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* June 12, 2017
It is time to update you as we prepare to move forward in our search process for our Student Ministry staffing!
At the end of May, our session approved re-configuring our Student Ministry staff to three full time positions! We will be searching for a Director of Student Ministries, a High School Director and a Middle School Director. The last few weeks have been spent working out job descriptions and how everything will fit together under our Next Generation strategy.
To give a brief overview… As the Pastor of Next Generation Ministry, I am responsible for developing a strategic vision and strategy for faith development from birth through graduation. We believe faith is formed in partnership between the church and families – and that what we do at church needs to connect with what parents do at home. We want to offer excellent programs that students and kids are excited to be a part of! We also want to equip parents with resources and experiences that will deepen their faith and strengthen every family. Over the upcoming year we will be developing stronger infrastructure around this vision and our church’s mission.
As we create a new staffing structure for our Student Ministry we want to make sure we hire people who are passionate about students, families, and leading both into deeper discipleship. We want to ensure we are reaching out beyond our church walls to connect with students who are unchurched and uninvolved. At the same time, we want to be growing the faith of students within our walls and surrounding them with the support they need during these important phases. We want to offer programs that are fun, engaging and purposeful. We want to deepen discipleship and develop leadership among our students that are ready for that step.
Our Director of Student Ministry will be someone who has proven success leading vibrant middle and high school ministries and developing the faith of students. They will be the one that holds vision for the big picture and ensures alignment with MPC and our Next Gen goals. They will have relationships with a broad number of students and families, but focus on the leadership and deeper discipleship with our students that are ready for that. They will carry the weight of organization and program development so that the ministry directors can spend more time with students.
Our Middle School and High School Directors will also have prior experience and passion in leading students of their specific phase. They will oversee the programs that fall under each group, with a lot of time invested in relationships with students. Small Group leaders are the key relational adults surrounding every student that attends, and this will not change. Small group leaders are the people who have weekly connection and ongoing conversations with each student, and Directors will encourage and equip small group leaders to continue in these significant roles. Directors will have broad relationships with students, and will also focus on connecting with students who are uninvolved and outside our program reach.
Among these three components (Student Ministry Director, Small Group volunteers, and MS/HS Directors) we believe we will more effectively connect with students and have a better potential to move them in faith whether they are someone with high commitment or little interest in Christ.
There is so much more, but I said this would be brief!
This week job descriptions have been finalized and approved. Now Youth Ministry Architects will begin leading our search in partnership with our MPC search committee.
You can be part of this stage by PRAYING for potential candidates, YMA staff, and our search committee as they actively seek who God will bring to these positions! You can also be part of our networking by contacting people who may be potential candidates, or know potential candidates!
Job descriptions can be found on our website, and candidates can send a cover letter and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please continue to pray for this transition time! Summer calendars are out, interns are here, and Costa Rica is just around the corner – we are full speed ahead! We are also putting together our leadership teams and plans for fall – excited about what God will do in the months ahead!
I am privileged to be serving with you!
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