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Hi, I’m Heather Rynders.

Centennial, CO

Experience

Red Rocks Church
Kids Ministry Intern

Education

High School Diploma

Church Affiliation

Non-Denominational

Years In Ministry

2 years

Personality

ENFP
Enneagram: 2

Skills

Discipleship, Volunteer Recruiting, Leadership Development, Outreach, Volunteer Coordinating, Pastoring Volunteers, Worship Leading, Volunteer On-Boarding, Communication with Parents

Tools & Software

Church Community Builder, Microsoft Office Suite, ProPresenter

Personal

Single

Top 3 Strengths

Passionate0%

Leadership0%

Social/People Skills0%

Kid's Pastor Questionnaire Responses
Personal Info
Please share briefly how you became a Christian.
I personally came to know Christ when I was in middle school. I had gone to church when I was very young, but my family had never been more than simply observers of the church. We would go to church on Sundays and pray before dinner, but nothing more than that. It wasn’t until middle school when I got involved in Wyldlife, the middle school version of Young Life, a nondenominational parachurch organization, that I started to ask questions and begin to understand the gospel. The summer before 8th grade I made the decision to follow Jesus at a Wyldlife summer camp. Although that summer I accepted Jesus, I was nowhere close to being a disciple. Starting in late elementary school my mother was an opioid addict and alcoholic, this extended through middle and high school until she passed my junior year. At first, my mother and my relationship kept me so separated from God, my head was filled with lies about God’s character and love. I knew Jesus and believed what he did on the cross was true, but I was so overwhelmed with the thought that I was the exception, that if my own mother didn’t have the capacity to love me, it couldn’t be possible that the Creator of the universe could. During my first two years of high school, I was trying to fill this void of abandonment with anything and everything. While still believing in Jesus, I was attempting to straddle the line of being a committed Christian and trying to appease the world, that didn’t last long. At the end of my sophomore year, the Lord slowly started pulling away from the things I was placed above him, soon there was no cheer, no friends, and it felt like no hope. After much pressure from Young Life small group and leader, I decided to go to summer camp again. This time I was so beaten down, so lost, so broken, but I guess that’s where Jesus tends meets us. I remember deciding then that I was all in at that camp, I was tired of trying to do both. During my junior year of high school I was able to get to know the Lord and who he created me to be.
How would you describe yourself?
  • Fun
  • Motivational
  • Flexible
  • Loving
  • Organized
Personality Type
My Meyers Briggs personality type is ENFP. My Enneagram is a type two with balanced one and three wings. My top five strengths from Strength Finders are Developer, Positivity, Woo, Communication, and empathy.
Tell me about some people (i.e. authors, mentors, and ministry leaders) that have had a big impact on you.
In my life I have had very many specific mentors. In middle and high school i was heavily involved in an organization called YoungLife, one of my most impactful mentors was on staff in the organization. She was one of the first people to encourage me to go into ministry and helped me to develop my gifts in student ministries. She was also the first person to come from a broken family but push me to know that God uses our circumstances for his glory. During my time in my nine month internship there were so many people who poured into me. Specifically in children and family ministry. One particular mentor I had volunteered for, for about a year prior to my internship. She was the one who encouraged me to go into ministry vocationally. She pushed me to apply for an intern position and also encouraged me through out the entire thing. During my internship she was never a direct supervisor of mine but also worked in family ministries at the church. She specifically impacted me in the way that she equipped others in ministry. She would always be the first to hand something off, to never claim any gain for herself, and overall taught me so much about humility. Finally during my current internship one of my direct supervisors taught me so much about consistency. She has been faithful in her job for nine years. She is also an incredible mother and follower of christ. I only had the chance to work with her for few months but learned so much about children’s ministry. She was always the first to encourage someone and also push people. She far and away has had the biggest impact on my skills in discipling volunteers and families. I learned so much from her in her pursuit of pushing volunteers in their gifting while acknowledging their current accomplishments as well. She did the same for me while working with her, She was always the first to acknowledge my hard work but push me to grow
Parents/Volunteers
How do you plan to engage and inform parents or guardians about your ministry objectives and progress?
I plan to engage parents through a weekly email with information on their children’s bible story for the week along with information about the vision for the ministry. I also believe it is incredibly important for parents to serve in some capacity in the church. One of my favorite things is when parents serve in children’s ministry, and I encourage all parents to. This gives a new outlook and understanding to parents about the significance of children’s ministry.
Tell me about a time when you developed a new team of volunteers into a strong working group. What did you do?

