Unusual. That is a safe description of the staffing structure we are currently using at Youngers Creek Baptist Church.
Unusual in that none of our pastoral and ministerial staff live in the town the church is located in.
The church is located on the outskirts of Elizabethtown, KY, in east Hardin Co. None of our church staff, with the exception of our fabulous church secretary, live in Elizabethtown, Hardin Co, or any of the adjacent counties.
Our worship minister, children’s ministry intern and I (the transitional pastor) all live in Campbellsville about 50 minutes away. Our student minister has recently moved from Campbellsville and now lives in Bowling Green about an hour away.
This approach is not normal. This is definitely an out-of-the-box model. Honestly, it was not something I anticipated when I arrived.
When I came as transitional pastor in November 2016, our student minister was finishing his final year at Campbellsville University. He was already in place having started a few months before. He was one of my students and was instrumental in recommending me to the deacons to possibly come during the transition.
Then in December, just a month after I arrived, our worship leader, who was a lay volunteer, announced she was having a baby and would be stepping away at the end of the year.
I immediately went to my dear friend and colleague with extensive experience in worship leading and music and asked if he could come lead us. It took a few months, but eventually he was able to come.
Then in January, our children’s director, another lay leader, stepped away to focus on her family and job. I knew the perfect Educational Ministries student who could help our kids ministry. We brought her on as a children’s ministry intern and she has done amazingly well.
So now we have…
- Four staff members and none live in the town of the church.
- Four staff members who all drive at least an hour to get to the building.
- Four staff members all who work another job or are going to school.
Unusual, yes I know. Yet we are greatly blessed.
Our ministry to middle school and high school students is outstanding. Our student minister keeps the focus rooted in God’s Word and is committed to making disciples.
The children ministry is vibrant and at times, overwhelming. The Lord keeps bringing little ones to us even as our church median age is Baby Boomers and retirees. We are seeing younger families bring preschool and grade-school aged kids more and more.
Our worship atmosphere is lively, inspiring and grace-filled. There is a sweet expression on every face. Our choir, praise band and media team do an amazing job leading us into the throne of grace.
Our staff planning is unusual. Most of our communication is through text messages, planning websites, emails, car pools to church on Wednesday night, meet ups on campus, and phone calls.
Yet even as we approach things in a unique way, the staff is of one mind, united in heart, and dedicated to the mission of Youngers Creek Church. We, together, seek to to bring church to life.
I am so grateful for this unusual opportunity. I recognize how unorthodox it is, but I am very thankful for a church that is willing to try the unusual.