E-Hall-Headshot

Hi, I’m Emily Hall.

Manteo, NC

Phone Number

(614) 653-3907

Email

emilyraehall@gmail.com

Experience

Mount Olivet UMC
Children's Director

Education

The Ohio State University
BS in Speech and Hearing Science

Church Affiliation

Non-Denominational

Years In Ministry

14 years

Personality

INFP

Skills

Vision casting, minister to and connect with families, plan efficient and effective programming, project management, administrative and office skills, social media, managing a budget

Tools & Software

ACS / Realm, Mailchimp, Online.Church

Personal

Husband: Nate
Children: Christy (8), Eli (4)

Top 3 Strengths

Passionate0%

Team-Oriented0%

Leadership0%

Kid's Minister Questionnaire Responses
Personal Info
Please share briefly how you became a Christian.
My personal salvation story is a testament to a biblically sound Children’s Ministry. I grew up in a Christian home. However, I learned from an early age that a Christian home does not necessarily equal a spiritually healthy home. We attended church regularly and talked about God often. However, the spiritual and emotional environment of our home tended to be tense and was often angry. I always felt great peace in my Spirit when I attended church and heard the truth of God’s word. At the age of 8, I decided to pursue this truth for myself, repented of my sins, and called on the name of the Lord for salvation. I enjoyed memorizing scripture, and learning everything I could about God and His plan for the world. (I even remember joking with my parents that I simply wished each day could be Sunday and Wednesday so that I could spend every day at church.) It would be many years before I fully realized His call on my life, but that passionate desire of my young heart deeply connects with me now. One of our ministry’s goals is based in Psalm 122:1- “I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.”
How would you describe yourself?
  • Inspirational
  • Loving
  • Organized
Personality Type
INFP
Tell me about some people (i.e. authors, mentors, and ministry leaders) that have had a big impact on you.
When I was in middle school, our Pastor’s wife was also my piano teacher. She had a large impact on my life and faith formation- even as a prayer partner when I recommitted my life to deeper discipleship and serving as a catalyst in my baptism as a child. She always created a safe space and communicated a loving and welcoming environment, whether in her home, or in mere conversation. This had a great impact on me as student. In my adult life, the youth pastor and his wife at our previous church (East Side Grace Brethren) had, and still have, a large impact on my life. They demonstrated in real-life how ministry and discipleship can be based on relationships and encouraged us as youth workers to walk alongside our students. They taught me that discipleship, and ministry, can be as simple as inviting a student to join in daily activities, and created a volunteer environment where volunteers looked forward to ministry and wanted to be a part of the community. Personally, my husband and I cherish their friendship, and I have always said that they simply exude grace. I am thankful for their friendship and role in my life, in professional and personal ways.
Parents/Volunteers
How do you plan to engage and inform parents or guardians about your ministry objectives and progress?
My core team of volunteers (our leadership team) is an active working group that sets objectives and outcomes and makes important ministry decisions, in addition to helping plan and implement events and programs. We regularly make time to practically follow the Spirit’s lead for our ministry together, in scriptural prayer. We have discovered great unity and the joy and peace that naturally comes from a biblical fellowship of believers committed to the Spirit’s lead. Ministry objectives, program planning, and progress toward our ministry outcomes (or goals) naturally flows out of this collective time of unity. Additionally, ministry objectives and progress flow passionately to others in our church due to the excitement experienced during this time of fellowship and prayer. In our ministry currently, parents receive a monthly newsletter specific to our ministry. This not only includes current events, but invites them to share prayer requests/concerns, and communicates our ministry’s mission and vision. We are looking forward to engaging with parents in a variety of ways in the future. I value continuing education for myself, and my team, and have a plan to learn and implement additional creative ways to engage parents/guardians and families going forward.
Tell me about a time when you developed a new team of volunteers into a strong working group. What did you do?
I thank the Lord for His lead in this area of our ministry! When I first arrived in my ministry setting, our team of volunteers was overburdened and burnt out on ministry. Many had never been given an opportunity to gracefully exit our volunteer team, and several were feeling called into other areas but didn’t feel comfortable expressing this desire. This led to little to no attendance at meetings, and disengaged, frustrated dissent when the team was present. Upon prayerful intention, I met with two of my closest ministry partners and we began to pray about where God may be leading our volunteer team. Through the Spirit’s confirmation, we developed a Leadership Team Covenant focused on the spiritual growth, prayer, and unity modeled in Acts 2:42. We each committed ourselves to regular growth in the word of God together, to Christian unity and to regular prayer together. We each signed our covenants in February of 2020. Since then, we have met regularly to pray through each ministry area and decision, following the Spirit’s guidance on ministry decisions. We have enjoyed fellowship together, and each time we meet everyone leaves refreshed and renewed by the Word of God. Volunteers now look forward to our next meeting, and it is truly astounding to each of us just how much our good God accomplishes in such a short amount of time.
