Coaching Corner: The Challenges of Staffing a Congregation Wisely


When the youth pastor at Gateway CRC in Abbotsford left after 15 years of service, the congregation wasn’t sure what the best succession plan was.

They invited Ron deVries, Faith Formation Ministries’ youth ministry catalyzer, to lead a discernment session for the congregation, including leaders from Sunday School, GEMS, Cadets, youth group, council and parents. They hoped 25 people showed up.

65 people came. The discernment process clearly engaged the imaginations of many.

Ron led the group through material from the Fuller Youth Institute’s marvelous publication, Growing Young. The attendees engaged deeply and wholeheartedly. Afterwards an older gentleman told Ron that he was extremely grateful for the content and the faith formation stories that were shared. He was especially moved because: "We in our generation have something to share. I am so glad that we could be heard in this type of forum."

Ron will continue to work with the leadership team to discern next steps in identifying the wisest ways to describe the next staff position.

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