I developed a team of new volunteers when I was part of a launch team of a new location. Part of developing this team of volunteers was establishing a common goal from the very begin. That we would create a safe place for families to drop their kids off to learn about Jesus. To assemble this team we had them go through a first look to help them understand what the ministry as a whole looks like, then a background check and interview, and finally a day of shadowing and training. The most important part to creating a healthy dynamic in our team was having each person serve where their gifting best fit. In order to serve I walked new volunteers through a first look and interview process, during this time we were able to pinpoint where the volunteers gifts and experience would best help them.

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?
An important part in all communication with volunteers is clarity, Something I have learned is it is much better to over compensate in verbiage to volunteers than under explain. If something is unclear to specific volunteers I think creating a culture of open communication is very important, I value face to face communication and phone calls very much. I think specifically if volunteers are not understanding the system in which the ministry runs it is important to explain the why behind how to have the most successful family experience.
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?

Teaching parents to have communication about their children’s salvation is very important. Having a one on one in person with a child’s parents is essential when a child or student accepts Christ. After a child or student accepts Christ some of the most important steps of discipling a child is teaching them about the things Jesus calls us to do. I think it is extremely important for children to understand the calls of community and serving. Particularly with older elementary or middle school age I believe it is very important for them to serve and lead in their classrooms. After a child has made the decision to accept christ I would encourage the entire family to start serving in some capacity, if they are not already. With that being said I believe developing the importance of community is very valuable to a child’s walk with christ. Within their classrooms I believe in small groups where older children can talk and express their journey in knowing christ, I also believe in sending kids home with a memory verse/curriculum and giving them an action step to coordinate with the weekly teaching,. This especially encourages active engagement with parents.

As the spiritual leader of the children’s ministry, how are you going to help volunteers grow in their faith?
As a Children’s ministry leader it is very important for all volunteers to be on the same page spiritually. In order to disciple volunteers I think it is important to have individual relationships with them. I believe that volunteering should feel like a life group. In the past I have had success in creating a volunteer only Facebook group. This has helped volunteers keep each other spiritually accountable but also been a great encourager. Something that was very successful with this group was posting weekly devotionals for volunteers to watch and discuss in the comments, I also believe in growing people spiritually by having a ministry that is in a place of constant thankfulness. It says in Philippians to rejoice always and I think this is essential to spiritual growth. I also believe that as a ministry leader it is important to know the hearts of all my volunteers, and meet with them regularly. I also in the past have made it a requirement for volunteers to attend one service and serve one service, I think it is important to make sure all volunteers are not just pouring out but are also being sustained by Gods word.
Ministry Growth
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?
In my previous job I was very used to a face paced and always changing environment, During the beginning of my previous internship I was a part of a team launching a new location. During the course of launching this campus there were many obstacles mostly construction and permit delays. With this being said things were always changed and we were on a tight schedule to open by a specific date. Dealing with this taught me how to be adaptable especially when things were constantly changing. For me it was also about building a team of volunteers and staff members who were willing to help out wherever. I dealt with the fast-paced atmosphere by be willing to jump in wherever was needed but also being good at delegation of tasks. Additionally I had to adapt to moving to a new campus later in my internship, this forced me to have to acclimate to a completely new demographic and team very quickly.
How would you evaluate systems and structures to see if there could be improvement?
I evaluate structures that could be improved by looking at engagement with the systems and structures. Especially with volunteers and the impacts systems have on their serving experience. For example at my last job when we were evaluating wether not to implement classroom leaders we first talked to our volunteers and interviewed multiple key people before adding them. I also believe when evaluating it is important to remind ourselves of our purpose of using said system or structure. I would also ask the questions, has our purpose changed? And how can we grow this system to adapt to our new purpose? I believe in also having volunteers and families weighing on how we can support their kids.
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?

