Called to serve the Northwestern Ohio Synod (NWOS) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), the Director for Community Engagement (Director for Evangelical Mission) seeks to inspire and teach ELCA followers of Jesus to engage their neighborhoods and surrounding community in ways that live out Jesus’ message of love that builds and deepens relationships, serves the vulnerable, witnesses to the Gospel of Jesus, and creates an environment of care, compassion and community.
As such, this individual engages synodical leaders, structures, and strategies in the formation and development of Congregational Vitality: 'Communities of Jesus that nurture life-changing relationships with God, one another and the world,' and reflects the purposes, principles and commitments of the NWOS, DM, and the ELCA as a whole.
This individual will oversee and coordinate three synodical initiatives:
1. Community Engagement / Congregational Vitality
2. Generosity / Stewardship / Mission Support
3. Alignment with Future Directions 2025 (www.elca.org/future)
This individual is expected to fully participate in the life and ministry of the NWOS as a member of the synod staff (including all staff meetings and retreats), synod initiatives, and is responsible for implementing and building upon NWOS and ELCA commitments to ethnic-specific communities, communities of color, the young adult population, as well as people and communities experiencing poverty. This person is responsible for coordinating, implementing, and equipping the NWOS, congregations, and leaders in the areas of justice ministries and intentional, inclusive communities. This person participates in resourcing the synod mission strategy with an emphasis on congregational vitality and community engagement
This position is co-terminus with the Synod Bishop’s term, is called by the Synod Council of the NWOS, and supervised by the Bishop. Other assignments may be made by the Director, DEM Relationships in consultation with the NWOS Bishop. This individual will participate in quarterly relator conference calls for intentional conversation. This full-time position will be based in the NWOS and will serve as a living representation of the interdependent nature of the ELCA.
Community Engagement & Congregational Vitality:
1. Guide congregations to dream of new ways to reach out to their communities, empowering them to better serve their neighbors
2. Teach congregations and individuals to connect with and engage their communities in meaningful ways that further develop and deepen relationships while sharing the Gospel of Jesus
3. Partner with our communications staff to share inspiring stories of vitality and engagement as a response to God’s active presence in communities and people’s lives
4. Encourage congregations to engage diverse communities in ways that live out Jesus’ message of love and inclusivity
5. Arrange educational opportunities on diversity and inclusion for synod leaders to empower them to understand, embrace and foster diversity and inclusion in their own communities; to build the beloved community
6. Identify and empower leaders (including leaders from non-traditional backgrounds and contexts), who may serve as mission developers
7. Identify potential fields and resources for the vitality of existing and new congregations, including area ministry strategies and congregational mission plans.
Generosity / Stewardship / Mission Support:
1. Work closely with the leadership team and administrative staff to develop and implement a diversified fundraising strategy.
2. Work closely with the leadership team and administrative staff to identify and cultivate relationships with potential donors, matching donors with giving opportunities they are passionate about
3. Lead the development and formation of a Generosity / Stewardship team to promote a holistic understanding of Biblical generosity among our congregations, pastors, and lay leaders. This team will also support the ELCA Comprehensive Mission Support Strategy in the NWOS.
4. Work with our communications staff to share inspiring stories of generosity as a response to God’s active presence in communities and people’s lives.
Alignment with Future Directions 2025
1. Assist the Bishop and synod leadership team in the integration of Future Directions 2025 and the synod’s four-fold mission: make disciples, equip leaders, strengthen parishes, and launch new communities
2. Lead the implementation of NWOS and ELCA commitments to be in ministry among ethnic, multicultural, and emergent communities; as well as ministry among people living in poverty.
SPIRITUAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Read Scripture and pray daily
Active participation in a Christian congregation and God’s mission
Take time to be still and know God
Balance work, relaxation, and family
Network with other synodical and Churchwide staff
Be attentive and committed to personal, professional, and spiritual development, through continuing education opportunities, and spiritual direction and formation.
ACCOUNTABILITY AND EXPECTATIONS
Participate in all NWOS staff meetings and retreats
Participate in events for Rostered Ministers and lay leaders
Attend Churchwide DM meetings and leverage the expertise and resources of the Churchwide office.
Report to and meet with the NWOS Bishop on a regular basis, as mutually determined
1. Travel: Must be willing to travel frequently via automobile and air (approximately 30%). Travel within the synod can usually be accomplished within the same day. Overnight stays may be required. Valid driver’s license required.
2. Physical Effort: While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to talk, hear, use hands, and fingers to operate a computer and telephone. This position requires sitting for long periods of time. Reasonable accommodations can be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.