Student Ministry Consulting for pastors and search teams
I am not sure who coined the phrase “timing is everything,” but it holds true for bringing on any new ministers to a church staff. One of the greatest mistakes a church can make in finding a new Student Pastor is rushing to fill the position. To begin searching for a Student Pastor without evaluating the present Student Ministry may bring about some difficult situations for the new Student Pastor, students, parents, and present staff. A Consultant can facilitate a smoother transition between the new Student Pastor, and the church staff and members. Below are some reasons a church may want to consider a Student Ministry Consultant.
A time of healing:
This ministry will allow the students and adults to heal from the process of watching theirStudent Pastor move to another church or even change careers altogether. Any anger, disappointment, or shock due to a difficult situation can make the process very difficult. Even if for some reason the majority of students and adults are not hurt by the past Student Pastor, there are some that will be hurt, mad, and simply are still dealing with the new situation. The Consultant can evaluate these issues from an objective approach. All involved will understand that the consultant is there to encourage, equip, and motivate everyone through the transition. He will be a counselor to students, parents, staff, councils and committees.
A time of anticipation:
To hire a Student Pastor too soon may be to the new Student Pastor’s detriment. Unfortunately, most people fall into the “comparison game,” (especially adolescents). At times, the new Student Pastor can never measure up to the previous; or it could be that there were problems with the last Student Pastor. Whatever the situation, time allows the students and adults to begin to have the frame of mind of being “ready” and “eager” for a new person to take over, thus building momentum for a new ministry.
A time of Communication:
After a Student Pastor leaves a church, many questions, comments, concerns, and complaints may arise. Who is going to take over? How are we going to search for a new person? Who is going to lead discipleship, Wednesday and Sunday night ministries? Are we going to hire the Associate? Will this be a full or part time position? Hiring a consultant will allow time for all questions to be asked, and answered. This will also allow time for the church to make the best decision for the church.
A time to evaluate & consider all options:
Some Student Pastor leave behind Associates that are still actively involved in the continuation of the Student Ministry. Does the Associate(s) want the position? Are the Associate(s) able to handle the situation? Some churches are at a point of growth where positions need to be divided. Is it time for a Junior High Minister and a High School Minister? Some churches need to combine the two positions and have one Student Pastor. Is the Associate that person? Will the new Student Pastor have the option to hire his own staff? So many options! Having a consultant will allow time for decision making to happen and not be rushed. Associates, members, students and volunteers will understand that the consultant is directing the Student Ministry. Thus the Associate position(s) will not change. Many churches feel obligated to just let the Associate(s) lead the way during the interim, which at times can be very unfortunate and lead to many difficult issues.The longer the associate is in charge the harder it may be for the new Student Pastor to take the helm. We are all creatures of habit, and change is difficult. The Associate will understand that if he wants the position, he will have to go through the same process as any other Student Ministry candidates.
While all this is going on the consultant will oversee the process of evaluating the present student ministry. Is the ministry centered around a strong, biblical philosophy or is it unbalanced and heavy in one area? How is the numerical growth of the student ministry doing as it relates to the total attendance of the church? Are their space issues that my be causing numerical growth in the Student Ministry? Are the programs and ministries for students outdated and not realistic about reaching the ever-changing youth culture? Questions like these can be answered with simple research.
A Time to Prepare for the Way:
During the transition time, a consultant will have the opportunity to meet with staff, councils, committees, parents, Sunday school leaders and students. These meetings will allow time for problems to be corrected, leaders to be trained, students to be encouraged, and plans to be made. The consultant can make recommendations that will help prepare the way for the new Student Pastor. He can help Associate(s) understand the transition process and the support they must give to the new Student Pastor. Through teaching, and training, he can also help students, parents, and volunteers understand the importance of supporting the individual that God will call to be their next Student Pastor.