As we move into a transitional time between youth directors, we are excited to let you know what is ahead and how the search process will work. We place high value on our student ministries and are excited to watch God continue to transform lives, grow leadership, and deepen faith in the weeks and months to come.
As we begin our search process, I am excited to tell you we have hired a company, Youth Ministry Architects (YMA), to lead us in our search process. (youthministryarchitects.com) They have had years of experience finding and placing youth directors in churches, and will allow us to have a further reach as we search nationally for these positions.
We have also selected a search committee of MPC members who have been highly invested over a span of time in our student ministries. (see below) YMA will be working closely with them to review and select top candidates who fit us and our needs.
*UPDATE * May 3, 2017
THANK YOU to everyone who participated in the listening sessions this past weekend with Youth Ministry Architects! There were 74 people who met with them and gave valuable feedback for our Student Ministries and future youth positions. Tuesday night, they presented their assessment to the search committee and session members. This letter is to share with you those results, and how we are planning to move forward. YMA describes our church as vibrant and our Student Ministry as healthy. Yay! When they compare MPC Student Ministry to other churches in numbers, money spent per student, and staffing, we are in a great place. In fact, when it comes to numbers, we exceed the average expected attendance. In a church our size, they would expect an average weekly attendance of 78 students (collectively over SS, Youth Programs, Worship, and Volunteering… each student counted once). Our current weekly average attendance is 125 – they told us this is great news!
They highlighted our strengths, which include the legacy of past directors and small group leaders who have impacted lives over time. We have in incredible team of adult volunteer leaders, highly invested parents, and longevity of church staff that far exceeds national averages. They also said the High School students volunteering in Middle School ministry is a number that most people would die for. We are ministering in a place of strength, and these are areas we will continue championing. We also have some challenges we are eager to begin addressing. We have high expectations (not a bad thing), but the bar set from past program numbers is not necessarily realistic, or sustainable. The list of characteristics people are hoping for in new directors are all fantastic, but no one person can encompass
everything! Some hopes are even conflicting (kids, no kids; younger, older; married, not married). We need to set new arrivals up for success, and managing expectations will be a part of this. We are also going to be intentional about improving communication with families and the church about our programs and discipleship plans. Keeping information current and accessible, we will work on improving our infrastructure and continuing to elevate both our HS and MS ministries! From here, our session will be making decisions about our staffing structure. We want to make sure we put in place what is needed to support and sustain growing, vibrant, ministries. From there, job
descriptions will be created, and the search work will begin. YMA will be communicating weekly with our search team, and together they will be reviewing and evaluating top candidates. The average time estimate for a hire is 4-6 months… keeping in mind that everything nationally slows down in summer and we are looking for more than one position.
For now we are running full speed ahead with end of year and summer plans – we have four Next Gen interns (1 Children and 3 Youth) coming in two weeks for the summer. We will keep you updated on our progress – and feel free to inquire at any time!
Please continue to pray big prayers for our programs, students, and leaders in this transition time! Pray for our search committee, YMA and potential candidates as we seek God’s guidance and leading into our future together!
Jenn Arnold, Pastor of Next Gen Ministries