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Pastor of Spiritual Development
Albany, New York, United States
Date Posted: 07/22/2010
Categories: Combo Positions
Church Size: 2501 to 3000
Job Type: Full-Time
PASTOR of SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT
Grace Fellowship Church
Albany, New York
Grace Fellowship Church (www.gracefellowship.com) was founded 17 years ago in Albany, New York by Senior Pastor Rex Keener. As a friendly, independent non-denominational church, Grace Fellowship has thrived and currently welcomes about 2500 people to one of 5 weekend services at 2 campuses serving New York’s capitol and the surrounding communities. Growing a church to this size in the northeast is not easy. Spiritual soil can be rocky and the challenge of a traditional religious culture can provide many challenges. Grace Fellowship has effectively met those challenges and through the years a healthy, authentic community has developed that understands each individual is a work “in process”, an attitude frequently reflected through the transparency of the Senior Pastor.
“Your Life Is Your Ministry” is a passionate theme at Grace Fellowship. The past several years have seen greater clarity around God’s call to the church to build “more and better disciples” who exhibit a spiritual focus that is fully integrated into every aspect of life, work and family. This commitment was demonstrated when the church launched its first satellite campus on the north side of town in December of 2008 in the hope that Grace Fellowship could continue to grow and impact their community for Christ by meeting people where they live. The people of Grace Fellowship would love to see more and more people coming to faith in Christ and growing in the community of faith. Church leadership is determined to place a stronger, renewed emphasis on people growing together in transformational community. They understand the need and importance of a Pastor of Spiritual Development who will champion effort and see it fully developed as Grace Fellowship continues to move forward in mission and ministry.
In the last couple of years, the growth trajectory at Grace Fellowship has stabilized. Senior leaders have been asking some tough questions as they evaluate where they are and where they would like the church to go. This time of reflection has revealed that an unintentional shift in ministry development took place during the early years of rapid growth. The original vision was one of people growing in the grace of God through deep and meaningful personal relationships. They realize now that they dealt with the need to integrate large numbers of new believers through a more programmatic, event driven model of ministry. Small Groups, which is the ideal opportunity for transformational community, simply became one of the many offerings of the church.
The challenge for the new Pastor of Spiritual Development is to bring into reality the original vision: a simplified ministry that is built on an organic approach to discipleship, with highly effective biblical small group communities as the cornerstone. The Pastor of Spiritual Development will have the full support of the Senior Pastor, his staff colleagues, and church Elders as he gently deconstructs what is there in order to realign to this vision and develop an effective Spiritual Development ministry across campuses and across generations.
In every opportunity lies challenge. The Pastor of Spiritual Development will be tasked to create and cast a new vision to bring effective systems around the development of transformational communities. In every church there are those who do what they do because that is the way it has always been done. Building fresh momentum for small and mid-sized communities while refocusing those who have been engaged in more program and event based ministries will require some finesse and skilled leadership. Fortunately, the Pastor of Spiritual Development will find a core group of people committed to life transformation in the context of small group relationships. There are currently about 65 official groups plus several healthy adult based ministries that represent a blend of both larger and smaller group gatherings. Overall this represents less than 20% of the total congregation, so in a church of 2500 the opportunity to make significant strides forward is virtually limitless. The Pastor of Spiritual Development will create and implement a plan to develop and equip current lay leaders, and to cast a compelling vision to the large pool of untapped and untrained leaders who are currently on the sidelines.
This is a new staff position at Grace Fellowship Church. Several years ago, for a period of one year, they employed a full-time Small Group Ministry leader. Currently the Senior Pastor serves as the primary voice for the ministry. As the church looks forward to this new position and to the impact it will have within the body, they anticipate a Pastor of Spiritual Development who will partner with other senior staff to creatively cast and recast a compelling vision that inspires and motivates the congregation to fully embrace authentic biblical community as a means of making more and better disciples at Grace Fellowship Church. This will include being an active, approachable and accessible leader who communicates effectively and enthusiastically invites others to fully engage and participate in the community life of the church. The ideal candidate will look for on-going opportunities to coach and mentor others in the practice of their giftedness, so that leaders of all kinds are being developed, equipped and released into the church.
The leadership at Grace Fellowship is healthy and the church is poised for growth. They feel blessed that they have enjoyed a history without major conflict of division. They desire to continue that legacy by calling the right Pastor of Spiritual Development who brings the leadership, gifts and passion for people that will help the church launch to the next level. The opportunity for impact in the Albany community and in the northeast region is tremendous. Are you being called to consider this opportunity?
A bachelor degree is a minimum requirement for this position, with a Masters degree preferred. Ministry experience in a larger church or multi-campus setting would be valuable, especially as the Pastor of Spiritual Development will be called to creatively envision, plan and implement a well-coordinated strategy for the development of transformational communities across ages and church campuses. Described as a leader of leaders, the ideal candidate will bring experience in identifying, recruiting and equipping lay leaders and volunteers. Most importantly, this leader will be a personally warm, energetic, welcoming and inviting champion for community life at Grace Fellowship Church.
While the Pastor of Spiritual Development will work closely with the Senior Pastor, Executive Pastor and other staff colleagues, he will be given much latitude and responsibility in daily work-life, so he should be a personally disciplined individual who is highly communicative, organized, collaborative and passionate about the spiritual development of people. Because of the positive staff environment at Grace Fellowship, the right candidate will be open to learning from and sharing ideas with others. He will also bring knowledge of best practices, latest trends and current methodologies for effective ministry in his area of expertise and oversight.
The successful candidate will understand that he is a work in process, but will model a personal pursuit of Christ-likeness which is evidenced by things like moral integrity, the practice of spiritual disciplines, a desire for accountability, and a reputation of unwavering character.
If this profile sounds like you, you are invited to submit your information for consideration. Over the years, we have found that one can learn only so much from the resume. In addition to your resume we would like to get a more complete picture of you and your interest in Grace Fellowship. Please provide succinct responses to the following questions. (1-2 paragraphs per response):
1. Describe your faith-walk with Christ. Tell us how you entered into a trusting relationship with Christ and how you are maintaining the vitality of this relationship now. Describe the expressions of ministry that you are currently involved with (in or outside of the church).
2. Please outline the priorities of your biblical, group-life community ministry philosophy and describe your main goals in the first year serving with Grace Fellowship.
3. From your perspective, how is Jesus-likeness best formed in people? What are the key elements that influence spiritual growth?
4. What is compelling to you about this opportunity with Grace Fellowship? Why are you interested in serving as the Pastor of Spiritual Development? Be specific about describing how your ministry calling and competencies align with this leader of leaders ministry opportunity.
5. Provide an example of a ministry initiative you led that you would describe as relevant, innovative and/or impactful.
Please electronically submit your resume and answers to these questions (Word or pdf format) to:
Senior Search Consultant
Ministry by Design - Minneapolis