Meet the Staff- Marty Graverson
By NMC - April 19, 2018
Posted in Adult Ministry, NMC Staff, Stories from NMC
Marty started out as a volunteer at NMC. In 2001, he and his wife, Mindy, served in High School Ministry as small group leaders. There, they invested in students, giving hours to be with them on Wednesday nights and even some Sundays. That was when Marty first realized how passionate he was about working with adolescents.
As this passion grew and developed, another one began to stir in his heart—counseling. It seemed that God was placing a new calling on his life because of this passion, one that was a big risk. It required that he go back to school. It meant new financial burdens and uncertainty about the future. It meant long days and evenings and weekends spent writing papers and reading stacks of books and articles. It meant leaving behind a steady job to pursue what he believed God was calling him toward. Even still, Marty and his family took this step of faith, trusting that the Lord would be faithful.
The days weren’t always easy or stress free. There were days Marty wondered if the process would be worth it. Yet, through slow and steady faithfulness, he finished all of his classes. He finished his internship. He finished his degree. And even after the years of stress and homework, his passion to walk alongside people, especially adolescents, had only grown.
But when he met with his first clients as a counselor, he found himself in a totally different territory. As he sat across from a husband and wife who were on the brink of divorce, he wondered what God was doing. The man who was passionate about kids and teens suddenly found himself wading through the world of messy relationships between spouses. It wasn’t that Marty felt unprepared. He just felt himself operating outside of the passion that made him pursue counseling in the first place.
What was murky at first, soon cleared. It was in these sessions with this couple that the Lord helped Marty understand the fullness of his passion—one not just for kids or parents but rather for the entire family. As he worked with that couple, he began to see the ways the Lord was giving them a new hope for their relationship. Marty began to see how the Lord was rebuilding a relationship that had almost ended. He began to see how a family that was about to tear apart, was mending back together, unbroken by divorce or separation.
This kind of hope and restoration and beauty became the fuel to Marty’s fire.
So when NMC approached him about stepping into the role of coordinator of marriage and family ministry, it seemed like the perfect fit. It was the kind of role that focused on the whole family—the parents, the kids, the marriage. It seemed like a role specifically designed for the passions God had given him.
Marty’s major role at NMC is to create the kind of environment that helps healthy marriages and families thrive. That means that he is focused on marriages from newly engaged couples to couples who have been married for 50 or more years. Through his work with NMC’s premarital program, engaged couples are paired with a mentor couple who walk with them through their engagement and into marriage. Through his work, couples and parents can join Wednesday night classes that offer biblical wisdom and counsel to help as they navigate life. Through his work, families at NMC can find others to walk alongside as they encounter both joys and challenges of marriage and parenting.
This is what gets Marty so excited—seeing couples and families come alongside each other and do life together. When he was counseling fulltime, he encountered countless people who were disconnected from others. They felt alone and isolated. They craved support, a group of people who could encourage and challenge them. They desperately wanted to find someone who could walk alongside them, who could help them navigate the day to day.
This is one of Marty’s biggest goals—to see people connect with one another. He loves to see people build a healthy support system around them, and he desires to do whatever he can to create the kind of environment that helps support systems thrive.
This isn’t easy work. Satan loves to isolate us. He loves to make us feel alone, like we are on an island. He loves to isolate individuals and couples. He loves to put wedges in between couples. He loves to discourage parents. But one of the greatest gifts God gave the church, quite possibly, was each other. Marty’s prayer for NMC is that we would be a church that helps families come alongside families. His prayer is that we would be a group that does life together, who is proactive in working through life’s struggles together.
We are grateful to have Marty on the team and are excited to see how God uses his passions, gifts, and vision to help lead us to be a church that truly walks alongside one another in life.