s lives that they get to share.”
From a young age, two things were true: Taylor craved getting people’s attention, and she loved telling stories. That combination of creativity stayed with Taylor as she grew up, acting in theatre plays, writing comic strips and, often, making movies to document it all. A connoisseur of classic cinema, Taylor’s favourite films were the Indiana Jones series. “I loved the idea of high adventure, world exploration and doing big grand things,” she said. Back then, as a child in the central US, Taylor imagined most of her explorations.
Today, Taylor has travelled the globe with OM, visiting over 30 countries and documenting on camera the way God is working through individual’s lives to build His Kingdom. Some of her adventures have surpassed her wildest dreams. “I feel like I’ve had experiences that Indiana Jones wishes He had,” she laughed. “But it’s all because of the Lord and God’s people.”
Taylor said her parents, who are both believers, have always supported her creative endeavours, including her choice to study storytelling at university. “I always knew, no matter what, no matter how rambunctious or crazy I got, I knew my parents loved me and were going to support me in things,” she shared. She also knew her mom prayed for her—a lot.
Though she grew up going to church and acting the right way, at least in public, Taylor said she fully surrendered to the Lord’s rule and reign in her life in late high school. That carried over into college, where she got involved with the Christian organisation, The Navigators. Not only did that connection deepen her desire for discipleship, but it also awakened a new interest in the technical side of storytelling.
One weekend, a friend who made promotional videos for The Navigators invited Taylor to help film the skit team. Hoping for a cameo appearance in the video, Taylor accepted. She did end up in the video; however, she also found herself filming, organising people and coming up with camera angles. Afterwards, her friend invited Taylor to help with post production and taught her how to use editing software. “That’s really where it started,” she recalled. For the next couple years, Taylor became the media person for the The Navigators at her university. “I spent way more hours in the library doing video work than actual studying,” she recalled. “Late, late hours working on videos in the library media area section, and I just loved it.”
Taylor added video production and media communications to her studies, wanting to find a way to creatively tell stories with a camera and earn a living. Aside from freelance work and weddings, though, she could not find the right fit. Out of necessity, she took a government job working in human resources and benefits, where she learnt business structures and the importance of teamwork. “Even though I was in a good, comfortable working environment for those five years, there was still a passion for visual media lingering inside of me,” Taylor explained.
Around that time, she began seeing social media posts from her college friend, Katie, who was working for OM in the international video department located in Carlisle, England. “She would post random updates from all these crazy places around the world where she was getting stories and producing videos,” Taylor said. “I remember messaging her: ‘What are you doing?’ I’ll never forget, she messaged me back and said: ‘Oh, Taylor, you should be doing exactly what I’m doing.’”
“From the beginning, I thought of Taylor and that she should be involved in [video communications with OM]. It would be a perfect fit for her talents and passions,” Katie shared. “I knew her heart for the nations and people, and her degree was also in communications, like mine, but with more of a video focus.”
Katie convinced Taylor to visit her in England and meet the video staff. “And that was it,” Katie summarised. “She clicked with the team and the vision and made the massive step out of her comfort zone to join, and I’m so glad she did.”
Even working in her secular job, Taylor understood the biblical mandate for every believer to be part of God’s plan to redeem the nations. She’d taken Perspectives on the World Christian Movement, a course designed to motivate the body of Christ to participate in His global purpose, “and it ruined me for the ordinary,” Taylor said. “I was like, wow, the Christian exists for missions.”
“After that class, I was so on fire, but I never thought I was the one the Lord wanted to go. I didn’t have traditional missionary skill sets. I didn’t have a passion for church planting or languages,” she explained. Instead, she facilitated the Perspectives course, gave money to others involved in missions and joined the missions committee at her church. “I was doing everything except going,” she recalled. “That’s why it was so amazing to me to find OM, that there was a department specifically geared toward media where you could utilise those trade skills in a missional context. That was mind-blowing to me.…There was a yes in my heart about that.”
Leaving her secure job with good benefits was a risk, but as Taylor began telling people about the opportunity for her to make videos and support the work around the world that God was doing, they not only gave financially, but “they also saw what took me awhile to see: it was something I should be doing,” Taylor stated. “I had some doubt, but to see that clicking with others and having them affirm what the Lord was having me step into was so huge.”
“Taylor’s love of God and desire to serve were blatantly obvious to the whole church,” said Dale, her pastor of over 30 years. “When Taylor told me she was going to join OM, I was excited for her and disappointed for us… Her work with our teens and children and video/worship department showed her passion and a high level of skill. So we knew she would be a great help to the mission she was so excited to join.”
Even though Katie transitioned out of OM before Taylor joined, the two friends stayed in contact. “It’s been amazing to see her step more and more into a leadership role telling stories through visual media at OM, and really stepping into the skillset she’s been given that’s perfect for her role,” Katie said.
Five years in, when people ask Taylor if her work with OM is worth it, she answers with a resounding ‘Yes!’ “It’s a privilege and an honour whenever I get to go and talk to people, interview people and capture their stories. …I get to hear some incredible things about lives changed and communities transformed. I also get to hear about struggles, challenges, what we call ‘things that don’t go into the newsletters,’” Taylor said.
“My prayer is that the work of my hands, the videos, are serving a purpose for the global Church so they can be in prayer, mobilising people for God’s Kingdom and reaching the places yet to know about Jesus.”
Although she once longed to see her name scroll in the credits on the silver screen, Taylor now understands the value of making movies for an audience of One. “When I started out with video in college, it was about me wanting the attention, but as the Lord has taken me on this journey, I want the attention to be on Him,” she said. “The work that is put into it is ultimately for God… He sees it, and I know He appreciates the work of my hands because He’s made me to do this.”
Have you considered your place in God’s plan for the nations? You can join OM as a communications, IT, HR, finance or training professional and use the skills He’s given you! Check out opportunities today at www.om.org.