Position Description for the Director of Children, Youth, and Family Ministry at the Episcopal Parish of St. John the Evangelist
At Saint John the Evangelist Episcopal Church, in Saint Paul, we believe that children and youth are not only the future of the church, they are the church right now! We believe we are called to be a faith community where people of all ages, especially our children and youth, are able to use their gifts and grow in the knowledge and love of God. We seek to be a community of disciples of all ages following Jesus and living out his way in the world. And, we also recognize that we have work to do to fully embrace this vision.
Who We Are
We are a growing church with 473 active baptized members and an average Sunday attendance of around 180. Yet, despite the presence of many families with small children and youth, our growth is not coming primarily from this demographic – of our roughly 20-30 new members per year the majority are adults with no children in the home. Moreover, we struggle to engage our existing members in the children, youth, and family programming currently on offer – of the more than 60 children and youth who are “Members in good standing”, roughly 30 are presently enrolled in our Children and Youth Programs and average Sunday attendance in the same is even smaller). While we have many adults engaged in support of our CYF ministries (both part-time staff and lay volunteers), abundant resources available, and much to commend our parish to families, we have actually seen a decline in attendance in our children’s and youth programming over the past 5 years. These families are, in most cases, not leaving the church, but rather, pulling back from regular participation in Godly Play on Sundays and J2A on Wednesday evenings.
While we undertake the search process for this newly expanded position, we are simultaneously engaging in a deep listening process with the parish about the hopes, dreams, aspirations, and challenges families bring to our current program and to the life of faith at Saint John’s. We are also asking what challenges the culture, programs, and context our faith community presents to families who are coming toward us. Already we are hearing good feedback. We are seeing that families love the church, and have a deep desire to see their children and youth grow in the knowledge and love of God. We are also hearing many of the same things echoed around the wider church about the changing culture and the competing demands of school, family, extracurricular activities and work and the challenges these present to raising children and youth in the Christian faith. We have also heard a desire for more opportunities for fellowship and social time between families to build a sense of deeper community within the church, a desire for programming to fit better with the schedules and demands of families, and a desire for more opportunities for children and youth to engage in direct service to the world. We also know that until now this position has been under-resourced in terms of budgeted time. Thus, we are seeking to make this position full-time, recognizing that in order to grow, we will need to be, as a parish, more present, more engaged, and more deeply involved in the lives of families at Saint John’s. We cannot do this without adequate time and energy allotted to this ministry.
Our Next Director of CYF Ministries
We are seeking a committed Christian leader who loves Jesus, is familiar with and passionate about the Episcopal Church, and someone who takes seriously the formation work necessary to raise up children and youth as disciples of the Risen Christ. We are eager to call a knowledgeable, wise, and grounded colleague who understands, but is not daunted by the challenges of faith formation for children, youth, and their families in this present age of busy schedules, competing interests, technological change, and increasing secularity in the wider world. We desire to work alongside someone who understands that faith formation begins in and is best supported in the home, and someone who knows how to resource families for this important work. We are eager to find a partner who is energetic, passionate, and eloquent about the work of faith formation with children, youth, and families. We desire a leader who wants to know us and be in relationship with us, especially our youngest members and their families and someone whose relationship with and love of God is evident to all who meet them. We are hopeful to find someone who works well with an inspired staff, and who can rally, equip, and guide committees and volunteers to the work of faith formation for children, youth, and families. We are also eager to call a creative and charismatic individual who connects with and inspires children and youth to know and follow Jesus in their everyday lives and to participate and lead in the life of our faith community in service, fellowship, worship, and formation.
The next Director of Children, Youth, and Family Ministry (hereafter referred to as “CYF Director”) will join a multi-staff parish team. They will report to the Associate Rector, who oversees the Formation Ministry of the church. The CYF Director will have oversight of and responsibility for all aspects and duties of Saint John the Evangelist’s (hereafter “the church”) ministry with children, youth, and families, including, but not limited to Godly Play, Journey to Adulthood, Confirmation, Nursery, Parent Groups, and Family Baptism Preparation. As we desire to grow our CYF programs and invite more families with children and youth to St. John’s, the CYF Director will need to partner with our New Member Ministries, Music program, as well as our partners at Crocus Hill Preschool and other community partners with possible links to CYF ministry. These responsibilities and duties will be done in collaboration with the CYF and Formation Committees as well as the part-time CYF support staff and Nursery workers, and the many volunteers who support these programs.
