Student Ministry Pastor

At Willow Creek we believe students are not just the future of the church, they are the church, and we want to create engaging environments where they can experience God’s love, take steps in their faith, and use their gifts and talents to lead and serve. 

As the Students Pastor you’ll build, develop, and execute the Elevate (6th-8th grade) and Student Impact (9th-12th grade) student ministries at the church campus level.  This will include hosting impactful programs, training and empowering volunteers, and supporting and equipping families. You’ll also collaborate with the core ministry team and campus leadership to set the direction, vision, goals, and initiatives of the ministry and contribute as a key part of the overall vision for the campus. Our heart is to make Willow Creek’s youth ministries the kind of place where no one stands alone.



  • Champion the vision and strategy for student programming for 6th-12th grade at Willow Creek in alignment with the overall mission, vision, and strategies of the campus and the Students Core ministry
  • Recruit, train, and develop a highly engaged and motivated volunteer team, ensuring they are well equipped, supported, and encouraged 
  • Oversee a thriving volunteer team to execute excellent large group programs, small groups, and other events.
  • Work with the Core Student Director and Next Gen team to determine curriculum for large and small groups, plan for major events, and develop best practices around protection, volunteer and parent engagement.  
  • Develop collaborative relationships with all the Student Pastors at each campus.
  • Establish strong channels of communication with leadership and peers, serving as the primary advocate between Willow Creek Campus Student Ministry and core student ministry staff. 
  • Be a presence in our city community, getting to know local leaders from the neighborhood, school district, first responders, and others, as a way to gauge where Willow can make a great impact in the community.  
  • Ensure a spirit of “bridge building” and cooperation exists relative to other local churches, organizations, and civic leaders.
  • Develop and Deliver creative, engaging, and transformational messages aligned with the overall student ministries content scope and sequence
  • Plan and manage the budget for your ministry, utilizing resources effectively to achieve maximum impact.
  • Serve as the primary support to all parents of students at the campus as they help their students take their next steps with God. Walk with families through the ups and downs of life — celebrate with those who are celebrating, mourn with those who are mourning.


Success is defined as:

Thriving student ministry where staff and/or volunteers feel supported and resourced and fosters creativity and innovation, volunteer teams are equipped and encouraged, and the students of Willow know they are loved by God and take steps in their faith.


Preferred Skills and Experience


  • Team Building — can build teams and identify high capacity leaders to build more teams.
  • Developer — proven track record of developing leaders.
  • Talent Scout — always on the lookout for new leaders and volunteers
  • Total Quality Manager — looking for ways to improve; sensitive to misses; committed to excellence.
  • Vision Casting
  • Quality problem solving and decision making skills
  • Conflict Management
  • Pastor — has a heart to care deeply for your staff, parents, leaders, volunteers and students.
  • Evangelism – Passion for evangelism to  middle and high school students.
  • Organizer — can effectively manage details personally, and recruit others to do the same.


Personal Characteristics

  • Passion for urban ministry, specifically youth ministry
  • Self-starter – ability to own a project and run with it.
  • Learner- Someone who desires continued growth in their area of ministry.
  • Innovative – Seeks out new ideas and is unafraid to fail.
  • Collaborative & Team Player – Loves working with others and assumes the best in each other
  • Team Mobilizer- Able to build effective teams 
  • Self Aware – Knows their own strengths and weaknesses and is moving towards health, exemplifies humility and confidence
  • Encourager- Able to see the good in others and is intentional in affirming it.
  • Approachable- Is warm, inviting and easy to get along with.
  • High Emotional Intelligence – Intuitive about others emotions and able to respond appropriately.
  • Hard working – Is aware of the importance of their role and works hard to do their best.
  • Effective communicator – Able to give and receive healthy feedback
  • Loves kids, loves students – Feels passionate about ministering to kids and students
  • Jesus Follower – Lives a life of integrity and pursues a personal relationship with Jesus.


Education and Experience

  • Student Ministries Pastors likely have an undergrad degree or higher, ideally in the field of urban ministry, youth ministry, education, social work, biblical studies, or psychology (or equivalent experience)
  • Served in a leadership position at a church or campus preferred
  • Proven experience leading teams
  • Experience working with students (6th-12th grades)
  • Experience caring for and shepherding others


Organization name:
Willow Creek Community Church



67 E Algonquin Rd. South Barrington, IL 60010


Date Posted:
September 22, 2021

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