IMG_20200809_155338959_PORTRAIT_2-RESIZED

Hi, I’m Alisha Artis.

Galloway, OH

Phone Number

(614) 917-7590

Email

[email protected]

Experience

Linworth United Methodist Church
Director of Children’s Ministries

Education

Otterbein College
B.A. Sociology
Indiana Wesleyan University/
Wesley Seminary
M.A. Family Ministry

Church Affiliation

United Methodist Church (UMC)

Years In Ministry

10 years

Personality

ESFJ

Skills

Creative thinker, event planner, adaptable with curriculum (developed/changed ideas that worked best for families), strong leader/supervisor, comfortable with being in front of small/large groups, team player

Tools & Software

Microsoft Office Suite, Planning Center Online, Church Windows

Personal

Husband: Michael
Stepson: Ethan (15)

Top 3 Strengths

Caring0%

Social/People Skills0%

Creative0%

Kid's Minister Questionnaire Responses
Personal Info
Please share briefly how you became a Christian.
I basically grew up going to church and when I was in early elementary school, my mother became a pastor. From that point on, church became even more important to my family. I was very involved in church activities, etc. as a youth through high school. As a 7th grader through high school grad, I attended church camp and that is when my faith journey changed. Church camp was an unexplainable experience where myself along with old and new friends from other churches attended together. Through spiritual worship, music, and keynote speakers, I felt a connection to Christ like I’ve never felt before. It was at camp where I gave my life to Jesus. I believe I had always been a Christian from an early age, but it wasn’t until I was confirmed and baptized as a 5th grader and then later committing my life to Christ where I fully began to understand my growing faith.
How would you describe yourself?
  • Fun
  • Motivational
  • Flexible
  • Inspirational
  • Loving
  • Organized
Personality Type
ESFJ
Tell me about some people (i.e. authors, mentors, and ministry leaders) that have had a big impact on you.
In regards to ministry, my mother has had an impact in my life especially being a woman in ministry. I also have great respect and admiration for one of my seminary professors, Dr. Derr. Her knowledge and experience about Family Ministry helped support and reassure my decision to continue my education in ministry. My friend/former co-worker Jessica has been a strong support for me as I went through my graduate schooling too. She gave me motivation when I needed it, let me cry or vent when I felt frustrated (also with the stresses of working in a church), and celebrated my accomplishment when I received my Masters. Personally, my brother Matt had an impact on me. He passed away from Leukemia a few years ago. Even though I didn’t have enough time with him, he was a person I could always go to for anything. He saw me at my best and worst times, and was my best friend. His battle with cancer was only about a year or so (unexpected diagnosis), but he fought hard and never complained. He impacted my life as well as many others.
Parents/Volunteers
How do you plan to engage and inform parents or guardians about your ministry objectives and progress?
I am a visual person and have tended to use that ability in my ways of communication with families, volunteers, staff, etc. in ministry. This could be with events/meetings, publicizing information on signage/flyers/newsletters, or using social media if possible (ex. Facebook). I also think it’s important to be personable and see it as effective to have face to face conversation with others and share what is going on in my ministry. Some other effective ways I use to engage/inform people are sharing info during worship services, personal phone calls, and having the support of other ministry staff/leaders reiterate what is taking place in the ministry.
Tell me about a time when you developed a new team of volunteers into a strong working group. What did you do?
VBS was one of the biggest family events I did in my previous church position. Myself and my VBS team had decided to change the format when I was in my second year at the church, which allowed for 100 more children to attend. In doing this, we knew we would need more volunteers. I needed around 100 volunteers to support the newly formatted VBS…and we got them. Because we split the program into two separate age groups during the day, we basically needed double the volunteers. For example, I would need two games leaders, craft leaders, snack leaders, etc. A lot of my volunteers served in both sessions. This idea may not work for every church, but it continued to be successful for the church I served.
How would you alleviate the confusion when you are communicating with volunteers and it becomes apparent that they don’t understand what you’re saying or vice versa?
I encourage my volunteers to ask questions and give me feedback (positive or constructive). I make sure that volunteers know how to contact me and I make sure that I am available for them. I think it’s important to have open communication both ways to avoid possible miscommunication and confusion.
Spiritual Growth
Once you lead a student/child to Christ, how do you communicate their decision to their parents? Once a child accepts Christ as their Savior, how do you begin discipling them?
I would first make sure the child/student understood exactly what was happening in their faith journey. I would give them the opportunity to ask me questions or probably even share my own faith story with them to relate. Then, the conversation to parents would likely be a family discussion. If the child/student felt comfortable, I would let them talk to their parents about their decision so I could be there as support. Depending on the age of the student/child, I would decide on the best plan or next steps in the discipling process. Discipling would continue in areas like Sunday school and small groups.
