Associate Minister Q&A
The Board of Trustees believes it is right to have Rev. James become an Associate Minister at Namaste, to serve our community alongside Dr. Kristin, our Senior Minister. Dr. Kristin shared this information last Sunday, and this article may answer some of the questions you have about the Board's thoughts.
So what is an Associate Minister? An Associate Minister is trained and available to serve and function in all aspects of the ministry. They may have their own special focus areas of ministry, but in all things they are considered ready and available to fill in for the Senior Minister. An Associate Minister also has special consideration given for succession to the Senior Minister. In general this means that with the confirmation of the community, the associate minister would become the senior minister if that position was vacant without the community having to go outside to look for other candidates.
Why Now? Taking care of our community includes being thoughtful about ensuring that we have excellent ministerial leadership always. Rev. James has served as our Assistant minister for nearly three years. He is being ordained next month, and often this marks the time when ministers search for more responsibility in ministry. Rev. James has expressed his desire to continue to call Namaste his home, and serve Namaste. Our community has grown to love and respect him, and making him our Associate minister is a beautiful way of showing our reciprocal commitment to him.
How does the congregation benefit from having an Associate Minister? We not only get to keep Rev. James as one of our ministers, but we also are creating incredible depth in our ministerial support. Many communities have one seasoned minister, we have two!
Does that mean Dr. Kristin is leaving soon? This move does not mean that Dr. Kristin is leaving. If anything, having the depth of ministers we have is allowing Dr. Kristin to spend more time teaching, creating, and helping our community be on the "spiritual edge".
When the time does come that Dr. Kristin leaves, what's the process for filling our Senior Minister position? In communities where there is no Associate Minister, there is a "candidating" process. Ministers who may be interested in filling the position are reviewed, some are invited to speak and do workshops and meet people. With community input, the Board of Trustees extends an offer to the minister that seems to be the best fit. Often this is a difficult transition time in community, and can take several months or more. In communities with one or more associate ministers, the associate minister is considered to be the one to fill the position, having been well prepared to take on the role of Senior minister. With the community's confirmation, the Board of Trustees offers the position to the Associate Minster.
Does this change our minister's salaries? Our minister's salaries do not change based on their title changes. Each year, coinciding with our budgeting process, all salaries in our community are reviewed.
In what way will Rev. James's role change? Over time Rev. James has assumed more and more responsibility in our community, as he has continued to grow and expand. He will continue with his "Executive Director" responsibilities, and continue to expand in the areas that feed him and our community. Similarly, Dr. Kristin will continue to expand!
What happens next? The board is meeting on February 1st to discuss any thoughts that have been share with them, and to make a final decision on this title change for Rev. James. Please do share with us your thoughts, as your thoughts matter. You can email or speak with any of the Board members listed. Assuming confirmation, then we will all be able to celebrate Rev. James's installation as an Associate minister on Feb. 8th as part of his Ordination ceremony!
Got more questions? Ask you board members, or ministers.