DIRECTOR OF CHRISTIAN FORMATION: Acton, MA
The purpose of this position is to help St. Matthew’s and its members to live out a vital faith:
- creating a culture in our church in which everything we do is an opportunity to grow closer to God;
- engaging in practices of faith formation individually and as a community;
- engaging our younger generations in faith formation;
- reaching out to the surrounding community with resources and support for spiritual growth.
This new position is intended to help us honor and lead in developing basic values regarding faith formation at St. Matthew’s:
Spiritual growth. Although we seek to grow in knowledge, we want more than merely to learn information “about” God, or religion or other topics. We also seek to be transformed as we grow in our relationship with God.
Integration. Spiritual formation is not a “topic” that we learn about in certain classes; its’ a way of living that is integrated in all that we do; in fact all that we do springs out of it.
Leadership and Empowerment. We do not expect this staff person to “run every program for us,” but to engage, support and embrace our vision in which children, youth, families and adults all grow together in faith and discover how to live out our faith in service. This person will oversee such programs as Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, youth ministries and adult ministries, he or she will not necessarily lead any of them. Where s/he is called at times to lead a program, we expect they will also work to identify, empower and equip other adult and youth leaders within each of these program areas. They will assist us in offering ministry to each other, to our children and to the community. We must note that we have immediate leadership needs for our Sunday School and Youth programs.
Work with the Pastor and lay leaders of various ministries to discern the needs for faith formation in the church, and in cooperation with these leaders organize and oversee such ministries as are determined to be appropriate. These ministries will include both regularly scheduled “programs” and also less programmatic ministries. We are committed to religious development for all dimensions and age groups of our church:
Children’s ministries, including Sunday School and VBS.
Ministries with families
Youth ministries and
Adult ministries, with attention to young adults as well as more general ministries. Our adult ministries today include Sunday School classes, short and long term midweek classes, small groups, retreats, and other groups, events, programs and ministries.
The Director of Christian Formation will work with the pastor and lay leaders regularly to evaluate, prioritize and enable ministries, set goals and establish areas and boundaries of the Director’s responsibility among these ministries.
- Recruit, train, equip and support church members in faith formation ministries, such as Sunday School teachers, youth leaders, adult teachers, small group leaders and others.
- Engage the whole congregation in participation and support of faith formation ministries, communicating with the congregation and the community (when appropriate) through all the means available and involving as many people as possible.
- Engage and equip parents, and the church as an extended family, in the faith formation of our children.
This position is a full-or part-time position. If full-time, the position will offer vacation, medical and retirement benefits. Salary will be based on experience. Subject to budgetary constraints, we also hope to offer a continuing education benefit as well. Working hours are negotiable, but the staff member will be expected to align their schedule with that of the church and pastor, including presence on Sundays.
The staff member, reporting directly to the pastor and indirectly to key church leaders, should:
- Have a relevant graduate education (i.e., M. Div. or degree in Christian Education) or at least five years of relevant life/work experience
- Have educational and religious program, budget planning and teaching experience
- Have experience as an enthusiastic and effective teacher and in enabling and equipping others to lead and teach
- Understand the process of spiritual formation, and have an active spiritual life.
- Plan to attend the monthly Council of Ministries meeting, relevant committee meetings, and participate in church planning and administrative processes
- Be familiar with the traditions and practices of the United Methodist Church, and ideally is a member of the United Methodist Church
- Be comfortable with the progressive theology of St. Matthew’s Methodist Church
- Honor all St. Matthew’s covenants (we are a Reconciling Church, have a Safe Church policy, and a relationship covenant in place)
Contact: Rev. Steve Garnaas-Holmes