As the spiritual leader of the children’s ministry, how are you going to help volunteers grow in their faith?
It has been my experience that volunteers have grown in their faith through involvement, engagement, and participating at church. I have seen Sunday school teachers share special moments with children in class by using their own faith journey as examples. I have been the church staff person to oversee a small group of 4th-6th graders with the help of some adult leaders and seen the impact the leaders had on the students by serving alongside them in a mission project. I think it is part of my responsibility as a church leader to continue to equip and support my volunteers in any way they need for their faith journey. It may be a one on one discussion about their faith or helping them find their own small group/Bible study to be part of to establish more growth.
Ministry Growth
What is your philosophy of ministry?
To continue to be a disciple of Jesus by sharing His love and the Word with others.
What was the most creative idea you introduced in your last ministry role? What steps did you take to implement that idea with leadership, volunteers, and families if applicable?
On Christmas Eve, my last church had four worship services with me being responsible for a Family Service. It was the most attended service with mainly families with children, etc. I created the order of worship, which included traditional Christmas carols for the families to sing, incorporated special music from the Youth Group of the church and children’s choir, and choosing a different family each year to do the Advent wreath lighting. Each year, I would come up with a creative and different way of “re-telling” the Christmas story to the families. A few years ago, I enlisted the help of my coworker/youth director at the time to help me do the story. It was called “Bethlehemian Rhapsody,” which was an adaptation of the Bohemian Rhapsody song, but with the words of the Christmas story. While the original idea was not mine, me and my co-worker changed it to what worked for us and the families loved it! It was one of the most creative ways I told the Christmas story to families.
How would you evaluate systems and structures to see if there could be improvement?
Here is another way I think feedback is important. Feedback from staff, volunteers, and/or the congregation can be helpful. In my previous church, we used traditional group meetings as well as surveying the entire congregation on a particular topic for feedback. Using compare/contrast depending on what the particular system or structure is could also work. You could be using a system for several years, but then find ways to improve or change it to make it more successful. Another way may be to find out what other churches or leaders are doing. Sharing and brainstorming ideas can lead to opportunities for improvement.
Share with me what you would do to deal with a fast-paced, always changing environment. Have you had this experience in a previous position?
Ministry can definitely be this way at times. I think it’s important to be patient when things may not happen exactly when or how you want. Also, change and transition can be positive and be ready to share that with the church, especially when they (congregation) may not see it. I am a flexible person, which is important to have with a changing environment. I can multi-task, which allows me to work on several things at once. In my last position at a church, it was always busy with something going on. It was important as church staff to work together when things were happening to keep it from being chaotic, but successful.
What goals have you set in the past for your ministry area. Did you accomplish them and if so, how did you accomplish them?
Past goals: -New Sunday school curriculum: It took a few different curriculums, but I did accomplish this goal and found it successful. The idea was to choose one that could also be used by my co-worker/Youth Director (age appropriate for her) so we were following a discipleship pathway of learning. -Adding new Family Ministry events: My goal was to add at least one “new” event in addition to the traditional events that were offered during the year (ex. Easter, VBS, Advent). I accomplished this goal as well. It started with re-vamping an existing event, then adding a different event each year like Movie Night (renting out a theater) and Paint-n-Praise Night. This was an on-going goal for my ministry. -Fully staffed childcare team: This would change periodically or was on-going. There were times when I was fully staffed, but then I would need to hire new staff because I had staff that left for different reasons (ex. college, moved). Sometimes it was difficult to hire new staff because of the limited hours and availability. The position was ideal for someone who was flexible with a schedule and not looking for full time hours. Most of my staff were students (high school and college age).
What would it take to grow a kid’s ministry program?
