To the Youth Group and the Calvary Family:
First to the Youth Group - Be assured that the filling of the Youth Pastor position is a top priority for me and the Leadership Team as a whole. I (and we) am committed to praying and seeking the Lord's will until we feel He has revealed the right person for the position. We had an amazing ten years under Mark Smith's work as Youth Pastor and we want to ensure the tradition of excellence continues.
Also, since we've been aware this was coming, we've been working to fill the necessary roles in a healthy and productive manner. As a result, the Sunday Teachers are fully on board with the necessary responsibilities, and Wednesdays are covered with Randy, Scott and Micah. The DiscipleNow team is also well underway with plans for January. It's also my anticipation that we will conduct the typical youth-led worship service on that day. Things should continue in a normal fashion.
What do I ask of you? Remain faithful in your commitment to the Youth Ministry. Keep plugged in. Keep inviting your friends. Pray for the process.
Now to the youth and church as a whole: I will be using this blogsite to bring you information on the Youth Pastor Search. Please continue to check back periodically and I'll do my best to post a new update about once a week.
With Mark's transition imminent, we began laying the groundwork for the weeks leading up to his reception and also the process of searching for a new Youth Pastor afterward. Thankfully, with today's technology things can move fairly quickly. So, as soon as Mark's confirmation at his new church was complete, I posted the job opening on our denominational website. And the resumes began to come in.
Here's an interesting synopsis of general responses and impressions: In the first few days, I received electronically about 40 resumes and now am somewhere slightly over 100. They represent a very wide variety of applicants. Some are quite young, in their early twenties; most are in the their late twenties and early thirties. There are quite a few that are mid to late thirties and older. Most have college degrees or are just about finished, and a good number already have seminary degrees. The level of experience is also varied, some just starting out, and many who are serving in youth ministries smaller than ours. There are a few that have been in ministries roughly our size.
One of the questions that I have heard relates to the timeline. There's no way to make a specific prediction on when it will all come together, but here's a quote that I've shared with the candidates:
To put it simply, I'll continue to search until we have found the right person and completed the process ... But, it is my hope to have someone on board within two to three months, ie. the first of the year or late January in time for our major DiscipleNow Emphasis. This may seem fast, but given the information flow which can happen so quickly, it might just happen.
In the next blog, I'll give you more information about the process, but I wanted to get things up and going for you to stay in the loop.
Please know that your Leadership Team is working consistently and regularly to ensure that things are operating smoothly.