Frequently Asked Questions
MCC’s Youth Pastor Exploration
Q. What changes are being voted on at the March 13 Special Meeting?
A. We are voting to make the current “Minister of Christian Discovery” position ordainable and to change the title to “Pastor of Youth and Families.”
Q. Are we voting to add hours or money?
A. No. The decision to expand hours or compensation will be made in the same way as all positions on the church: Church Council, Stewardship, CE, and Personnel will propose hours in the budget that are based on the money promised by church members during our Pledge Drive in April and May. However, we intend to have a discussion about the possibilities at the March 13th meeting.
Q. What is an “ordainable” position?
A. In the United Church of Christ, a position is ordainable if the individual called to that position has the opportunity to preach and teach the Gospel, administer the sacraments, and provide pastoral care. The individual must also have a seminary degree and complete the ordination process through the local Association. (In our case, that is the Metro Boston Association, Massachusetts Conference.)
Q. Why are we having this conversation now?
A. Our youth ministry has been growing over the past three years: registration in Discovery Kingdom has almost tripled, youth attending on Sunday morning are enthusiastic and return on a consistent basis, and the Youth Group continues to rebuild. Many families have told us that they came to and stay at MCC because of the robust youth ministry. As the program continues to flourish, we need to decide how to continue serving the growing needs of our youth and families.
Q. Are we only talking about this because Sandra is graduating this year?
A. The timing of this conversation is and isn’t due to circumstances in Sandra’s life. As Sandra receives her degree in May and comes to the end of her ordination process, we have the opportunity to recognize how her training has benefited MCC’s youth. It’s impossible to separate the progress of the program from Sandra’s leadership and the relationship she has developed with the youth. However, if and when she feels called to serve elsewhere, MCC needs to offer a position that attracts qualified candidates with similar skills and training who will continue this important ministry. Making this change now allows us to acknowledge Sandra’s achievements while also making sure we can continue to attract strong candidates in the future.
Q. Does an ordainable position mean that we can only hire ordained individuals?
A. No. An ordainable position allows us to reach a wider field of applicants. If a search committee felt that the best candidate were not an ordained person, they would certainly be free to offer them the position.
Q. How would making the position ordainable change the job description?
A. The opportunities to preach, participate in sacraments and offer pastoral care will allow the Pastor of Youth and Families to continue integrating the youth ministry into the wider ministry of the church. For instance, Communion could be offered outside of Sunday worship services as teaching and fellowship; pastoral concerns brought up by the children could be discussed with parents and guardians; and professional pastoral coverage would be available when the Senior Pastor was away.