Disciples News Service

Arizona region opens search for regional minister

Regional Profile

The Christian Church in Arizona encompasses the entire state of Arizona with congregations concentrated in the greater metropolitan region of Phoenix and Tucson. Within its twenty-three congregations and approximately 3500 members, the Region reflects much of the cultural, political, and socio-economic diversity of the state. As good Disciples, we also experience a wide range of theological views among and within our congregations.

Regional operations are carried out by the Regional Minister, a full-time Regional Ministry Administrator and part-time staff coordinating Youth Ministries and Women’s Ministries. Lay and clergy leaders serve on the Administrative Council, which provides guidance on business matters, and the Mission and Focus Team, which provides the program leadership to the Region. The Hispanic Convención has its own leadership team and moderator, who also serves on the Regional Board. Our Regional Assembly meets every two years, and the Convención has a separate biannual meeting, though we have met together before. Thanks to generous endowments, the Christian Church in Arizona itself enjoys financial stability.

Our churches are a mix of Hispanic and predominantly Anglo congregations. Approximately one in seven of our members attends church where Spanish is the primary language spoken in worship. We celebrate this diversity while acknowledging our need to work for unity among all our congregations – a work requiring us to honestly address history and systemic racism within our church.

Although political diversity exists, our Region has a strong interest in social justice. In 2010, in the face of Arizona’s papers-please law, SB 1070, the Region passed two resolutions – 2010-03 calling for hospitality and 2010-02 explicitly condemning the bill. Indeed, one of our congregations began the Humane Borders ministry, which provides water to those crossing the desert. That year a resolution acknowledging human-caused climate changed also passed. In 2015, we led the General church in recognizing the need to end the stigma of mental health and offer paths of support by sponsoring GA-1523 Becoming a People of Welcome and Support to People with Mental Illness and/or Mental Health Disorders, which was passed by the General Assembly. Finally, many of our churches are Open and Affirming of individuals regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Based on the cultural landscape, our interest in social justice, our diversity, and the number of churches experiencing change, we sense our Region is in a time of transition and potential transformation. Most congregations have young pastors in their call for five years or less. In addition, surveys conducted this year around the Search and Call process for a new Regional minister revealed our desire for new ideas and new ways to energize and sustain ministries that will bring vitality to our congregations and communities. They also expressed a hope that the Region not only provide stable guidance and strong administrative support, but also be a source of dynamism.

This reinforces a Congregational Vitality survey from two years ago in which congregations named their most pressing needs. In addition to concerns regarding stewardship approaches and techniques for effective use of our facilities, surveys showed a desire for more transformational Christian education and small group interactions as well as more authentically engaging evangelism.

In our desire to become more unified; grow in faith, love, and acts of justice; and ultimately become more fully partnered in God’s work, the Christian Church in Arizona stands at the cusp of new possibilities for great things.

Job Description

Like all levels of the Christian Church (DOC), the Arizona Region is faithfully endeavoring to live into the changing religious reality. We are seeking a partner in this transformation.

We envision that partnership taking on the following qualities:

  1. A minister able to lead with an institutional imagination centered in God’s love, Christ’ courage and the Spirit’s capacity to unite all beyond the boundaries of race, language, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, geography and theological differences
  2. A minister able to incorporate an integrated approach to Regional ministry weaving together the existing silos of our structure into a coordinated effort
  3. A minister able to coach local congregations and to equip them for authentic faithfulness within this changing reality
  4. A minister able to relate to the gifted cadre of ministers already present within Arizona and the capacity to proactively recruit additional quality ministers for positional vacancies
  5. A minister able to listen first, question second, and act third
  6. A minister able to enact change even if that requires implementation of a completely new model of Regional ministry and staffing
  7. A minister able to execute normative Regional level functions (for example and not exhaustive, Search and Call, various required committees, pastoral care, ordinations and installations and etc.)

We assume the following professional duties:

  1. Healthy spiritual, physical, financial and emotional relationships
  2. Travel
  3. Continued professional development of themselves, staff and regional leaders
  4. Proven record of administrative and managerial competency and success
  5. Biannual conferences on church growth, transformation and trends

We desire the following qualifications:

  1. Minister of Good Standing within the Christian Church (DOC)
  2. M.Div. from an ATS accredited school
  3. 10 years of ordained experience
  4. Bi-lingual or demonstrated cultural sensitivity and competency
  5. Persons of color and women are encouraged to apply
  6. Must relocate to Arizona

To be considered for this position a candidate must:

  • Have a complete active profile in the denominational Search and Call system of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
  • Indicate intention to be considered to Warren Lynn, Executive Minister for Christian Vocations for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Contact information: wlynn@dhm.disciples.org, 317-713-2652
  • Send a letter of intention to apply to Jim Barton, Search Committee Chair, at jamesbarton2@gmail.com before October 26, 2018.

Community Discussion

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