But First, a Fall Recap: Not Easy, But Good
As I told you last summer, I felt like I needed to step into the leadership gap of the Munger youth ministry for the fall semester to keep the fires burning until we could hire a permanent leader. So, how did it go? As with most important things in life, it was not easy, but it was good. I made this commitment in the midst of the biggest fall we’ve ever had at Munger, but the extra responsibilities and time away from my family wasn’t the hardest part. The hardest part was that I knew that if I were evaluating my job performance as Munger youth minister, I’d give myself a D-. I knew that I wasn’t really able to actually be the youth minister our community needs. I knew I didn’t have enough hours or energy to lead this vital ministry well. I knew that some parents were frustrated. But, I also knew that there was no alternative, and we were doing our best, considering the obvious limitations. And, despite all of that, the whole experience was a blessing for me personally. We had a selfless and faithful group of volunteers step up, I was able to get to know some of our students and their families, and I learned a lot about what the future could look like for youth ministry in our community.
But, while all that was going on, we were working hard to find a permanent youth minister. Though I’m sure some of our parents were thinking, “Why is this taking so long?” the truth is it is not easy to find great people.
And we needed someone great. The more time I spent in the Munger youth ministry, the more I became convinced that whoever we hired needed to be a game-changer for us. In sports terms, we needed to hire a franchise player whom we could build around for years. And so:
- we hired a specialty search firm that we really liked;
- I talked to people I know all over the country, asking for names;
- I called in every favor ever owed me;
- But–of course–our new guy didn’t come through any of those efforts!
Instead, a woman in our congregation had been telling a friend of hers for years that she thought he’d be a good fit at our church. Years before, the timing wasn’t right and her friend wasn’t looking for a job, but this December he said that he was interested. After lots of conversations and evaluations, I’m excited for you to:
Meet Rich Roush, the New Munger Youth Minister!
Rich Roush is the new Munger youth minister! God has answered our prayers with someone great. Not pretty good, not well-we-really-need-to-hire-a-warm-body-at-this-point-so-I-guess-he-will-do, but someone who we genuinely think is the best possible person we could have found.
Rich is married to Megan, and they have 3 kids aged 3 and under. (I know!) Rich himself came to faith in Christ as a senior in high school through a church youth ministry, and feels a particular responsibility toward and affection for middle school and high school students.
Rich’s Record of Longevity
I have kids that will one day be in our youth ministry, and the more I talked with Rich, the more excited I got for my children to benefit from Rich’s leadership. Rich has been at both of his previous churches for 7 years each, so he has a record of building a ministry over time. And over time what the Lord has been able to do through Rich’s leadership at his previous churches is impressive.
Rich, in His Own Words
Where were you raised?
I was raised in Waco, Texas, which was already pretty cool before it became the shiplap capital of the world. Just saying.
Where did you go to school?
I did my undergraduate studies at Baylor University (BA in Business Administration) and my graduate studies at George W. Truett Theological Seminary (Masters of Divinity in Theology).
Who’s in your family?
My wife Megan and our three kids: Olivia, Griffin, and Shepherd.
What brought you to Munger?
A good friend of mine, Ashley Dalton, recruited me. It started a few years before I joined the staff. Every time we crossed paths she would rave about Munger and would say she could see Megan and me there someday. So yeah, now you know who to blame.
What’s your favorite thing about our church?
Its commitment to raising up the next generation of Jesus followers. The best is yet to come.
What Happens Next?
Rich’s first Sunday with us will be February 10. This spring, we’re going to keep our regular Wednesday evening schedule (7:00-8:30 PM) for middle and high school students, and 11 AM Sunday schedule for 6th Grade Confirmation; this will allow Rich to join in and get to know the students, families, and volunteers. Other stuff will be added as we go. Stay tuned and sign up here for the Munger youth ministry newsletter.
Do You Already Receive the Munger Youth Newsletter?
If not, be sure to sign up here.
Summer Dates–We’re Going to Big Stuf Camp!!
We have over 100 spots reserved for Big Stuf at Panama City Beach, July 11-15. Registration will go live on our website at noon on Thursday, March 21. It will be first come, first served, and it will sell out. (More info to come.)
A Specific Prayer Request for Rich and Megan
Rich and Megan want to move up to Dallas ASAP, but they own a house in Waco that they need to sell. (Rich has been working at Baylor University for the past year.) Please pray that their move and housing situation goes as easily and quickly as possible.
But Wait, There’s More New Hires to Come!
The Munger Youth Ministry has HUGE potential, so we have set aside the funding necessary to allow Rich to hire at least one more full-time youth ministry staff member. Good people are hard to find, but I certainly hope we’ll be able to make at least one more great hire this year. Pray for that!
Can You Imagine?
The opportunity we have at Munger to reach middle school and high school students is HUGE.
Can you imagine what it could mean for the students in our community when we have the ministry built to reach them, teach them, and unleash them in the name of Christ?
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