The most creative idea I introduced to my last ministry role was a reward system for the amount of time volunteers have served. That there would be recognition for each year you have served in the ministry. I brought this up to my campus supervisor and overall children ministry coordinator, unfortunately Covid–19 hit before it could implemented.

What goals have you set in the past for your ministry area. Did you accomplish them and if so, how did you accomplish them?
A specific ministry goal I had placed in my internship was to grow others in comfortability in leading worship. I was able to aid in creating a schedule and recruiting hosts and worship leaders for all ages. This goal was accomplished through individual meetings with volunteers encouraging them to lead in a new way. Another goal that I made for my ministry was to recruit more volunteers for our Christmas services. In order to do this I set up a booth and managed it with a sign up sheet at our young adults service, this was very successful and we increased our number of volunteers at every campus.
What would it take to grow a children’s/youth program?
When talking about growing a children’s or youth ministry I think having an impact through social media is extremely important. Right now people are especially looking for hope particularly through the internet, and I think having an active presence on social media is very important to growing a ministry. I also believe in outreach through community events and organizations.
Children 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?
In the past I have used a buddy system for children with special needs. I find this system effective because it allows children to feel like they have a place and the support that they need while also giving parents peace of mind. Something I have also found very effective is using sensory toys during large group time for children who struggle with focusing. I have also implemented the use of headphones in my classrooms for children with sensory issues.
Describe the diversity of some of the ministries with which you’ve worked. …races, income levels, perspectives. Were there challenges that caused you to change your ministry approach?
In the beginning of my ministry experience I worked a lot in affluent mostly white, middle class areas. During my year of full time children’s ministry I worked in a mostly middle class area but half way through I moved locations to a more diverse and lower income area, When I started working at the new location I faced many new challenges. I had to change my ministry approach from the expectation that church was something families did together, to focusing more on just the kids. Many kids at my second location were in foster care or single parent homes. At this location for many kids church was one of their few safe places. This also meant providing extra support to families through counseling them. many families also sought after financial support from the church which caused me to have to grow in my discernment and wisdom in how to best emotionally and financially support families.
Is there a process that you go through when choosing a platform for screening volunteers, curriculum choices?
Personally in my last ministry job I did not have to arrange systems for finding curriculum or screening volunteers. At my previous job we used an outsourced curriculum and had a staff member create our small groups cards. I also used ministry mobilizer for screenings of volunteers and church community builder. We later moved to another system for screening The Rock.
What have you done in the past to ensure your church has a safe environment for children, including emergency procedures.
In the past I have had all volunteers watch a training video on procedures during unsafe situations, such as a medical incidents with a child, a fire, or potential intruder. We rehearsed these plans with volunteers and did fire drills. I also put an evacuation back pack in every room with the all necessary supplies including diapers, mats, band aids, flashlights and other essentials. I also kept a room roster next to the backpack with a color coded sign and map for the evacuation destination. In all of my pre k rooms I only had toys stocked for the appropriate age and all rooms were child proof. I also had radios in which I was constantly on and there was one in every room. These radios also had access to the security and medical channel in which volunteers were trained to call first in case of an emergency. As a ministry leader we also patrolled for inappropriate behavior and making sure our volunteers have all the necessary supplies to keep kids safe.
Favorite Bible Story

The Story of the Woman Caught in Adultery

Favorite Scripture

Ezekiel 37