Director of Youth Ministries – First Presbyterian Church of Albany, New York
First Presbyterian Church of Albany, New York, is progressive in our theology and on social issues, yet traditional in our worship. We are a welcoming congregation with an active youth group. Established in 1763, First Presbyterian has been an active leader in the community, offering innovative mission and outreach in our city and around the world. We are a congregation that works for peace and justice in our society. We believe the widening gap between rich and poor in our society and the widespread misery this causes is contrary to the will of God. Our Mission Statement defines First Presbyterian as an inclusive church that “welcomes persons of differing abilities, of all economic and ethnic groups, of any sexual orientation, to share with us the joy, the power, the challenge of God’s good news in Jesus Christ.” We have an excellent music program as well as innovative mission and outreach in our city. Worship is central to the life of our congregation, providing inner reinforcement as it prepares us to go out into the world to serve. We want our youth to learn the “more excellent way” (I Cor. 12:31) of living a life marked by acts of love, done in God’s name.
The Middle School/High School Youth Program at First Presbyterian
We value the engagement of our youth members—a curious, active and diverse group of young people who attend a number of different area schools, hold a variety of interests and a range of beliefs. Twenty youth make up the current class roster, and most have been active in the following First Presbyterian Church youth program activities:
- A one hour Christian Education class held from 9:30-10:30am on Sunday mornings in a second floor classroom of the Education Building. Historically, the class has studied current topics through the lens of our Christian faith. In recent years, themes have included: Resistance! (examined the intersecting topics of poverty and wealth distribution, politics, the environment, education, healthcare, racism and mass incarceration); Sexuality and Drugs; the Environment and Conservation; and several film studies. Mental Health is a possible future topic that students have suggested.
- An annual summer trip to: (a) a work camp, (b) the Montreat Conference Center in NC, or (c) Presbyterian Youth Triennium in IN.
- An annual late winter/early spring High School Youth Leadership Forum in NYC or Washington DC sponsored by the New York State Council of Churches.
- An annual spring musical.
- An annual winter ski weekend in VT.
- An annual fall Haunted Hayride and Lock-In.
- Local service projects, including repairing homes, helping members with household chores and yard work, and serving breakfast at a homeless shelter.
- A Christmas party.
- Hosting the congregational Easter brunch.
- Ushering during the 10:45 am worship service, once every two months.
- Leading a worship service.
Job Summary: To develop and implement a comprehensive approach to youth ministry (in the areas of group building, worship, discipleship, mission, and outreach) while serving as a spiritual leader and role model.
Essential Functions: (what is done)
- Plan, develop, implement, and provide general oversight for all aspects of a balanced youth ministry in the areas of group building, worship, discipleship, mission and outreach.
- Mentor youth in developing their leadership skills.
- Be aware of and utilize resources for developing the youth ministry programming and participate in continuing education events and training opportunities.
- Recruit and train volunteers who work with youth in all aspects of youth ministry and ensure adequate volunteer support and adult to youth ratios.
- Develop and implement a strategic youth ministry outreach plan.
- Keep records of youth participation and prepare and manage the youth ministry budget.
- Ensure that communication with parents and congregation is done in a timely manner and as effectively as possible using all available resources (email, text, Facebook, website, bulletin, eblast, etc.)
- Make yourself available to youth in a variety of ways (i.e. attendance at extracurricular activities, visitation, times of crisis, etc.)
- Ensure that the Safe Sanctuary Policy is observed in all youth ministry settings.
Common Staff Functions:
- Attends monthly staff meetings
- Attends Christian Education Committee meetings
- Keeps church secretary informed on calendar events and changes
- Other responsibilities as assigned and negotiated
Core Competencies: (how the functions above are done)
- Creativity and Innovation: Generate new ideas; make new connections among existing ideas to create new approaches; take acceptable risks in pursuit of innovation; learn from mistakes; have good judgment about which creative ideas and suggestions will work
- Compassion and Care: Exude a natural sense of care for the well-being of others; respond with empathy to life circumstances; communicate a sense of support in your very presence; demonstrate appropriate and boundaried expressions of care.
- Ethics and Values: Honor core values and beliefs of the organization in choice of behaviors; consistently embody appropriate behavioral choices in both stressful and nonstressful situations; practice these behaviors and advocate to others; keep confidences.
- Influencing Others: Encourage others to cooperate, participate, provide resources or make decisions in service to the work at hand; use verbal and nonverbal skills to communicate respect for others, and to generate energy, passion and commitment to an idea; create an environment that others want to participate in.
- Initiative: Enjoy working hard; be action oriented and energetic about worthwhile activities; not fearful of taking calculated risks; seize opportunities; set demanding, but achievable objectives for self and others.
- Interpersonal Skills: Establish good working relationships with all others who are relevant to the completion of work; work well with people at all levels of the congregation; build appropriate rapport; consider the impact of actions on others; use diplomacy and tact; be approachable; avoid communication triangles.
- Mission Ownership: Demonstrate understanding and full support of the mission, vision, values and beliefs of the congregation; demonstrate those values to others; consistently behave in a manner congruent with the mission, vision, values and beliefs.
- Personal Resilience: Cope effectively with change and uncertainty; shift gears comfortably; decide and act without having the total picture; do not be upset when things are up in the air; comfortably handle risk and uncertainty; be flexible.
Terms of Employment:
- This is a part-time position based on 12 hours per week. Hours will vary depending upon retreats, weekend activities, mission trips and schedules.
- Other terms as set forth in the “Manual of Personnel Practices and Policies” will apply unless otherwise indicated in the letter of agreement.
Accountability: The Director of Youth Ministries is supervised by Co-Pastor Miriam