Learn > Leaders
If you hang out with us very long, you’re bound to hear Ryan or another leader talk about the idea of “flattened leadership.” While there’s a much more thorough and thoughtful conversation about flattened leadership, it’s basically the idea that our leaders aren’t lifted up on some higher pedestal than other people in our community. We certainly aren’t a personality-driven church where the pastor or other leaders are the center around which everything and everyone rotates.
What flattened leadership does not mean, though, is that we don’t have leaders. In fact, we do have leaders for the very purpose of being able to connect, empower and equip everyone in ways that can engage them in a way that true community is created and fostered. So, as you peruse the list of leaders, we want you to keep in mind a couple things: 1. we just used the word peruse as if we didn’t have the option to just say look at… and 2. this isn’t some kind of hierarchical list of people’s importance in this faith community (in fact, even the list itself isn’t hierarchical…it’s in alphabetical order of first names…yeah, that’s right, we roll first name alphabetical style instead of the standard last name…we’re crazy list rebels…).
One final note: At this stage of Eikon’s growth, we have a relatively small group of leaders. As we begin to grow, this number will also grow. We’ll be adding leaders in a lot of different areas of connection in the coming weeks and months. So, check back to see who’s popped up (and if you’re interested in joining us, then definitely let us know and we can explore those possibilities).
CHRISTEN BYRD SPACES.
Christen is our spaces leader. Yeah, we know: “What the heck is a spaces leader? Christen creatively plans our physical gathering spaces in ways that enhance worship, enable community-building and spatially integrate other creative elements like the arts and music. When Christen isn’t floating in space, she puts up with her nerdy husband Ryan and takes care of her two beautiful daughters, Lucy and Olive.
1. WHAT WERE YOU DOING IN 1993? Wearing a dorky Joe Montana tshirt…big glasses…bangs…jorts…awkward stage…
2. WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE MOVIE? “Our pets heads are falling off!” (Dumb and Dumber)
3. WHAT’S THE LAST BOOK YOU READ? Elmo and Zoey Play Dress Up
4. WHAT DO YOU DO TO ACTUALLY MAKE A LIVING? Graphic Designer, Photograper, Wedding Planner
5. IF WE OPENED YOUR FANNY PACK, WHAT WOULD WE FIND? Trail mix, disposable camera, old people sunglasses that go over your glasses (very thrifty), small Kleenex pack, hard candy.
6. WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP? Cool.
7. WHO’S YOUR FAVORITE BAND/ARTIST? Nickel Creek
JOHN HARDIN COMMUNITY.
John is one of our community leaders. He bleeds social justice and community activism (we also believe he bleeds actual blood, but we haven’t done anything to him to confirm it). More specifically, John helps to connect the church as a whole and individuals to local justice/activism causes and, in general, brings awareness to local and global justice issues. When John isn’t fearing the day that we try to make him bleed, he spends time with his incredible wife, Shannon, and beautiful little boy, Cash.
1. WHAT WERE YOU DOING IN 1993? Moving from my hometown for the first time to Nashville, celebrating Clinton’s first year in office, and cutting off my mullet.
2. WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE MOVIE? I simply cannot pick between Pulp Fiction, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and The Big Lebowski.
3. WHAT’S YOUR MUSICAL GUILTY PLEASURE? Cher
4. WHAT’S YOUR DREAM FOR EIKON? My hope is that it will be vibrant faith community where healthy discussion and spiritual exploration are encouraged, personal answers are found, lives are changed, Jesus is discovered and the community is transformed.
5. WHAT SOCIAL JUSTICE CAUSE ARE YOU MOST COMPELLED BY AND WHY? Unequal access to justice within our justice system. The enormous resources at the state’s disposal, overly-ambitious prosecutors, trials by media, poor police and investigative work, and inadequate defense counsel often conspire to illegitimately remove a person’s liberty—and sometimes life—from them. This is a profound punishment often visited upon people who have no voice in society. Maybe it’s just my inherent problem with authority…
6. WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE LOCAL RESTAURANT? Trio’s.
7. WHO’S YOUR FAVORITE BAND/ARTIST? The Who.
ROB TOON MUSIC.
