Derrick Varnell

Elder for finance and administration, community, facilities, and getting things done.



• Married to Cara

• 3 daughters – Natalie 15, Olivia 13 and Sophia 9

Background and Passions

I grew up in small-town Texas, where everyone seemed to know everything about everybody. At least, that’s the way it seemed. In reality though, everyone had (and still has) their secrets, including me. I learned throughout my youth that some things were best kept to myself. Looking back, that was probably for good reason. I grew up attending the local church, highly involved in youth group and various activities. This carried over to my years at college in Lubbock where I attended Texas Tech University and, ultimately, received a business degree in accounting. In recent years, however, (and that means the last 10-15 years) I have at various levels let go of many of my secrets and embraced the Reality of who I am and what I am meant to be. This has been a very freeing but also a frightening journey that I continue to walk. But of all the core values that we embrace at Mosaic, Reality is the one for which I have a great deal of passion. It is my hope that we can all be on a journey which will offer us freedom from the secrets and veneers that we find ourselves hiding behind.

I am an extrovert. My wife is not. I love to get together with friends for any occasion. My wife and often my kids need to retreat so they can find their energy and be renewed. I believe that we have, as a family, all grown to respect the other’s needs, but we have also been stretched to appreciate that there are benefits to be gained both from the quiet and contemplative as well as in spending time with others. Our house has been referred to at times at the “Party House”. We often host gatherings and enjoy this role (with some limitations ). We want to offer a place that is safe. One that is safe for our neighbors, our friends, and our children’s friends. We want to be the home where our children’s friends want to hang out. Through this we embrace our community. Our community of friends, neighbors and family in order to develop Intimacy with those who we are in relationship with and to be open to those who we will be in relationship with tomorrow.

Another thing that I have learned later in life is that we all are Creative. I am made of logic from the core of my being. With help from others, though, I have learned to embrace and express my Creativity and I’m often times amazed at the results of any variety of tasks and projects that I’m involved with. There is a difference between talent and creativity. My wife and children have far more artistic talent than I do when it comes to drawing, painting and many other mediums of artistic expression. What I have learned, though, is that I am creative. I am also talented,but my talents differ from those of others. I can fix things. I can see how things need to be organized so tasks and jobs can be completed efficiently. I can appreciate how others might feel in a situation. These are talents that I have, and I continue to work so I can utilize these talents in a Creative way. Everyone has creativity. Everyone has talents. I hope that I am able to empower others to find theirs and to put them to work.

Life has been a great adventure for me so far, and I look forward to even more rewarding days as I continue to “Live the Dream”. I have a great wife, incredible kids, and some tremendous friends. We can tell some great stories of things that we’ve been able to do and be involved with. Rocky at times? Sure. But all in all we press forward knowing that there are great things that can happen…..and will! Do I have an Epic life? I think that some people who know me would say yes. However, I think I’m a pretty ordinary guy, dealing with issues like we all do as we carry on daily life. But perhaps Epic things can happen even to normal people. As I look back on the most exciting things that I’ve been a part of, most of them are not because I did something spectacular (though occasionally exciting things happened because I did something stupid). I think that we all have adventures ahead of us. Yes, you and I as normal as we are have a lifetime of experiences ahead. And the attitudes that we have as we go through life I believe will affect how we record in our mind and look back on our experiences. The glass really is half full, and I want to embrace the challenges ahead with excitement.