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?
At the outset of each volunteer training it is important to ensure that all learning styles are represented in training. It is imperative to have a strong Vision and Mission, as well as clearly stated Ministry Outcomes. When something becomes unclear, it is helpful to quickly restate this and connect the task at hand back to our ministry’s vision. This alleviate concerns, and invites God into the space. Additionally, it is helpful to ask open-ended clarifying questions (eg. “Can you tell me if this makes sense?”, “Can you tell me if something is unclear?” “I’m sorry, it looks like I may not be explaining myself correctly. Is there anything you’d like to go over in more detail?”) This gives an opportunity for the learner to better explain what information they need. If a situation arises when I don’t understand a volunteer, I want to make sure that I am kind-heartedly honest about my confusion and simply ask for clarification. Again, it is helpful to quickly restate the Vision, Mission to connect the task at hand back to our Ministry Outcomes. This again alleviates concerns and invites God into the space. I again ask openended clarifying questions. This time they might look like “I’m sorry, I’m not quite grasping the last thing you said. Can you rephrase that? “or “I’m not quite sure I understand what you are saying. Can you clarify?
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?
A vital part of my ministry philosophy is based in Matthew 19:14. Jesus says “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them.” Part of my job as a ministry leader is to create space for children to encounter God and minimize all distractions that may hinder them in their pursuit of Jesus. In this same vein, I believe that I am a spiritual guide in a child’s faith development. While it is my role to guide, it is a child’s privilege and joy to communicate this momentous decision to his or her parents. My role is to lead a child in this communication, most likely at the end of our class time together when parents pick up their children. This interaction would be preceded with a conversation with the child about how to communicate with his or her parents. When pick-up time arrives, the conversation may sound something like this, “Carrie, has some exciting news for you today! Carrie, would you like to tell your (mom/dad/grandma/grandpa, etc.) about what happened today?” If the family has a few moments to spare, I will invite them to step into the classroom or the hall (whichever is less crowded) for a quiet and private prayer of welcome and admonishment. The discipleship process of course includes biblical teaching and admonishment. I am currently praying about how to incorporate relationship-based discipleship into our ministry, and our team has a few prayer-led ideas on how the Spirit may be leading us into this model. It is clear in the Bible that Jesus modeled relationship-based discipleship, and I believe He is teaching and training myself, and others in our ministry, in how we can strengthen relationships and make disciples in similar ways.
As the spiritual leader of the children’s ministry, how are you going to help volunteers grow in their faith?
This is a vital piece of our Leadership Team Model. Our Leadership Team has entered into a Covenant relationship with one another. We have each agreed to devote ourselves to reading the Word and praying together as a team. We practice Lectio Divina together on a regular basis and are reading Scripture and a daily devotional together. This is all based on the model of Acts 2:42 and we have found that when we devote ourselves to one another in this way, it brings us together as a team and brings us closer to God; ministry becomes simple and difficult decisions are made together in the Spirit.
Ministry Growth
What is your philosophy of ministry?
I believe that children are: 1. Gifts of God and Sources of Joy – Psalm 127:3; Genesis 21:6-7; John 16:21 ; Matthew 19:14 2. Sinful Creatures and Moral Agents with Free Choice– Genesis 8:21; Romans 3:9-10; Psalm 51:5; 58:3 3. Developing Beings who Need Our Guidance and Instruction – Deuteronomy 6:5-7; Psalm 78:4; Deuteronomy 31:12-13; Ephesians 6:4. 4. Fully Human and Made in the Image of God – Genesis 1:27; Psalm 139:13; Matthew 10:30 5. Orphans, Neighbors and Strangers in Need of Justice and Compassion – Deuteronomy 10:17-19; James 1:27 6. Models of Faith and Sources/Vehicles of Revelation – Matthew 18:1-5; Mark 10:13-16,
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?
