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Children & Family Ministries Pastor/Director
Hope Evangelical Free Church
Dubuque, Iowa, United States
Date Posted: 11/30/2009
Categories: Children's Pastor
Denominations: Evangelical Free
Church Size: 501 to 750
Job Type: Full-Time
By God’s grace, Hope Church seeks to be a growing community of faith that will make an eternal
difference, beginning in Dubuque, Iowa. Currently, about 700 people per weekend find authentic
community, relevant bible teaching, inspiring music and loving children’s ministries at Hope Church.
Additionally, Hope offers multiple ministries for adults, children and youth beyond Sunday mornings (visit
Over the past 25 years, Hope Church has developed a considerable presence in Dubuque. We remain
committed to reaching even more people while impacting Dubuque and the surrounding communities with
the gospel in transforming ways.
Hope Church is part of the Evangelical Free Church of America (see efca.org), a denomination focused
on growing healthy churches.
Hope Church would characterize ourselves by the following distinctives:
• We are a Christian melting pot; with former Catholics, Lutherans, Pentecostals, Fundamentalists,
etc. all finding common ground here.
• We are committed to accurate, simple, moderate and relevant teaching of Scripture - our worship
services are central to our disciple-making efforts, and our preaching is central to our worship
• We are passionate about sharing the gospel. We have a high degree of new adult converts
within our church. We share the gospel simply and constantly in our various ministry settings.
• We prefer to be known for what we are for, rather than what we are against. We spend a limited
amount of energy defining ourselves against various ideas, movements, organizations, political
parties, news stories, etc. We do not shy away from taking a hard stand, but prefer to be positive.
• We are focused on making active disciples, and as such, promote opportunities for people to
work on their own discipleship (through serving, small groups, leading, relational evangelism,
Church Vision & Direction
Hope Church has specific objectives for the next few years. Senior Pastor Matt Collins first shared these
with the congregation in the summer of 08, with the hope that all of them would be complete by 2011:
• Next Generation Redesign our children and students programs and spaces into vibrant places
for families to grow spiritually.
• Worship Arts Upgrade our worship center so that we can better use the arts in our worship
services to share the power of the gospel.
• Local Care Develop a multi-faceted care and counseling ministry that will assist individuals and
families in their times of need.
• Global Church Start partnerships with Third World national ministries to accomplish lifechanging
Hope Church has already started to develop in these areas. Some physical and technology upgrades in
our worship center and children’s spaces have taken place. We have hired an architectural firm that has
drawn up renovation and expansion plans. Our membership will be voting this Fall about a capital
campaign. A relationship has started with a ministry by nationals, for nationals in Haiti, resulting in 150
households at Hope Church sponsoring 150 students at Christian schools through our partner ministry.
We recently opened a new Neighborhood Resource Center in downtown Dubuque to connect with
various caring needs in our community. A new leader for our Student & Family Ministries joined our staff
in September. We hope to add a Pastor/Director of Caring Ministries in 2010.
The current Senior Pastor, Matt Collins, has been with Hope Church for 12 years. Prior to this, he
pastored in upstate New York. Under his leadership, the Hope Church has grown from 200 to 700. Matt
is passionate about sharing the gospel and about teaching practical Christian living. The current
Executive Pastor Darrell Cloud has been with Hope Church since June 2008. Previously, he was on staff
with the Evangelical Free Church of Naperville, a church of 2,500 in the Chicago suburbs. He is
passionate about seeing the gospel shared, and empowering leaders to influence people for discipleship.
Hope Church is growing. In the summer of 2008 the average overall weekend attendance was about
600. In Fall 08 it was 645. In Spring 09 it was 705. So far this Fall, it is about 710. The prayer of the
leadership has been, “Lord, we are here and willing, if you want to do something big in Dubuque!” The
leadership is taking active steps to plan for growth (such as leadership development and campus
renovations and expansion).
About Dubuque, Iowa
As the seventh largest city in the state of Iowa, Dubuque boasts small-town warmth and friendliness, and
has been a vibrant river town since the early 1800s. Situated at the intersection of Iowa, Illinois, and
Wisconsin, Dubuque stands among the Mississippi River bluffs with rolling hills and picturesque views at
almost every turn.
