The Diner Interview, Part 2

NOTE: Since my return from vacation, people have been e-mailing, calling, or dropping by to ask me questions about my “return” to student ministry. The questions tend to be very similar, so I thought I’d just compile them and ask them to myself in the form of an interview. So, until I get tired of this bit, I’ll do my best to answer the questions over our daily cup o’ joe.

The Diner: Are we still going to hire a middle school director?

Me:Yes. The process is continuing and ongoing. CBC made the position available through the normal channels–in-house as well as through student ministry websites, announcements at seminaries, etc.–and we accepted resumes for a three month period. Informal chats with several candidates have taken place and we’ll trust God to make it clear to us who He wants in that position. It’s safe to say that there are some highly qualified & gifted applicants…some are former CBCers and others applied via those external announcements.

The Diner: What help do you need?

Me: Well, that’s difficult to nail down at present, especially at the middle school level. See, for the last three years I’ve only been nominally involved with the midschoolers even when I was the pastor of students. Nathan, assisted by Heather, ran that program and I’d only substitute teach and ham it up in videos for them. And one major change we made was offering a Wednesday night program for those middle schoolers who can’t make it on Tuesdays…and I’ve NEVER EVEN ATTENDED that one. So, what I do know is that I’ll need a couple of volunteers willing to head that one up. I’ll need some help with assistants willing to be trained to teach in various capacities…for backups and all that. Other than that, I’ll be compiling a more specific list.

At the high school level right now I know I’ll need three women & men to assist the high school small groups. A couple of folks who want to be trained to teach the high school Sunday School class (of which I’ll be their primary teacher).

Generally, I’ll need some sound/av help. I know I’ll need some video assistance (filming/editing/etc.). I know I’ll need some worship help. Some general behind the scenes accounting and document keeping. We always are looking for folks who want to build relationships with teenagers as greeters for Sunday School or going to help out with things like Whirly Ball & movie nights. I’ll need some folks willing to cook for the monthly senior dinner I’m wanting to start up. Stuff like that…and some of those pieces were in place last year and I just need to touch base to see if they want to continue. But, the bottom line is that we always need folks being developed in those areas for back-ups and fill-ins.

I want to have that list finalized by the end of the week that I return from Idaho/San Francisco. But, frankly, I’d really like to ramp up the volunteer ministry and have it swarming with people using their gifts & talents helping our teens mature. There’s always room for more!

The Diner: What changes do you plan on making?

Me: As few as possible. For whatever reason, folks around CBC are a little gun-shy about change right now (at least that’s my perception). I’m not geared that way when it comes to ministry. If something doesn’t “work” or needs to be added or needs to be tweaked…I’m all for it, and the sooner the better. But, the reality is that most folks don’t come as quickly to those changes as I might. So, I’d like to spend the next year with the plans/programs already in place and make adjustments only after I’ve observed them first-hand. I think going slow benefits everyone in this instance. Me. The students. The parents. The church.

(cont’d tomorrow, and feel free to interview me yourself through the comment section and I’ll see what I can do to answer them!)