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Emma N.

Today, Emma speaks to us about leadership, books you’ll want to add to your list, and Christians investing in the church.


Emma N.
Tell us a bit about how you grew up and your childhood: Born in the capital city of Australia, Canberra, I am one of 7 kids from my parents. I am number 5 with 2 brothers and 4 sisters. Our family was our community – we went to a small school (my dad was the principal) and attended a small church with most people at the church being members of the school. My siblings were my friends and because of that we are a close family… all different but close. My sisters are my best friends, and I have such huge respect for my mum and dad for always making a way for us to know how loved and cared for we are.
We are a family who loved the arts: theatre, music, art, writing– we all, in our own ways, did it all. Our Saturday nights consisted of ‘Family Concert’ where we all had an opportunity to showcase our talent. While I write this, my three children are putting on a ‘show’ to the music from ‘The Greatest Showman’ – it must have caught on.
I grew up in a supportive, loving, stable and Christian family for which I am eternally grateful.

Inspiring biblical passage of the moment: Philippians 2:1-11
I strive to make this my mantra of life.

Spiritual growth focus at the moment: Overcoming mediocrity with passion.

“Overcoming mediocrity with passion.”

Profession: Lead Pastor of Avant Life Church Vancouver Canada and privileged to be loved by Ben and to lead three children as ‘Mum’.

If you wrote a memoir, what would the title be? Oh gosh… probably something like ‘Fade to Black’… it speaks to the production world (one which I love) but also speaks to humility and not having to be in the limelight to be of influence. [It] also speaks to the fact that all 3 of my children fade in skin colour as they do in age haha.

When did you first encounter God and how did you encounter Him? I grew up in a Christian home, but I vividly remember hearing from the Holy Spirit at the age of 7 and from that I chose to become water baptized. However, at the age of 15 is when I fully experienced what GRACE was and how I didn’t have to ‘work’ for God’s love.

What has helped you grow spiritually in this season? In every season, being in the Word and in worship have always been an anchor for me.

Just read/currently reading (and what has it taught you?):
Currently – The Last Arrow by Erwin McManus
Teaching me about making the most of every moment of my life. Making the most of your life isn’t meant to be restricted to one aspect of my life but in all areas, especially as I am managing many different priorities in this season of life with being a new church plant, a stay-at-home mum, wife, lead pastor and having key relationships across the globe.

Just finished – Front Row Leadership by Rob Ketterling
Great book on leadership and how I can inspire my teams to be ‘front row leaders’ rather than taking the more popular route of being critical of how things aren’t working be someone who makes the things that aren’t working, work.

Top three essentials: Bible, mum bag and pants…

How did God speak to you recently? Through my kids. I have 3 children: Levi (8), Alice (6) and Eden (3). They are a constant conversation between God and I about how I can make the moments count. I am being humbled by their passion for life and for Ben and I. They love so deeply and God reminds me of the treasure it is to have their love.

Hobby: Hiking, when I get the time. I live in North Vancouver which is one of the most beautiful places in BC with abundant opportunities to explore the outdoors.

Top three practical tips for staying spiritually strong: Faith, hope and love – all found in Him.

Favorite person in scripture? Well, Jesus, obviously… but if we’re not including God himself, then I would have to say Gideon. Probably because his story resonates with mine. Being not anyone of significance (did I mention I was number 5 in the family – not oldest, youngest, middle or even 2nd oldest of youngest…fifth haha) he stepped up to an opportunity where it seemed logistically impossible and made it instead to be something of God-breathed possibility, and in that, did all that God said He would do.

What do you want people to learn about God when they look at you? That He is not exclusive.

How do you leave your mark on your community? In all the little moments. Whether it’s pastoring my community or taking care of someone’s kids to giving vocal coaching when time permits.

Favorite holiday? Christmas… I mean it’s Jesus birthday, and I love birthdays! We have a lot of fun as a family around Christmas and always take it as an opportunity to invite those who have no family around.

A goal you have? To increase in my studies in the next couple of years. Whether in theology or possibly within music.

A special tradition you and your family engage in or keep: Dance party and tackle time. The kids LOVE tackling my husband, Ben, and we also enjoy night time dance parties. I hope this will be something positive that they will then take as a positive into their families one day.

Question you will ask when you get to heaven? ‘Can you show me all the details of how you created the world?’

Thing you want to raise awareness about: The Canadian Church needs more people to invest into life giving churches and in turn those churches become a catalyst for change in their immediate community while extending support internationally. ARC Canada invests into church planting and is something that I would love to see Christians invest into. It’s taking the approach of not what can the church do for me only but what can I do for the church; because the reality is we are all the church.

“It’s taking the approach of not what can the church do for me only but what can I do for the church; because the reality is we are all the church.”

What does your morning routine consist of? 7 a.m. reluctant wake up to get two of the kids ready for school with an 8 a.m. drop off. Once that is done, I endeavor to clean while listening to worship and spending time with my 3 year old. My devotional routine has shifted from morning to evening with growing young kids. I love that snooze button a little too much, though!

What is on your nightstand? Bible, prayer journal, songwriting book, task book, sudoku, pens, hair ties, lamp, reading books, more journals and then some more books. You won’t find my nightstand Pinterest-worthy!!!

Define Christianity in a sentence: Living and learning in the footsteps of Jesus.


For more Emma:

IG: @emmanarayanan

Until next time, keep witnessing!


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