-Committed volunteers who want to serve in children’s ministry. -Support from church staff, leaders, and congregation. -Equipping parents and families to continue and encourage faith learning at home. It will maintain the families you currently have and possibly add new families. -Established budget for supplies, materials, etc. This is important in regards to your current numbers and for potential growth. -Share with the church congregation that there is children’s ministry program and what it is currently doing. Be specific about the curriculum used, ages served, events/programs, etc. -Encourage families to invite other families to church, especially if they have children. “Word of mouth” can be effective. -Having current families sharing their personal testimonies or experiences in the program where new families can hear or see it like in a worship service, social media, etc.
Your members/guests and their families come to church with specialized needs, different learning styles, and family stresses. Do you have a strategy to provide significant ministry to meet these needs?
Having a conversation with the person or people about what specific needs they have would be helpful for me to understand so I can accommodate and make sure they are comfortable. Depending on the circumstances, I may need to also seek help from other church staff to discuss how we can best help them. Creating a plan with specific ways and options of how to help and then following up with the person/people will assist in making sure the needs are addressed.
Describe the diversity of some of the ministries with which you’ve worked. How did you go about learning and educating yourself in order to effectively reach your community?
The last church I served did not have much diversity overall. There was diversity among age groups, but not really in other ways like culture and ethnicity. There was a preschool that was located within the church which served a diverse group of families. I think the opportunities for the church to minister to diverse populations economically, culturally, and ethnically was through mission work locally and globally. The church worked a lot with local food pantries and also owned a house in the Hilltop area that was used for community produce distribution and after school tutoring. Also, the church supported people in Laos and had congregation members, church staff, and the Youth Group do mission trips to the country. In my ministry, there were ways I also supported the mission work. My small group did mission projects for the Hilltop and the children of VBS collected money for Laos two separate times as the program mission project. In both of these ways, I learned how to help those in need locally and globally. While both were mission oriented, the needs were different. I think it was important to experience different ways of diversity as a church leader and for the children and families I serve in ministry.
Is there a process that you go through when choosing a platform for screening volunteers, curriculum choices?
In my last church position, volunteers had specific requirements in order to volunteer that included an application, background check, and Safe Sanctuary Training. When I was choosing a new Sunday school curriculum, I did a few different things in the process. At first, I met with a small group of parents who had children in the program and gave them physical examples of some curriculum to look at and choose their preferences. Later on, my senior pastor at the time wanted me to use a curriculum that followed a discipleship pathway of learning, so I chose a rotational Sunday school model for curriculum. This worked well for a time, but I was really limited of how I could utilize the model because of space in the church. An important aspect for me in choosing a curriculum was that it would be flexible and simplified for the teachers to use. Eventually, I chose a curriculum that worked well for the teachers and the children enjoyed and understood.
What have you done in the past to ensure your church has a safe environment, including emergency procedures.
I mentioned Safe Sanctuary Training in a previous question. As part of the West Ohio Conference, my previous church and all other churches were required to have a Safe Sanctuary Policy for their church. It is a safety policy that protects anyone who volunteers and/or is a paid staff that works directly with the children and/or youth of the church. I wrote the policy for the church and was responsible for training people so they were certified and re-certified. I offered trainings biennially. I also had input on the creation and implementation of the Safety and Security procedure/protocol for the church. This was a collaborative effort from the church and the Children’s Center/preschool.
How would you describe the ideal relationship between senior/lead pastor and kids pastor?
I think it’s important to have open communication from both sides. I also learn and grow from feedback. If I’m doing something awesome in my ministry, I would like to hear that and if there is something I need to work on, I want to hear that too so I can change it. That also leads to support in my ministry. While I understand that a senior pastor may not be able to attend every event, etc. that I do, knowing that I have their support in what I do is important to me. Being present and available for each other when needed is equally important. Schedules between both can get busy, but setting some time aside to meet to just touch base and update each other on things can lead to a good working relationship

References

Pastor Jessica Cavinee || (419) 957-8588 || [email protected]
Beth Pearon || (614) 579-4548 || [email protected]
Kate Visconti || (614) 203-4059 || [email protected]
Pastor Matt Yoder || (937) 869-2282 || [email protected]

Favorite Bible Story

There are too many!

Favorite Scripture

1 Corinthians 13