This past summer, our church hosted a Virtual VBS for families in our ministry and our community. Due to the pandemic, this was mostly planned with a team consisting of 3 core people, including myself. We chose our online platform and our model, (partially livestreamed and partially pre-recorded), and I contacted teams of volunteers to execute our plan. We planned and filmed pre-recorded segments several weeks in advance, including a select group of children to be present in our videos. Each child who registered received a “Stay-on-Track Pack” (or Take Home Kit) that was assembled by volunteers and included everything they would need to participate throughout the week. These kits also included some fun tools for engagement and community connection throughout the week. Each family also received a family bag, as well as a Parent Guide with clear instructions and connection questions. Each child was placed in a crew (or small group) and was assigned to a Crew (or Group) Leader. Crew Leaders were responsible for sending a group email to all of the children in their crew each day and asked the same connection questions found in the Parent Guide. Participants were encouraged to “Reply All” to the Crew Leaders email, with pictures and responses to questions, to encourage and foster a sense of community. Parent’s also received a daily email from me with general information and current links to that day’s program. During the week of the event, some segments of were live, and some were pre-recorded. We livestreamed VBS at the same time each day for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes. We had an extremely high participation rate for a Virtual VBS, received high praise for the organization of the event, and have even seen several families who were not part of our ministry pre-VBS return for other programs.
How would you evaluate systems and structures to see if there could be improvement?
Systems, structures, programs, and events should all serve the Christ-centered Vision and Mission that has been set by the church. One can take a brief look at a previous period of time (ideally Quarterly, Mid-year, and Yearly) and evaluate each system, structure, program, and event as it relates to the established Outcomes in line with the Christ-centered Vision and Mission. In this way, it is clear to see where improvement is possible and necessary. This can be achieved using a series of clarifying questions. (eg. “Which outcome(s) did (specific system/structure) help us to meet during this time?”)
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?
When working in a fast-paced, always changing environment, it is important to prioritize tasks based on a Christ-centered Vision and Mission, establish Ministry Outcomes (or goals) to achieve the Christ-centered Vision and Mission, and then establish rhythms and routines designed to execute these tasks. If tasks are not prioritized based on the Christ-centered Vision and Mission, then Outcomes will never be reached, and the proverbial ball is never “moved down the field.” This is true even in a fast-paced, always changing environment. I have worked in several environments over the years, and many years ago I worked in the field of banking as a Teller. This job was always fast-paced and changed frequently. We used rhythm and routine to execute several tasks successfully at the same time and complete a high number of transactions coming from various sources with efficiency and excellence: all while managing a cash drawer with thousands of dollars. Though the industry is different, the principle remains the same. Without knowing where you are going, you will never get there. As disciples of Jesus, we have been given an important responsibility and proverbial destination! It is imperative to receive the Vision and Mission from time spent with God, and then carry them out with His help throughout the year.
What goals have you set in the past for your ministry area. Did you accomplish them and if so, how did you accomplish them?
When I first arrived at Mount Olivet, children were not excited to be part of our ministry. We quickly set a goal for our children to enjoy coming to church. This goal was based in Psalm 122:1- “I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.” Over the last year and a half, we have intentionally designed our programs with this goal in mind. God has been faithful in the accomplishment of this goal! Even during a pandemic, we have seen excitement in the children within our ministry. Our Christmas event, Dough Holy Night, generated excitement and joy among the children in our community as they learned more about the story of Jesus birth. This past weekend, two of our families with children who had previously expressed negativity surrounding church, sent me pictures of their children participating joyfully in our teaching and discipleship programs. I have learned that our team’s dedication to God’s plan for our ministry is key in bringing our Ministry Outcomes (or goals) to life.
What would it take to grow a kid’s ministry program?
It has been said “When you make disciples, you get a church, but when you make a church, you rarely get disciples.” In looking at Jesus model for ministry, He chose to build His kingdom by investing in relationships with a small group of dedicated followers. Biblically, the model for growth is relationship-based disciple making. In kid’s ministry, I believe this is true in volunteer relationships, and in relationships with kids. It is important for volunteers to be part of healthy and growing God-honoring relationships within the ministry. The same is true for families and children. When we take steps to make disciples through building relationships, the ministry will grow.
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?