Children (Birth to 5th Grade)
- Recruit, train, and support Godly Play classroom storytellers and greeters,
- Coordinate Sunday morning curriculum and classrooms,
- Teach in the classrooms on an as needed basis,
- Prepare and maintain classrooms and materials,
- Oversee Faith-in-Action/service opportunities for children,
- Work with Nursery coordinator to ensure nursery staffing is sufficient and childcare is available as requested at parish events and worship,
Youth (6th to 12th grade)
- Recruit, train, and support Journey to Adulthood leaders,
- Develop and offer annual Confirmation preparation for youth 16 and older,
- Plan and fundraise for bi-annual youth pilgrimage (J2A)
- Participate in and help generate youth participation in Minnesota TEC (Teens Encounter Christ),
- Coordinate and plan for recurring lock-ins and retreats for youth in the church,
- Recruit, train, and support mentors for confirmands,
- Communicate and celebrate, as appropriate, the stories and accomplishments of our parish youth helping the church to mark things like graduation,
- Maintain contact and relationship with all families of children and youth in the church, • Communicate regularly with families about CYF ministry opportunities and upcoming events and offerings,
- Provide families with resources for faith formation in the home,
- Create and facilitate an ongoing parent group where families can create community, support one another, and share resources for faith formation in the home,
- Generate and support intergenerational offerings where the church can intentionally engage in spiritual and community life across boundaries of age and generation,
- Oversee baptismal preparation for families with children seeking the rite,
- Collaborate with staff and clergy to find ways of incorporating children and youth and their families into other ministries (Faith in Action, worship, music, ushering, greeting, etc.),
- Establish contact with new families entering St. John’s
- Collaborate with clergy, music, and children’s ministry team on planning for First Sunday and other worship services that feature Children’s Ministry
- Facilitate and lead the CYF Committee
- Attend weekly staff meetings as well as other staff and committee meetings as appropriate and when needed,
- Maintain Children’s Ministry budget
- Develop and maintain several streams of communication with parents and wider parish about CYF Ministry (brochures, tables, bulletin boards, newsletter, articles, weekly emails, social media etc.)
- Reserve space for CYF programming and events,
- Recruit and equip volunteers for CYF programming and events,
- Schedule, manage, and equip nursery care providers for care of children ages birth to 4 on Sundays, and for childcare at parish events,
- Liaise with Crocus Hill Preschool and other neighborhood partners on program offerings and possible program partnership.
Time of Work
The CYF Director is a regular full-time position paid to work an average of 40 hours per week for 12 months per year, less two weeks vacation, as well as personal and sick days per the church’s personnel policy.
Compensation And Benefits
Annual salary will be commensurate with experience
Family, Bereavement, Medical, and Military Leave is available where applicable and in accordance with the church’s personnel policy.
Mutual Ministry Review
At least annually a Mutual Ministry Review will be conducted involving the the CYF Director, Associate Rector and Rector, a member of the Personnel Committee or a Vestry liaison to the CYF program. This review is typically scheduled in the summer months after the end of the program year.
At Will Employment
Please note this position remains an “at will” position which may be terminated by either the Church or the Minister at any time, for any reason. As an employee of a church the Minister would not be eligible for State or Federal unemployment compensation based on employment at the Church.
Please send to [email protected] a résumé, cover letter, and references, along with an example (i.e. video, audio, text, or other media) of your work with children youth or family. Examples might include a sermon, article, short movie, or website that expresses some of your thoughts and beliefs about Children, Youth, and Family Ministry or that speaks in a specific way to the faith lives of children, youth, and their families. First application deadline is June 5, 2019. If needed, the search committee will receive applications through till a second deadline of June 20, 2019. St. John’s is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate based on age, race, sexuality, gender, or gender expression.