Thursday, February 28, 2008

The search continues for a new Director of Youth and Family Ministries

As part of the search process for our new Director of Youth and Family ministries, I am going to be posting the notes from our various meetings, edited for consumption by the wider web community. Below are the reflections from last night...

God's Peace,


Search Advisory Meeting

Director of Youth and Family Ministries

Report #1

February 27, 2008

The first open meeting of the search process for the hiring of a new Director of Youth and Family Ministries, despite light attendance, went well. We opened and closed in prayer. The group received the Expectation and Attributes list that was prepared by the Rector, People’s Warden, Vestry Liaisons and the Human Resources Committee representative and discussed the points listed. We also spent time in discernment and reflection on the qualities and characteristics that the wider group thought were needed in addition to those listed in the original document. Below are the original Expectation and Attributes with the added elements from the evening:

The new Director of Youth and Family Ministries will:

n Expectations:

Have oversight of programs and events of the Youth and Family Ministries

Nurture cross-generational communications

Empower lay leadership and facilitate refreshment of current, and creation of new, ministries and programs related to Youth and Family Ministries

Provide guidance/leadership of multiple events/fundraisers that support Youth and Family Ministries

Encourage and continue to build strong networks of Outreach and Social Justice in the ministries of TYG and the Church School

n Attributes:

Be a “believer” with either a background in the Episcopal Church or a willingness to live within our polity—they need to commit to being a member of this parish and of this community

Demonstrate genuine respect and love of children and youth, able to work with all ages

Express strong Organizational Skills, particularly in the areas of delegation and communication to the lay leadership of the ministries

n The person needs to demonstrate strong skills in enabling membership to grow into leadership

Have the ability to manage many different people, projects, programs simultaneously

Express an entrepreneurial/team builder spirit

Possess enthusiasm and high energy

We did spend a significant amount of time on the format of the search. Here is a nutshell explanation of how we hope to see the search progress throughout the next three months:

  • Formation of a condensed job description that will be offered up for comment by the parish; then publication of the same to the area diocesan officers in charge of deployment-as well as posting to the area seminaries (Princeton, Lutheran, Drew, GTS, etc.)
  • Reception and review of resumes
  • Decision to interview via phone a short list of candidates
  • Finalists invited to visit the parish (preferred three candidates)
    • Interview with advisory committee and Rector
    • Meeting with Youth Group
      • Only Youth, Sponsors and Rector in the room: youth describe format they are accustomed to, time for youth to interview candidate
    • Meeting with Church School teachers
  • Final review by advisory committee
  • Issuance of a letter of offer

There is concern that the search process, being aggressive, might not come to fruit in time for the candidate of choice to come on board at an appropriate time in early May, with Lobsterfest and Mission Philly looming. We want to make sure that this person’s entry is healthy for all involved-so we are going to be mindful and if it looks like the hire/start date is going to be later in May, we will slow the process and aim for a start date in early July.

We then spent time together in small groups discussing our thoughts, fears and hopes for the search process and the candidates we will be meeting. These are listed in no particular order:

  • How are we going to be pulling the Youth into the process?
  • We would like to see-when the finalists visit-an offering up of their ideas/thoughts/plans/methods of leading Youth Ministry programs. At the same time, we want to make sure these will be “apples to apples” in comparison (Angela Johnson will elucidate)
  • Kyle did everything, and we are evolving into a new model of delegation in the ministries. How do we improve and continue to encourage that with the new Director?
  • We want to make sure that our commitment to a radical welcome continues
  • There needs to be a balance of “cool,” “trust” and “respect” in the new candidate. They need to be friend, mentor and authority
  • We hope to have at least three finalists
  • Reports on the search need to be regular and need to flow through to Youth, Families and the membership of the church
    • Using the TYG Facebook account
    • Postings to the Rector’s blog
    • Analog postings to the parish on the bulletin boards
    • Announcements to the parish-thank you, Julie Burd, in advance!
  • TYG, Church School and ministry members need to be included in the formation of questions for the interviews
    • TYG particularly would like to ask for written responses to questions from candidates
  • Youth want to participate/understand the resume review process
  • Will there be a background check of the candidates? (Yes, Oxford Document Corp. serves the Episcopal Church-and we will ask for a check via the Diocese of PA)
  • They have to like Cher
  • We want to see someone with pep in the job—a real morning person, particularly on Sundays, at retreats and on Mission Philly
  • The new Director should continue to help youth and church school members to do some pastoral care/outreach/visitation in the parish
  • They need to build up delegation in the ministries while also providing strong leadership
  • We need to do our best to welcome the person for who they are…and not project on them expectations that arise from what we have known and come to expect from Kyle, or anyone else who has served on staff in the past
  • We need to value the person and welcome them without dumping on them
  • The person needs to inspire mission
  • The person needs to recognize and embrace the current, and deeply bonded, youth culture
  • We need to make sure we continue to evolve and welcome new opportunities to grow and change that this person will bring to staff and to the parish.

1 comment:

  1. They have to like Cher?????

    glad they didn't say Brittany, Madona, Paris or a few other choice people.