When people feel connected, they feel cared for. For children in classrooms, it is important to teach to a variety of learning styles so that all children feel connected to the message. In ministering to families, it is important to maintain connection even when families are not physically inside the building. We recently started a Birthday Ministry to send a Birthday card to each child in our ministry. We have plans to build on this mail ministry to connect with families on a regular basis. I value continuing education for myself, and my team, and have a plan to learn and implement additional creative ways to connect with families going forward.
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?
East Side Grace Brethren Church- VBS Station Leader- I taught and led a VBS station for ~100 K-6th graders during the week of VBS. I maintained open communication with my VBS director and took advantage of training materials provided. East Side Grace Brethren Church- Youth Worker- For 12 years my husband and I were Jr. High Youth Workers. We took our role in student’s lives very seriously and learned about biblical, relationship-based ministry. We stayed connected to God’s word and valued our role as part of the volunteer team and got to know our students very well. In fact, one of my former students is now one of my most cherished friends. Bible Study Fellowship- Classroom Teacher- It was my joy and privilege to teach a classroom of children the truth of God’s word each week for two years. As part of this teaching team, I joyfully took part in several trainings, and enjoyed working sessions each week to brainstorm classroom ideas and pray together for each student in our ministry. Mt. Olivet- Children’s Director- As the Children’s Director at Mt. Olivet, I have learned about leading programs, project management, volunteer recruitment, and so many other ministry areas through real-world experience. I have learned that staying connected to God’s word is vital. I am also greatly enjoying the continuing education available to me through Bethel Seminary and INCM as part of the Engage Certification Program. As part of this program, I am currently attending a worldwide Children’s Pastor’s Conference for resources, networking, fellowship and additional training.
Is there a process that you go through when choosing a platform for screening volunteers, curriculum choices?
Each process in the Kid’s Ministry should align with the Christ-centered Vision, Mission, and established Ministry Outcomes set for the individual ministry, as well as the Christ-centered Vision, Mission, and Ministry Outcomes for the church as a whole. In this way, the entire church is working together as the body of Christ to bear fruit for the Kingdom of God. Currently, our ministry outcomes are two-fold. Our ministry exists to 1. make disciples. We do this through teaching and training in the word of God, and are exploring ways in which to do this in relationship-based ministry. Our ministry also exists to 2. create space for children to connect with God. This guides our decision making, and each program, event, volunteer role, curriculum choice, etc, needs to be aligned with, and accomplish, these Ministry Outcomes. In this way, we can be assured that we are staying connected to our VIne, Jesus Christ, and bearing good fruit for His Kingdom
What have you done in the past to ensure your church has a safe environment, including emergency procedures.
Our church utilizes a policy called Safe Sanctuaries. As part of this, we ensure there is a window in every classroom, there are always 2 adults when any child is present (in-person and online), and cameras are in every area where children are present. I am in the process of implementing a Digital Check-In System so that when we reopen our indoor Children’s Programming, we will always know who is in our building and have each child’s safety information readily available. We take safety very seriously in our Children’s Ministry. Our Leadership Team has met at length on several occasions to discuss pandemic safety. We have put several health and safety measures into place to protect families and volunteers (only meeting outdoors, masks, social distancing, temperature checks, etc.)
How would you describe the ideal relationship between senior/lead pastor and kids pastor?
Strong commitment to a church-wide, Christ-centered Vision, Mission, and established Ministry Outcomes define this relationship in a healthy way. When the Kid’s Ministry Vision, Mission, and Outcomes (and therefore all programs and events) align with the Christ-centered Vision, Mission, and Outcomes for whole church, the relationship becomes one focused on bearing fruit for the Kingdom of God. Open communication is also of extreme importance in this relationship. This Christ-centered team focus allows the lead pastor to confidently and gracefully encourage the whole staff to work together, and each staff member is committed to the success of the lead pastor, as well as the whole church. In this model, the Pastor and staff work together to reach established Ministry Outcomes and the Christ-centered Vision and Mission is realized.

References

Alyssa Evans || (419) 605-6207 ||  evans.163@wright.edu
Becca Kaseman || (614) 861-5810 ||  bkaseman@eastsidegrace.org
Jon Rayer || (614) 561-9351 ||  jrayer@eastsidegrace.org
Cheryl Terry || (614) 209-5527 ||  cheryllynterry@gmail.com

Favorite Bible Story

The Good Shepherd

Favorite Scripture

John 10