Youth/Associate PastorPosted by: Rich Schmidt
Posted date: Apr-01-2021
Location: Valparaiso, IN
We're looking for someone to come to our non-traditional church to develop our ministry to youth (6th-12th grades) and their parents. District license and youth ministry experience would be ideal, but not absolutely necessary. Our church just turned 20 years old, had around 75 people in pre-COVID average Sunday attendance, with around 70-80 family units connected to our church overall.
In addition to youth, we're open to supporting/encouraging your ministry growth in other areas you might be passionate about. Easy example: we'd love to have you preach a few times/year on Sunday morning, if you're up for it. Maybe you feel called to reach out to a particular group, or you have gifts/skills in a certain area: graphic/video/design, social media, music, Bernie memes, etc. We would love to find ways to help you explore those. We would want you to be pastor to the teens and their families, but we would also love for you to be more than that as an associate pastor here.
It's probably a quarter-time position, to start: 10-12 hours/week, $150-$200/week in salary, plus a youth ministry budget of around $200/month. So you would have to be bivocational (or be married to a very understanding working spouse). Of course, we understand the limitations that would put on your time. No unrealistic expectations here of getting more time than we can pay you for. :) Depending on your marriage/family situation, we should be able to provide housing with a family from the church for a few months as you transition to the Valparaiso area.
A bit more detail:
We started Living Hope in September 2000. I’m the founding pastor and have been here ever since. We’ve had part-time staff at various times along the journey, with some of them moving on to full-time roles in other churches. (One went on to plant our daughter church, Story Point, in Kennewick, WA, back in 2005.) We currently have a quarter-time associate pastor, Judy, who joined us in late 2020.
We’re a fairly non-traditional Nazarene church, in various ways: very casual dress, communion every Sunday, sit around tables, etc. Before COVID, we had two services on Sunday morning (9:00 & 10:30), basically identical, just providing two options for people and making plenty of room for guests. Now we're just doing one service at 9:00 (with masks and distance when we meet in person) and livestreaming it to the majority of the congregation who participate from home at either LivingHope.info/youtube or LivingHope.info/facebook.
We're not too liberal and not too conservative. (Which, frankly, probably makes us feel liberal to a lot of folks with a Nazarene background.) We believe in good Bible scholarship and in science and are very open to people asking questions as they explore Christian faith. "Open Acceptance" is one of our core values. Some of us vote Republican, some vote Democrat, some vote for third parties, and some don't vote at all. (Some have strong feelings about those votes, and some really don't care.) We're about as diverse as our community, which means we're mostly white, but not entirely, and have a mix of ages and socio-economic statuses represented. The religious backgrounds of our people are all over the map. Very few are long-time Nazarenes.
We currently have 6-12 teens connected to our church in some way. We recently shared a part-time youth pastor with a neighboring Nazarene church for most of the 2019-2020 school year & summer, with us having about 10 hours/week of her time to connect with teens and parents, lead a weekly youth group meeting, and participate in leading on Sunday mornings (preaching a few times/year). She was just starting to hit her stride with the teens when COVID restrictions hit and threw everything in the air. Last fall, she & her husband left to explore a cool Nomadic Church / van-life ministry. We can put you in touch with her if you want to know more.
Since then, we've done very little to connect the 6-12 teens who are part of our church, unfortunately, apart from the few who are involved with music, one of whom also serves on the church board. Of course, they all have friends, and there are always opportunities to connect with teens outside our church, including some neighbor kids who sometimes hang out on our front stoop. We expect that a healthy youth ministry would develop connections in all 3 directions: with God, with each other, and with a world in need of God's love. (That's kind of our church motto.)
I’ve really enjoyed helping develop associates in the past. My style of leadership is basically as hands-on as you want me to be. I like to discuss and figure things out together, but not dictate. So you would have a lot of freedom to try new things.
If you're interested:
If any of this sounds appealing, please reach out! I'd love to have a conversation with you about it. My email and the church phone number are listed below. Or you can text or call me on my cell: 219-242-4532.