Helen Shepherd, Pioneer Ministry Development Officer for the Diocese of Monmouth
Job Advert: Pioneer Youth Worker, Newport 2017
Hi Helen, thanks for agreeing to talk to me about this new vacancy for a Pioneer Youth Worker.
HH: Can you tell me what is exciting about this post and some of the history to it?
HS: This post is a really exciting opportunity to work with some supportive and forward-thinking local churches. The churches have recognised a need to connect with young people in the community beyond the church. They also realise that a Pioneering approach is going the be the most appropriate way to engage in this work. They are not looking to bring young people into their established churches, but are wanting to work with someone who could build relationships with young people in the community, listen to their culture, and identify opportunities for new initiatives with these young people. Over time, their hope is that opportunities will arise to explore faith, discipleship and church in new ways with these young people. The churches have had a vision for this work for several years and they are really excited to now be in a position to recruit someone. What I think is really unique about this post is that whoever comes in will have lots of flexibility to start new projects and to find out what’s needed in the community. Although there is some existing youth work, the main focus of this job is to engage with young people who have no current connection with the church. I also think what makes this a great job is the team of people who are committed to supporting the Pioneer Youth Worker when they are in post. There are committed volunteers who are keen to be involved in youth work projects that are set up and there are people dedicated to offering support and management of the worker, so that they will not be on their own in developing this work.
HH: What are you looking for in someone who can fill this post?
HS: We are looking for someone who is passionate about working with young people and who is excited about the possibility of engaging people outside of the church. We’re also hoping for someone who has a pioneering heart and who enjoys exploring faith and discipleship in creative and innovative ways.
HH: What do you hope for the future of your region in relation to pioneer mission, please?
HS: We are in a region that is investing in Pioneer Ministry. We hope to see many new pioneer projects develop and more people within our local churches adopt a pioneer approach as they engage their communities. We hope to keep identifying opportunities to build relationships with those outside of the church and to enable people to discover spirituality and faith in ways are that are appropriate for them. There are lots of new pioneer initiatives developing in the area and more and more of our churches are seeing this approach as key to how they will be church and do mission in their communities.
HH: Can you tell me how the job opportunity links to the Church Mission Society Pioneer course, please?
HS: This job is a great opportunity for someone looking to work full time in Pioneer Youth Work. If someone would be interested in training via the CMS Pioneer Youth Work course, we would be open to exploring the possibility of them participating in that course while working in this post. So it could be great opportunity to benefit from a high quality training programme whilst working in a supportive and creative environment.
Thank you Helen, may I wish the candidates all the best.