Strategic Lead for Youth Ministry (Diocesan Youth Officer)

This job has now expired
Church House, Full Street, Derby
£34,500 - £39,500 depending on previous experience / With 10% contribution to Church Workers Pension (of which 0.5% is life insurance for death in service benefits)

The Bishop of Derby is seeking an entrepreneurial leader in youth ministry (lay or ordained) to shape and lead the implementation of a diocesan strategy for engaging young people.

As Strategic Lead for Youth Ministry, in the light of our diocesan vision, ‘The Kingdom of God – Good News for All’; through transformed lives, in growing church and building community - you will help to shape our bold strategy for engagement with and investment in young people; in their local communities, through churches, schools, and households.

To deliver this strategy you will enlist, mobilise, and equip a network of young leaders and youth workers, both volunteers and paid staff, as they work locally to call and grow young disciples and equip new generations of leaders.

A reflective practitioner in Christian youth ministry in church and school settings, experienced in growing young disciples, you are a teambuilder, equipping and empowering others.

You are theologically literate, ready to work within a mixed ecology with the full breadth of the Church of England. You understand young people and the challenges they face today. You are committed to making church a safe space for all.

There is a genuine occupational requirement for the post holder to be a practising Christian in accordance with Schedule 9 of the Equality Act 201.

Within the Diocese of Derby, we seek to create positive and welcoming environment by cultivating and persevering a culture of diversity and belonging within all our Derbyshire schools, Churches, and communities. Consequently, we welcome people of all minority, ethnic and diverse backgrounds who wish to apply for this role, and value the experience they will bring to all aspects of the strategic youth worker post.

The Church of England’s renewed vision is for a younger and more diverse church, of missionary disciples, with a mixed ecology of church life, centred and shaped on Jesus Christ.

Of a population of 1.1million, the Diocese of Derby has approximately 200,000 resident children and young people. Roughly broken down from 2019 statistics these consist of 60,000 aged 0 to 4, 80,000 aged 5 to 10, and 60,000 aged 11 to 18.

Our usual Sunday attendance in all our churches across the diocese in the last ‘normal’ year of 2019 included 1,161 under the age of 18, and in the wider ‘worshipping community’ there were 1,860 children aged 0-10 and 754 aged 11-18. Though there are signs of growth in places, we have faced continued decline in reach and impact amongst younger people. Within two years of this appointment being made we will be looking for significant increase both in numbers and in effective reach into our wider communities, reversing decline such that incremental growth can be monitored year on year.

Many of our under 18 year olds live in urban and post-industrial emerging communities where there are higher levels of deprivation, and lower levels of expectation and aspiration than elsewhere. The diocese is ready to consider significant investment in reaching younger people across the diocese, and especially in these areas.

‘Growing Faith’ – the Church of England’s national initiative to promote partnership and shared vision in the intersection of the three communities of Church, School, and Household, presents a significant opportunity for our diocese and for the person appointed to this post at this time.

Developing the strategy:

  • After due consultation, articulate a compelling diocesan strategy for youth ministry aligned with the diocesan vision, to be embraced at all levels in the diocese.

Growing our capacity:

  • To gather, motivate, release, and support a diocese-wide network of local enablers, to facilitate the development of intergenerational communities where children and young people find safe spaces to participate and grow as leaders in worship, mission, and service.

Immediate Tasks – Year One:

  • To consult with children and young people, youth workers, clergy, teachers, and families to ensure young people’s priorities are reflected in the emerging strategy.
  • To review current youth ministry in secondary schools and in churches’ youth and community engagement, based on scoping research completed by the Diocesan Children’s Adviser.
  • To work with a diocesan Growing Faith Programme Board to ensure alignment with diocesan vision and strategy.
  • To work with the Children’s Adviser to ensure continuity in children and youth strategy and provision with particular regard to the transition years 6/7.
  • To apply learning from the national church’s SIF, STF, and SDF funded youth programmes, with a view to shaping timely and creative interventions to match our particular missional contexts.
  • To take forward our bid for national funding to support the implementation from 2023 of our strategic aim to grow younger and more diverse.
  • To develop and support the diocesan network of young leaders, volunteers and paid youth workers, serving our rural, urban and emerging post-industrial communities. To ensure wide ownership of the developing strategy and providing a place for ongoing support, learning, encouragement, and prayer.
  • To consider the range of discipleship pathways for Christian formation across a range of traditions, including but not ending with confirmation preparation, and identify a range of resources appropriate to our various contexts.
  • To identify, with the Director of Education and the Chair of the Growing Faith Programme Board, how best to ensure time is focused on the priorities of the role.
  • To encourage PCCs and Synods to engage with Growing Faith and the particular needs of younger people as a regular item on agendas.