On February 13, 2010—one day before Eikon’s first ever weekly worship gathering—Rob moved from this life to another. After living with Leukemia for nearly 2 years, we lost someone we deeply loved. After Ryan and Christen, Rob was the very first commitment to Eikon and his impact and inspiration runs deeply to this day. Far beyond his contribution to Eikon, we honor and remember Rob for his beautiful personality, contagious humor, passion for music and love of life. We’ve made a decision to leave him on the website, as he is still, in many ways, an integral part of our community.
Rob is our music guy. What does that mean? In essence, it means that he sleeps til noon, puts on skinny jeans and then heads to Guitar Center. Ok, so Rob doesn’t actually do any of those things (you don’t even want to see the puts on skinny jeans part…). Rob helps to connect local musicians and to lead and organize our band for our worship gatherings. Besides doing these things, Rob likes to hang out with his beautiful wife, Stephanie, and 4 children: Michael, Jack, Lily and Averi.
1. IF YOU WERE IN A STREET FIGHT, WHAT KIND OF WEAPON WOULD YOU FASHION? I would go with a phone book wrapped in a couple of Wal-Mart bags. Yeah, that would do some damage.
2. WHAT WERE YOU DOING IN 1993? Lifeguarding at a Country Club and listening to my newly purchased CD of Core by Stone Temple Pilots.
3. WHAT’S THE LAST BOOK YOU READ? Lullaby by Chuck Palahniuk
4. WHO’S YOUR FAVORITE BAND/ARTIST? Current favorite has been Ray Lamontagne for a while now, based on his influences, (Otis Redding/Steven Stills) his songwriting/storytelling ability, and yes, I even like that raspy old voice.
5. WHAT’S YOUR DREAM FOR EIKON? My dream for Eikon is for it to be a community of people with a common interest in learning (and practicing) the true nature of love that Jesus displayed.
6. HAS ANYONE EVER CONFUSED YOU FOR ANY T.V. INFOMERCIAL PERSONALITY? IF SO, WHICH ONE? No, but I remember not liking a guy in high school because he looked and acted just like the Encyclopedia Britannica kid.
7. WHICH ‘SAVED BY THE BELL’ CHARACTER WOULD YOU BE? Anyone that saw a picture of my hair in high school could answer without a doubt that I thought I was Zack Morris.
RYAN BYRD LEAD GUY.
As stated, Ryan is the lead guy—or what is typically known as the pastor. He’s the guy who started this whole thing called Eikon. He does a lot of things. We’re not exactly sure what they are, but we know he tries to look very busy and serious with his little iPhone toy. For all the times he isn’t flashing his iPhone, Ryan spends his time hanging out with his incredible wife, Christen, and two beautiful little girls, Lucy and Olive.
1. IF YOU WERE IN A STREET FIGHT, WHAT KIND OF WEAPON WOULD YOU FASHION? I’m not sure if it matters as long as it’s rusty…they may win the battle but tetanus wins the war…
2. WHAT’S THE LAST BOOK YOU READ? Jesus for President by Shane Claiborne (Incredible book that I highly recommend.)
3. WHAT’S YOUR MUSICAL GUILTY PLEASURE? Justin Timberlake.
4. HAS ANYONE EVER CONFUSED YOU FOR ANY T.V. INFOMERCIAL PERSONALITY? IF SO, WHICH ONE? I get Mrs. Cleo constantly…
5. WHAT SOCIAL JUSTICE CAUSE ARE YOU MOST COMPELLED BY AND WHY? I’m pretty passionate about the much-needed abolition of the death penalty and the equally desperately needed overhaul of the healthcare/health insurance system.
6. WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE LOCAL RESTAURANT? Iriana’s. (But if we can call Conway local, Smokehouse BBQ reigns supreme in my heart…and arteries…)