So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love,
any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy,
complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love,
being in full accord and of one mind.
Philippians 2:1,2 (ESV)
Ministry networks are an invaluable resource. Jeff and Rachel Moeller, father and daughter Directors of Christian Education (DCEs), share their perspectives and invite you to connect and cultivate a nurturing community for newly arrived DCEs and interns.
An Intern’s Perspective
Concordia University Irvine DCE Intern: Rachel Moeller. serving at Hillside Christian Church in Surrey, B.C.
Interns are juggling so much. We’re are going through a total cultural adjustment: no longer living among our peers and closest friends, striking out into a new and expansive world, perhaps living on our own for the first time ever; facing open-ended job descriptions, and discovering what it means to truly have creative control over scheduling, programming, and curriculum implementation. While incredibly exciting, it’s also unnerving, and at times, overwhelming.
We have confidence that the Holy Spirit is working through us, and that assurance is immeasurably comforting. Still, that comfort can be drowned out in the noise of our anxieties. Knowing the Spirit also works through those in ministry with us, we would benefit from a network of DCEs, who are familiar with the real tension of working as broken humans with broken humans.
We seek a calm and encouraging presence, a sounding board, and mentors. Experienced, local DCEs can be just that. I’ve seen my DCE dad settled in a church’s ministry, and start in a new environment, but always from the outside. Now I’m experiencing my own sense of newness, fresh start, and adventure.
This is an exciting time for me. I’m grateful for the support and encouragement of my parents.
Still, the presence of the unknown is in front of me, with anxieties and overwhelming moments ahead. Christ is already in those moments, and I’ve been blessed with an encouraging and supportive ministry team.
Having a community of experience DCEs would be an unparalleled blessing. DCEs — and especially KINDLE Associates — are uniquely trained. You are familiar with the many roles an intern will have this year, and in the years ahead. It would be a blessing to offer your presence and encouragement. We could reach out to you for your wisdom when those moments of uncertainty arise. It’s relational – who could’ve guessed?
Speaking as the token intern, we’re settling in, and building relationships. Please reach out and be one of those relationships!
A Perspective of a veteran DCE and father
Jeff Moeller, a 30+ year veteran DCE serving as Director of Children, Youth, and Family Ministries in Solana Beach, CA
I pray that Rachel and other DCE interns have the opportunity to connect with veteran DCEs, especially KINDLE Associates, who would pour into them as mentors and colleagues. These are gifted, Christ-like servant leaders that will cultivate and nurture you as individuals.
Networks of informed and interconnected colleagues provide:
- Examples of Christ-like servant leadership that interns can imitate and inherit.
- Opportunities to grow a vision for ministry and stay current on the latest ministry tools, resources, trends, and issues.
- Broader access to valuable information and best practices.
- Discussions of common challenges and opportunities which open the door to valuable suggestions and guidance. Offering genuine assistance to your colleagues also sets a strong foundation for receiving support in return when you need it.
- Insight that only comes from viewing a situation with experienced eyes.
- Access to input from colleagues that can help you navigate through life’s and ministry’s significant challenges.
- Spurring towards excellence.
By connecting with the DCE community, you will meet new people, and build critical skills and self-confidence that will serve you well. As you engage with other church workers, you will grow, learn, and make lasting friendships.
Of course, the point of networking is to develop and nurture professional relationships, but some of the strongest and most fulfilling friendships will be created from your DCE connections. I find DCEs are like-minded, with similar goals and attitudes, so it’s not unlikely that your support network will spill over into your friendships. This has been true for me and has grown exponentially through KINDLE.
With a strong network, you can be confident that someone within your sphere will be able to answer even your toughest questions. If there is no definitive answer, at least you have a solid sounding board to bounce ideas off. I can’t tell you how many times I have put into action the counsel I have received from colleagues in all aspects of my life, even family.
Encouragement to KINDLE Associates
Reach out and engage these new DCEs and interns to your area. Welcome them into your professional community and cultivate Christ-like servant-leader hearts. Pour into them the practices and disciplines of the four strands.
This investment of your time and energy brings a rich return for God’s Kingdom and in the life and ministry of these DCEs. God has planted them in our midst. We are brothers and sisters in Christ, children of God, peers, colleagues, people who share a journey and mission to which we have been called. There exists mutual servanthood between us. These brothers and sisters are seeking to connect and their parents are praying for it. Let’s respond.