Accomplish More.
Juggle Less.
Everything you need to transform your work.

Client Success Story:
Brett Coates

Brett Coates is the executive pastor of Real Life Christian Church, a church in Chesapeake, Virginia.

Real Life Christian Church believes that church is way more than a place; it is people. They are a church full of broken, imperfect people with every kind of story imaginable, and they are saving a seat for you.


The Challenge

Real Life Christian Church began to experience growth — operating on a budget of about $1.3 million per year.

With the growth and needs that naturally coincide, Brett decided to bring on outside support to ensure their finances were being handled the way they needed to be.

“We [were] not getting in trouble, but being above board [is] what we want to be about,” Brett says. “We want financial transparency [and] accuracy of reports and timing of reports. 

“I have other executive pastors that I meet with once a month, and one of them said switching to BELAY was one of the most important things he had made in terms of his decisions. 

“So that's when I started heavily weighing BELAY. 

“There was just a sense of care about people at BELAY. They didn't just want our business. They were a great business-minded company, but at the same time, they wanted to make sure that we were going to be the best fit for them — and [they] really cared. That, to me, was unique. We had some customer relationship folks who would call and check on us and email us to see how we were doing.

“It was an easy decision once we made it, and I have never looked back since.” 

Enter BELAY Bookkeeper Tim Gassmann.


The Solution

One of the first things Tim offered Brett was peace of mind.

“Peace of mind that these reports were going to be accurate and double-checked,” Brett says. “I knew if I needed them by a certain time, I wasn't going to get an apology a couple of days later, ‘Hey, I'm still working on these things.’ They were going to be delivered when I needed them, too.”

In the day-to-day, Tim works with a team member who handles the offering to categorize everything into so that accurate and timely reports can be run.

The customer service and care that Brett has received from his CSC has surprised him in his BELAY partnership.

“They'll check in by email and, if there's an issue, they want us to let them know so that we don't have to have that awkward conversation,” Brett says. “They want to be that person for us that we just report to them and then they can go have that conversation.

“And the fear is gone. ‘What happens if we lose our staff person? How do I find somebody I trust? How am I going to find somebody who's accurate? How am I going to find somebody who's going to create reports timely for us?’ 

“Since we hired BELAY, I have lost that fear of what happens if we lose our Bookkeeper. I know there's a resource pool that we can pull from, so that's one less thing that I have to worry about.”


The Result

“Our financial administrator and Tim meet weekly,” Brett explains. “There are times when he'll have specific questions that either she'll relate to me or Tim will email me directly about. He's so responsive. 

“He wants our ministry to succeed. He stands for us in such an encouraging way that he's not just checking a box and running numbers and spitting reports. He cares about our church and us as a client. And so we are grateful not just to have a Bookkeeper, but to have Tim and we would've never found him without BELAY.”

Having the accountability of another set of eyes as well as a solid foundation in BELAY have been two wins for Brett.

“People give, and we want to be so transparent and honest with them and know that we have systems in place, so that's huge for us,” Brett says. 

“As a leader and a boss where you're juggling so many things in the air, [there is an] understanding that if we had to make a change or someone left, BELAY is going to handle this for us.


“Hiring BELAY was one of the best decisions we've made here. I just can't reiterate the relief it provides as a leader to understand that [BELAY] vet[s] these Bookkeepers and Virtual Assistants, and [there is] a high standard. 
“What [BELAY] brings to the table has been nothing but absolute quality.”