On a recent Sunday I spoke of the mission of the church: to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. I placed before you three ideas to which I encouraged you to give considered reflection this week: 1) that the mission IS discipleship; 2) that the MISSION is sacred,; not the method; and 3) that the mission is OURS. I hope you will continue to reflect on this all week.
With encouragement from the Staff-Parish Relations Committee, I’d like to elaborate on that third point: the mission is OURS! I said in the sermon that “the making of disciples” is not the job of the pastor (me), nor the job of the Director of Discipleship (Carol Rodock). I said it was not just the job of Sunday school teachers or small group leaders. Nor is it just the job of the Outreach Team, the Evangelism Committee, or the Missions Committee. It is OUR job. It is the mission of THE CHURCH.
We do have a Director of Discipleship: Carol Rodock. We are grateful for the leadership that she and Mike gave to the youth ministry for so many years, the last several of which they were unpaid. Likewise with Jessica Wayne and her work with our children’s ministry. Now Carol offers administrative support and logistical oversight to our discipleship ministries: children and youth, as well as adults. She is not, however, the lead staff person in the youth and children’s ministries.
The intention of the SPRC is to identify college or seminary students (or other appropriate personnel) to serve part-time with each age group, youth and children. We may discover that the best candidate is someone only available for the summer, and may be looking for someone else during the school year. We may find someone who can serve throughout the year, or someone who can serve heavily during the summer and intermittently across the school-year. We’re still discerning a way forward., crafting the job description, so we might identify candidates. One of the questions which does not seem to have an immediate or transparent answer has to do with funding these positions. We are hoping that summer interns would be able to live with a family in the church, so that room & board could be handled that way. If so, we could expect to compensate them as one might a camp counselor at a Christian summer camp. If not, I think we would be looking at far more substantial compensation.
At this point, we are thinking and praying. We’re asking questions of ourselves and of others as we think through the options before us (and others we may not yet have identified). I have hired youth interns since my days at Northbrook in the 1990’s and can attest to how valuable a resource they can be. Please be in prayer with us as we seek to discern whether this is, indeed, the best option for us; and, if so, that we will identify the person or persons God has for us. On behalf of the SPR Committee, I will also ask you to pray about whether God might lead you to help financially with this endeavor by contributing financially over-and-above what you’re already expressed your intention to give. Allison and I will. Can you? Pray about it. If you have questions, let’s talk — and more to come in the months ahead as we find answers for some of our questions!
Dan has been the Pastor of Salem UMC since June, 2017. He loves preaching, the Atlanta Braves, beach vacations, and precious time with his wife Brenda and their grown sons. Read More . . .