Central Christian Church, Indianapolis
Ministry Position Description for Associate Pastor

Central Christian Church engages in its particular Christian witness under the following statement of mission:
Celebrating the unconditional welcome we receive from God through Christ, we join together in worship, community and witness

  • to wrestle with deep questions of faith,
  • grow in love for God and one another,
  • to confront oppression and injustice,
  • and to extend God’s boundless hospitality to all.

Position Summary:  The associate pastor will partner with our senior pastor to provide pastoral leadership to the congregation in efforts to live out this mission. The associate pastor will be responsible for leading in the coordination and development of the congregation’s ministry with children, youth, and families; millennials; small groups; and new member integration. He/she will provide secondary support in other areas, including worship planning and leading, leadership development, operational development, and communication.

Reports to:  the Senior Pastor

Qualifications: Ordination and standing in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) or ability to achieve standing in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) within one year of employment. Pastoral and organizational experience in a congregational or not-for-profit setting. Background in spiritual formation with children and youth.

Desired qualities:
This position requires someone with the ability to work with a wide variety of people, as part of a team of both staff and laity. The person should have the ability to initiate and organize activities and programs, and to help people of all ages discover and use their gifts for ministry. The person should have strong written and verbal communication skills and a pastor’s heart. She/he must have a strong commitment to the life and work of the Church and Central Christian Church, an open and affirming congregation that is committed to building an inclusive community and having a positive impact on the world. This person should be comfortable with digital communication, including the changing and experimental nature of digital communication.

Areas of responsibility:
Children, youth, and families.

Provide primary leadership to the coordination and development of ministry with children and youth, in cooperation and consultation with other staff and members of the church. Continue to develop programs for children and youth to be together and develop peer relationships, while maintaining an intergenerational approach. Explore needs and ministry opportunities that are particular to our congregation with its downtown location, geographical dispersion, variety of family structures, and desire to model values that are different from many in the dominant culture. Enlist, train, and nurture leaders to work with children, youth, and families. Assist in pastoral care with children, youth and families in collaboration with the senior pastor and elders. Communicate among families and the congregation as a whole, providing information and article for the weekly e-newsletter and the Sunday bulletin as appropriate. Supervise nursery workers. Monitor compliance with the congregation’s child protection policy.

Provide staff leadership to this new ministry of the congregation. Support the development of relationships within a growing group of young adults who regularly attend worship. Lead an effort to reach millennials in the geographical neighborhood of the church, where they form the largest demographic group. Explore meaningful ways of engaging them in worship, service, and advocacy.

Small groups. 
Ensure that small groups are offered as a way of deepening learning and relationships within the congregation. Monitor our ratio of members/friends to the number of small groups that are available for people to join. Play a coordinating role while encouraging members/friends to develop and lead small groups.

New member integration.
Develop and maintain a process for helping new members and friends to the congregation find their way into the full life of the church. Enhance the current systems of collecting contact information of guests, orienting new people to Central Christian and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), connecting them with an elder, fostering relationships within the congregation, and connecting them to meaningful ministry opportunities.

Worship and preaching.
Work with pastoral and music staff to create meaningful, participatory, and inclusive worship experiences. Participate in seasonal worship planning with staff and lay leaders. Orient and support children’s moment leaders. Preach on an occasional basis.

Leadership development.
Support the senior pastor in inviting, training and supporting members/friends in their ministry involvement at Central and beyond, nurturing an understanding of themselves as disciples committing to a way of life rather than volunteers giving of their time here and there. Assist in linking and networking people and gifts and skills, helping people discover their call.

Support the Church Administrator in developing, communicating and maintaining policies and procedures for office business practices as well as congregational ministries, while not losing the relationship nature of the congregation.

Support the Church Administrator in the church’s internally and externally facing communication, including the weekly e-newsletter, website, social media, and group email lists. Be capable of efficiently handling electronic communications when the Church Administrator is absent.

Participate in activities of the community and wider church, in consultation with the senior pastor. Be a back-up for the senior pastor and elders for hospital, home visits, and other pastoral care needs. Participate in meetings of ministry teams and committees as appropriate. Make quarterly reports to the General Board. Participate as appropriate in the long-range planning of the congregation.

Benefits and expectations:
This position is a year-round, salaried position averaging 40-50 hours per week. Expectations are that the associate pastor will take the equivalent of two days per week as time off from church activities and responsibilities and four paid weeks of vacation. Pension dues, at the rate of 14% of total compensation, will be paid by the church through the Pension Fund of the Christian Church. Compensation to cover a portion of all health care premiums will be provided to the pastor. Other benefits and expectations are designated in the contract and letter of call to the associate pastor.

The church is going through the Disciples’ Search and Call process for this position.  Therefore, if you are interested in this position, please update your Search and Call information, and/or contact Indiana Regional Minister Rev. Rick Spleth with questions.