As the Student Ministries Pastor you will carry out the vision of Willow Creek Student Ministries and provide leadership to the Elevate (6th-8th grade) and Impact (9th-12th grade) student ministries staff, volunteers, students, and parents. Elevate helps middle school students begin and grow a relationship with Jesus Christ in a fun, engaging environment. Student Impact is a place where teenagers can explore their faith and find a community of peers and leaders to walk alongside during the best (and worst) parts of high school. You will collaborate with the core team and campus leadership to set the direction, vision, goals and initiatives of the ministry. Our heart is to make Willow Creek’s youth ministries the kind of place where no one stands alone.
- Collaborate with student ministries staff and key leaders to recruit, train, develop and equip a volunteer team for middle school and high school ministries success.
- Provide relevant biblical teaching to the students. This teaching can come from a combination of equipping others, partnering with other campus student pastors or core leaders, or preparing and delivering the message yourself.
- Build and coach a team to support all middle school and high school students at the campus as they take their next steps with God.
- In collaboration with the Core Students Director and Next Gen team determine curriculum for large and small groups, plan for major events, and develop best practices around protection, volunteer and parent engagement.
- Bring your best ideas to the Core Student Ministries team and develop collaborative relationships with all the Student Ministries Pastors at each campus.
- Love and pastor the leaders and volunteers at your campus.
- Through systems and teaching, ensure the students are also being loved and pastored well.
- Walk with families through the ups and downs of life -- celebrate with those who are celebrating, mourn with those who are mourning.
- Establish strong channels of communication with all Willow leadership and peers, serving as the primary advocate between your campus staff and Willow Creek Core staff.
- Be a champion of the vision for reaching people far from God, and helping each take their next step with God.
- Uphold the values of Elevate and Impact, ensure safety, and deliver a fantastic guest experience.
Success is defined as:
- Making Disciples - students are meeting Jesus and beginning to take their next steps with God.
- Compelling Environment -- Parents are “dragged back to church” by their students once they experience Elevate and Impact.
- Growing Intentionally -- the student ministries staff is excited when more people are attending, meeting Jesus, taking steps, and participating than were in the previous year.
- Passionate Alignment -- by your modeling, staff and volunteers at the campus are excited about the vision of Willow Creek, and thankful to be connected to something making a difference across Chicagoland.
- Volunteer Development -- there is a culture of high volunteer engagement, and student ministry is led by capable, trained and aligned volunteers.
- Collaborative Creativity -- Elevate and Impact at your campus becomes a breeding ground for creativity and innovation, and shared with the Core team and other Student Ministries Pastors at the other campuses.
Preferred Skills and Experience
- Team Building -- can build teams and identify high capacity leaders to build more teams.
- Developer -- proven track record of developing leaders.
- Talent Scout -- always on the lookout for new leaders and volunteers
- Total Quality Manager -- looking for ways to improve; sensitive to misses; committed to excellence.
- Cheerleader -- encouraging volunteers and staff constantly.
- Carrier of the DNA -- they bleed the mission, vision and values of Willow Creek.
- Solution Specialist -- able to identify problems and find solutions.
- Staff Champion -- cares for the spiritual, emotional, and familial health of the student ministries staff
- Pastor -- has a heart to care deeply for your staff, parents, leaders, volunteers and students.
- Evangelism - Passion for evangelism to middle and high school students.
- Organizer -- can effectively manage details personally, and recruit others to do the same.
- Learner -- can take direction and feedback and has a great desire to learn.
- Aligned -- knows Willow, loves Willow, has bought-in to the method, philosophy, and direction of our “one church in multiple locations” model.
- Conflict Resolver -- unafraid to tackle interpersonal conflicts, ministry misalignment, or issues of sin.
- Leader at Home -- no concerning spiritual or emotional health issues within his or her family.
- Person of Integrity -- they are a leader worth following in habits, disciplines, and personal decisions.
- Self-Aware -- knows where they have weakness, and finds others to fill in those gaps.
- Disciple -- fully devoted to following Jesus in everything they do.
Education and Experience
- Student Ministries Pastors likely have an undergrad degree or higher, including Biblical studies. However, it is more important to us that this individual is educated and continues to grow, whether that happens in a classroom setting or other.
- Likely served in a leadership position at a church or campus size of 1,000 or more.
- Has proven experience leading teams.
- Has experience caring for and shepherding others.