Longer Term – Ongoing Responsibilities:

  • Offer support and stimulus to initiatives that flow from the above, establishing patterns of review, evaluation, and reflection of local projects which will harvest learning and guide future development of the chosen strategic approach.
  • Support parishes/benefices/deaneries in development of volunteer and paid youth work roles via advice, planning, policies and procedures, induction of volunteers, job descriptions and contracts, ensuring alignment with developing diocesan strategy.
  • Supporting the recruitment etc of chaplains in secondary schools
  • Work with the Diocesan Safeguarding Team to ensure all youth work within the diocese is equipped to be compliant with current legislation and guidance.
  • With relevant networks, develop a sustainable pattern and range of Diocesan events that include regular gatherings, celebrations, residentials, etc, as opportunities arise.
  • Encourage the active engagement of young people in all decision-making bodies including PCCs, Deanery Synods and Diocesan Synods as well as Diocesan Youth Council.


Knowledge / Experience

  • Strategic thinker and entrepreneur with the ability to reflect on the impact of initiatives and assess their outcomes.
  • Experienced in growing children/youth work in number and depth of discipleship especially with unchurched young people
  • Teambuilder who equips, enables, and empowers others for effective collaborative working
  • Theologically literate and familiar with theories & practices of discipleship development
  • Knowledge of Fresh Expressions and Pioneer Ministry as well as established Parochial Ministry
  • Knowledge of good practice and employment procedures in establishing children/youth work posts
  • Understanding of the breadth of children/youth ministry across the traditions of the CofE
  • Willingness to engage positively with various theological and pastoral approaches to youth ministry
  • Commitment to ensuring church provides safe spaces for young people to explore questions of identity etc.
  • Committed to the LLF pastoral principles.
  • Experience of church engagement with secondary schools and sixth forms or colleges
  • Evidence of collaborative working with other denominations and secular agencies
  • Knowledge of key issues, current trends, opportunities, and challenges for young people today
  • Working knowledge of current Safeguarding policies and practices within the Church of England
  • Evidence of commitment to continuing professional development

Skills / Aptitudes:

  • Previous evidence of good management of volunteers / paid staff.
  • Proven skills in mentoring or coaching young leaders and adults.
  • Evidence of relating well to all ages, all Christian traditions, and to secular agencies
  • Ability to develop, adapt and deliver training material both for adults and for younger people
  • Working knowledge of Microsoft Office, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Publisher
  • Excellent written and spoken communication skills.
  • Skilled in the use of social media for communicating with a variety of audiences


  • Regular worshipper in a member church of Churches Together in England and attested role model of Christian discipleship. (This post carries an occupational requirement to be a practising Christian as the post holder will be required to represent the Christian religion in relation to education and the mission of the church)
  • Attentive to sustainable Christian discipleship disciplines in prayer, study and witness.
  • Willing to travel across the Diocese to engage with parishes and other stakeholders.


  • Regular worshipper in a Church of England setting.
  • Degree level youth worker qualification or equivalent experience.
  • Direct experience of Fresh Expressions of Church and/or church planting.
  • Theological qualification.
  • Visual Media abilities.
  • Mentoring or Coaching qualification
  • A JNC youth work qualification

Closing date for applications is 07/06/2022

Interviews are scheduled to take place on 20th or 21st June.

If you would like to have an informal conversation about the post, in the first instance please contact Bishop Malcolm by email