Position Announcement – Ministry Internship @ St. Paul’s

Ministry Intern staff position @ St. Paul’s UCC Church, Dallas

Contact: Pastor   @    stpaulsucc (at)sbcglobal.net   or   214-368-7788
Focus: Children, Youth and Families –
Internal to the congregation and out in the community
Starting Date: As Soon As Available after July 31st
Hours: 15-20 / week, 48 weeks / year
Pay: Commensurate with experience,
plus mileage and expense reimbursements

The final job description will be negotiated with the successful applicant. Below is a brief overview of the shape of the position, accountabilities, responsibilities and flexibility.

Primary Vision for the position: To provide an opportunity for someone to grow and develop in their call to ministry, focused on building community and relationships among children, youth and families in congregation and surrounding neighborhoods. Our desire is that the Ministry Intern imagine, explore and discover existing and new ways to call, lead and disciple young people for the church of today and the work of the kingdom in the future. Success in this position will be measured by a) prayerful participation and effort, b) a willingness to take risks in consultation with church leaders, and c) the ability to learn from mistakes, rather than predetermined independent metrics like attendance. The successful candidate will be able to articulate their current personal understanding of and commitment to the Christian Faith in ways consistent with the mission and witness of St. Paul’s Church and the UCC.

On a weekly basis:

  • Provide leadership to the congregation’s ministry to children, youth and families, including teaching a class each week on Sunday mornings @ 10 am, in cooperation with parents and other adult leaders.
  • Meet with the supervising pastor for planning and formation. Dream and explore new expressions of ministry in our context and how they might apply in other settings.
  • Participate in the planning and leadership of worship on Sunday morning @ 11am, including preaching on occasion, at least quarterly.

On a monthly basis:

  • Plan and lead activities for children and youth in partnership with parents and other adult leaders.
  • Actively participate in Consistory (church governing body) meetings on Sunday afternoon.
  • Actively participate in monthly fellowship dinner, typically on the 4th Sunday, following worship.

On a regular basis:

  • Identify and engage at select community sites, including schools, businesses, retail settings, coffee shops and restaurants, for the purpose of listening deeply to people’s life stories and discovering together how God is at work and how the kingdom of God is emerging in our midst.
  • Participate occasionally in hospital and homebound visitation, primarily as a learning opportunity, not with ongoing responsibility in this area.
  • Learning, Networking and Collaboration: Meet with other ministry leaders and pioneers locally and beyond to share ideas and build a network of ministry colleagues and resources.
  • Participate in UCC and Ecumenical events, particularly related to children, youth and families.


Download the pdf :
Ministry Intern Position Announcement – St Pauls Church UCC Dallas

Contextual Leadership Formation

Leadership development is best done in context. We are formed as leaders through action and reflection, individually and in groups, with mentors and coaches who can guide us along the way and build into us capacities for strength and confidence in the midst of the incredible challenges that leaders face today. Internships provide leaders the opportunity to develop and refine their competence “in real time” with the supervision and guidance of skilled facilitators.

I spent the last several days with leaders from three different Christian organizations discussing and exploring the emerging “new monastic” expressions as a form of “contextual leadership formation” (my phrase). Ben Bohren and Patti Case from the National Benevolent Association met with Elaine Heath, Wes Magruder, Daryn DeZengotita, Justin Hancock and others from the Missional Wisdom Foundation and Jim Ellison with the Fund for Theological Education. At the lunch meeting Thursday this group led a conversation with more than a dozen Disciples of Christ leaders from the Christian Church in the Southwest, the North Texas and Trinity Brazos areas, Juliette Fowler Communities, South Hills Christian Church, Northway Christian Church, East Dallas Christian Church, and Ridgelea Christian Church, among others.

I have also been in conversation with business school leaders, including Paula Strasser from the SMU Cox School of Business and Brad Hancock from the TCU Neeley School of Business Entrepreneurship Center. I met with folks at Success North Dallas, an organization founded by Bill Wallace that seeks to deepen and strengthen leaders. And I got to have conversation with Candace Fitzpatrick, founder of Core Clarity, an organization that helps individuals and organizations thrive by understanding and focusing energy in the areas of greatest talent and strength.

One of the common threads in these conversations is the importance of quality contextual leadership formation that includes a coaching and mentoring components. Coaching and mentoring are different and complementary disciplines. Each have a place in leadership formation, at its initiation, and throughout our careers, regardless of our field – business, government, healthcare, academy, non-profit, faith based, congregational. Learning from books and lectures is immeasurably valuable, but limited. Much of the integration of this learning arises in the field, in context, and is facilitated by working with mentors and coaches. These experiences are often labeled as internships.

It is also most valuable to do this work in community, with a group of peers from the same or different disciplines, who can offer peer mentoring and coaching, support, encouragement, challenge and accountability. The best programs (like the ones mentioned above) combine these practices of individual and group mentoring and coaching.

When have you struggled for lack of this kind of support? What was that like, and what did you do about it?
Where have you experienced good mentoring and coaching, individually and as part of a group? How did those experiences help to make you a better leader?