About the job
Full-time Youth Ministry Opportunity, Birmingham, Alabama - Beginning Spring 2023
Disciples’ Fellowship (DF) is a group of believers in Birmingham, Alabama, who are looking for someone to
join us in pursuing the Mission of God. We began as a community in 2003 with a vision to live together with
God, to seek spiritual transformation, to be an accepting fellowship, to never be content but always seeking, and
to be a relational and organic community rather than become a self-serving and self-centered institution. We
continue to discover what it means to be disciples of Jesus in our time and place, reflecting on the Spirit’s
leading, the witness of scripture, and the spiritual and theological traditions of the church.
The woman or man who joins with us in this ministry will not work under us or for us, but will serve together
with us. While we are seeking someone who will particularly help us in the spiritual formation of our youth, the
life of the church is integrated and wholistic. This person needs to be someone eager to collaboratively share in
the broader spiritual life and formation of our congregation through preaching, facilitating ministry in the
community, and leading by example.
Our vision is not for someone to plan activities to entertain nor provide a safe Christian alternative subculture so
our young people won’t be tainted by the world, but who will form relationships with our youth, encourage them
to ask any and all questions, to help them learn how to live by faith in the midst of this world, and to critique the
messages of our society and world. We know that some of the greatest dangers are the seduction of consumerism
and self-absorption, adopting a therapeutic model of self-improvement rather than following Jesus, and the
prevalence of an American civil religion. Becoming consumers in the Christian marketplace is sure to immunize
us against real discipleship.
The person who joins us in this ministry needs the ability to relate to a wide variety of students, and to form
relationships which will grant opportunities to offer spiritual direction. We are seeking someone to lead with
ideas and plans so that we may continue to focus on helping form Christ in our youth so they grow in faith and
their relationship with God.
An Organic Community
Disciples’ Fellowship is relational group with a shared life much more than a structured institution. Instead of
formal regulations, policies, procedures, committees, and leadership hierarchies that are typical of most
organizations, DF is a an informal community of believers who, in relating personally to one another, trusting
each other, and through ongoing open dialogue, move together toward God and his mission. Our informal and
relational way of living together in the Kingdom does not always lead to great efficiency in making decisions,
because we seek consensus and never vote, to the formulation of long-term strategic plans, nor toward
uniformity of life and practice. Dialogue does not end always in agreement, but in a better understanding of one
another. Our unity is not based on having the same conclusions about practices or beliefs, but on the Spirit-led
pursuit of God with whom we are in union in Christ. We understand that each person must live according to his
or her own faith and conviction, without judging others who have a different belief.
The result is that we strive to relate to one another despite diversity, while we often live with a certain level of
chaos and messiness that happens when a group is accepting, does not demand uniformity, and functions
relationally. Life and reality are messy, and DF is no escape from either.
Discipleship Instead of Membership
Typically church membership revolves around contributing, attending, and serving in church programs, which
are equated with discipleship to Jesus. However, these activities are really about sustaining the institution and do
not necessarily lead to fidelity to Jesus or personal transformation. Church membership also results in an us/
them mentality in which everyone is evaluated as to whether or not they are a part of “us”. Under this mentality
even Christians who aren’t members of “our” church aren’t part of “us”.
For these reasons we don’t have members or membership at DF. No one is “not one of us”, but all are welcome
to belong simply by their willingness. Within the community of love forged by the Spirit, we grow in belief and
are transformed to be more like Christ. We are all members of Christ’s body and emphasize following him
instead of congregational membership.
Leadership at DF
Among the believers at DF, those who lead do so because their wisdom, integrity, and spirituality is recognized
by the community. No one leads because they have a position and power by appointment, but because others
respect their wisdom and life. Those who counsel and shepherd do so because others seek them out. A
“Missional Planning Group” meets periodically to creatively think about how the mission and work of the
congregation is being accomplished, and various individuals serve to coordinate in the typical tasks and specific
ministries that are a part of our congregational life.
When a situation affects everyone, all are invited to participate in dialogue about the matter and strive to arrive
at a consensus decision. In matters that do not affect everyone, those involved talk together to arrive at a
decision. Trust and humility are essential to accepting the wisdom of others when the Spirit is speaking through
Gatherings for Worship
When we come together, our worship reflects the breadth of beliefs and practices of those who make up DF. We
may have a formal liturgical style or a time of worship which is more extemporaneous, depending on who
planned the service. An open group that anyone may join, plans our worship. Whatever is edifying, is
transformative, or expresses our faith may be part of our worship. Music, art, witnessing, preaching, fellowship,
prayer, and any of the variety of spiritual disciplines may be incorporated in our gatherings. Holy Communion,
the reading of scripture, prayer, songs and music, and a homily are usually part of a Sunday gathering.
We value the participation of everyone, male or female, young or old, educated or not, to speak, pray, and serve
during our gatherings.
Is DF A Community For You?
We are seeking someone who can help spiritually form our youth in the ways of Jesus. Beyond this area of
focus, there will be many opportunities to minister, serve, and lead in the whole life of the body. Our meeting
place which is used daily for 12-step meetings, to provide temporary housing for the homeless, as a work space
for some, and worship space for other churches. We embrace the messiness that is life together. Our community
is not sterile and neat, but it is real and vibrant.
Given the nature of DF, we want someone who wants to live with us more than simply work at a job. We need
someone who is self-motivated, responsible, and disciplined because there is so much freedom. We want
someone with the maturity to deal with real life problems and is passionate about leading us to spiritual
formation, especially our youth.
If this summary interests you send a resume and statement of your thoughts on youth ministry to Greg Newton
([email protected]). Our website is www.disciplesfellowship.com.