(Appropriate for Small-Membership Churches with One Coordinator)
An effective coordinator will develop and nurture a ministry for people of all ages, striving to guide, nurture, and support them as they grow as Christian disciples. The coordinator must pay attention to the needs of the church and the community, providing opportunities for all people to grow in their relationship with God and to respond to that relationship faithfully in the church and the world. The coordinator must recognize how families vary, offering ministry opportunities for all people to respond to God’s presence in their lives. This person will work with other church and community leaders to address the needs of people in their congregation and community.
Spiritual Gifts and Qualifications Helpful for the Job
- This ministry coordinator benefits from one or more of these spiritual gifts: servanthood, teaching, exhortation (encouragement), leadership, administration, helping, and shepherding.
- This leader should show evidence of passion for family ministry, prior effective ministry leadership skills, and active and growing discipleship.
- Useful skills for this position are the ability to listen to and communicate with people of all ages, the ability to work with other ministry leaders, and the ability to delegate responsibility and follow up to complete tasks.
- This leader should show genuine interest in responding to the hopes and concerns of people in the community so that community ministry is launched and joint projects with other congregations and groups lead to transformation of the community.
- This person should have knowledge and respect for the history, doctrine, and theology of The United Methodist Church.
Responsibilities of the Position
- This leader should maintain a healthy and growing spiritual life and encourage other teachers and leaders to do the same.
- The coordinator of age-level, family, and intergenerational ministries will need to be attentive to the hopes, concerns, and needs of children, youth, adults (including young adults, single adults, older adults) and families in the community to determine how the congregation might serve them and how they might serve one another as Christian disciples and good neighbors.
- The coordinator needs to be familiar with the congregation’s overall goals and how they are achieved through the congregation’s ministry with children, youth, adults, and families.
- This leader will encourage extending the goals of the congregation to include all age levels and families.
- This leader will work with others to plan and carry out ministry with families and people of all ages in a varied and wide-ranging program that includes worship, study, fellowship, service opportunities, and so forth.
- The coordinator will build networks with community organizations and people to connect the congregation with the community for a strong program. He or she will look for new ministry opportunities and unmet needs.
- The coordinator will guide the work of the age-level and family council (if organized) throughout the year, including planning its agendas and presiding at its meetings. If there is no council, the coordinator will communicate with various ministries to coordinate plans and calendars.
- The coordinator will work with other leaders to learn about curriculum and other resources available for each age level and for families in order to help people select appropriate resources for study and growth.
- The coordinator is accountable to the charge conference through the church council.
- Do some research about what’s currently available so that you can plan for the year ahead.
- Ask your pastor and members of the staff/pastor-parish relations committee for names of people who will be able to help you get a deeper understanding of the church and the congregation (history, current ministries, vision, and mission).
- Learn what life is like for children, youth, adults, and families in the congregation. Ask questions! Listen!
- Soon after you are elected, convene the age-level and family council (if organized) to evaluate, share hopes, and concerns and plan for your work. If the council is not organized, ask a group of interested youth and adults to help you plan. (Make sure you invite persons who are diverse in age, race and ethnicity, gender, and experience.) Plan the year’s ministries together. Share the ministry with others by delegating projects to people in the church or community who have passion.
- Study Guidelines for Leading Your Congregation, 2017-2020: Children’s Ministries, Youth Ministries, Adult Ministries, and Family Ministries.
- Set aside time for personal spiritual practices that build your attentiveness to God’s will and direction for your leadership.
People and Agencies That Can Help
- Your pastor, laypeople in your congregation, people who live in your community and district, and conference leaders of age-level and family ministries. As you travel, visit other congregations to observe roles and ministries.
- Melanie Gordon (children), [email protected]; Scott Hughes (adult ministries), [email protected]; Will Randolph (older-adult ministry) [email protected]; and Division on Ministries with Young People (www.umcyoungpeople.org), Discipleship Ministries, P.O. Box 340003, Nashville, TN 37203-0003; (877) 899-2780; www.umcdiscipleship.org
- Intergenerational and Family Ministries, Discipleship Ministries, www.umcdiscipleship.org/leadership-resources/intergenerational-family-ministries
- InfoServ, the information service for the church, provides current information about United Methodist resources, programs, and staff services. Email: [email protected]; Website: infoserv.umc.org.
Web and Print Resources
- At Home with God: Family Devotions for the School Year by Marilyn Brown Oden, Anne Broyles, Sue Downing, Paul Escamilla and Elizabeth Lynd Escamilla (available from Amazon.com)
- The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church, 2016 (Nashville: The United Methodist Publishing House, 2016)
- Charting a Course of Discipleship, revised edition by Teresa Gilbert, Patty Johansen, and Jay Regennitter; revised by Delia Halverson (Nashville: Discipleship Resources, 2012)
- Christian Home Month Manual (free annual resource for celebrating Christian Home Month in May)
- Designing an Older Adult Ministry by Richard H. Gentzler, Jr. (Nashville, Discipleship Resources)
- Everyday Disciples: Covenant Discipleship with Youth by Chris Wilterdink (Nashville: Discipleship Resources, 2016)
- Family the Forming Center: A Vision for the Role of Family in Spiritual Formation by Marjorie J. Thompson (Nashville: Upper Room Books, 1997)
- Forgiving Your Family: A Journey to Healing by Kathleen Fischer (Nashville: Upper Room Books, 2005)
- Growing Compassionate Kids: Helping Kids See Beyond Their Backyard by Jan Johnson (Upper Room Books, 2000)
- Growing Everyday Disciples: Covenant Discipleship with Children by Melanie C. Gordon, Susan Groseclose, and Gayle Quay (Nashville: Discipleship Resources, 2016)
- Guidelines for Leading Your Congregation, 2017-2020: Family Ministries (also Children’s Ministries, Ministries with Young People, and Adult Ministries) [Cokesbury, 2016]
- Including Children in Worship: A Planning Guide for a Congregation by Elizabeth Sandell (Augsburg Fortress, 1991)
- Interpreter, www.interpretermagazine.org
- Korean Family Devotions by Andrew Sungho Park, Brandon Cho, Kyungsig Samuel Lee, and Heisik Oh (Upper Room Books, 1995)
- Mission Trips That Matter by Don C. Richter (Nashville: Upper Room Books, 2008)
- Parents and Grandparents as Spiritual Guides by Betty Shannon Cloyd (Nashville: Upper Room Books, 2000)
- Passing It On: How to Nurture Your Children’s Faith Season by Season by Kara Lassen Oliver (Nashville: Upper Room Books, 2015)
- Safe Sanctuaries®, www.umcdiscipleship.org/leadership-resources/safe-sanctuaries
- Safe Sanctuaries in a Virtual World by Joy Thornburg and Michelle L. Foster (Nashville: Discipleship Resources, 2014)
- Scrambled Starts: Family Prayers for Morning, Bedtime, and Everything in Between by Jenny Youngman (Nashville: Upper Room Books, 2015)
- UMC Intergenerational Ministries Facebook Page, www.facebook.com/groups/umcigministry
- Way to Live: Christian Practices for Teens by Dorothy Bass and Don Richter (Upper Room Books, 2002)