In 2008, Dubuque was named as the “Most Livable” Small City by the United States Conference of
Mayors. Also in 2008, Dubuque was awarded a national title of “100 Best Communities for Young
People”. In 2007, Dubuque was declared an “All-America City” by the National Civic League. In 2007,
Inc. Magazine listed Dubuque as 22nd out of 393 “Best Cities & Boom Towns”, alongside annual favorites
like Las Vegas, Phoenix, and metro areas in Florida. Dubuque was the only Midwest city listed in the
overall U.S. Top 25.
Dubuque is a growing city with a population of 62,000 people and a county population of 90,000. Major
employers in the area include John Deere, Prudential Insurance, Medical Associates, Eagle Window &
Door and McGraw-Hill Publishing. Several companies have recently committed to starting or expanding
new operations in Dubuque in the next 2 years, to include IBM, International Transmissions and Hormel
Foods (visit greaterdubuque.org). The local economy and housing market remain strong, despite the
Dubuque offers 11 elementary schools, 4 middle schools, 3 high schools, 2 private school systems.
There are also 3 private liberal arts colleges, a Bible college and 3 seminaries.
Hope Church is seeking a gifted person to expand our Children & Family Ministries, in alignment with the
vision of the church leadership. The person in this staff role resigned in June 09, after 3 years of service,
and we are seeking a strong fit to write the next chapter for this ministry area.
We have 3 weekend worship services (one Saturday night, two Sunday morning, all contemporary) and
use a Kidstuf model of large and small group interactive learning, called Kid’s Island, during each service,
for our K-5 children. We augment this with a Wednesday night Treasure Seekers program which is
Christian education, on top of the Bible-story, values-oriented learning of the weekends. A vibrant MOPS
(Mothers of Preschoolers) program, with over 120 moms, is also part of our ministry options. Currently,
we are averaging 150 children (birth through 5th grade) per weekend. We are committed to expanding
our next generation and family-oriented opportunities to be central to who we are as a church.
Hope Church is seeking to call a new Pastor/Director of Children & Family Ministries. We are looking for
a proven leader with a professional and educational background that makes them an obvious
consideration for the role. Strong candidates would have:
• A readily observable Christian faith and life. We are called to be set apart, holy.
• Relational, and a pastoral heart. Ministry is about people.
• Leadership ability. This person must be able to equip lay leaders to effectively replicate
themselves. They must be able to build teams and attract high-capacity people.
• Entrepreneurial skills. This staff member must be able to effectively re-engineer ministries or
start new ministries, and be able to grow them through other leaders.
• Speaking ability. This person must be able to effectively communicate publicly; both the Word of
God to leaders, parents or children, as needed, and be able to train teams in thoughtful ways.
• Management skills. This staff must be able to empower others to oversee ongoing structures,
teams and budgets. They must be able to delegate multiple initiatives to multiple volunteers.
Specialist & Generalist Roles
As a specialist, the Pastor/Director of Children & Family Ministries will oversee all ministries for and with
children birth to 5th grade and their parents; both those at the church, and any others in the community
with which they can gain spiritual influence. At Hope Church, we feel we are a secondary influence on
these children, and that the parents are the primary spiritual influence. As such, this staff role will include
developing new initiatives to empower parents to lead their families. It is vital that this staff person be
able to connect with both children and parents. Overall, they will be charged with transitioning the
Children & Family Ministry from the present to the future reality by understanding where people are at,
and bringing change appropriately, with regard to timing and scope.
As a generalist, the Director of Children & Family Ministries will also be expected to contribute to the staff
team at large, as the group sets the tone for the disciple-making efforts of the church (for example,
framing how the church develops an invitation culture) and as they work on projects and initiatives to
benefit the church as a whole (for example, leading aspects of seasonal church-wide events).
This position would be a direct report to the Executive Pastor. The church is Elder governed and staff
led, meaning the Elders work with the Senior Pastor on high-level vision and values that set the tone in
the 3-year picture, but all the year-to-year decisions and strategic planning are done by the staff, under
the direction of the Executive Pastor. The Elders are voted into place by the Members (about 200 at this
time). The Senior Pastor is the only Staff who is an Elder. The position would be a peer to the other
Pastors/Directors (currently Arts, Adults, Administration and Students & Family).
Hope Church is eager to reach as many people as possible in Dubuque for Jesus Christ. We are looking
for an experienced staff person with a similar hunger for new life transformation.