S-White-Headshot

Hi, I’m Skylar White.

Omaha, NE

Phone Number

(217) 653-8810

Email

skylarwhite@yahoo.com

Experience

StoneBridge Christian Church
Multisite Youth Pastor

Education

St. Louis Christian College
BS in Bible and Preaching

Church Affiliation

Non-Denominational

Years In Ministry

7 years

Personality

ENFJ

Skills

Vision casting, preaching, leadership, developing leaders, events, programming, writing curriculum, and collaboration

Tools & Software

Church Community Builder, Fellowship One, Microsoft Office Suite, Planning Center Online, ProPresenter, Texting Services, Social Media, Video Editing

Personal

Wife: Rachel
Kids: Jude (4) & Jael (2)
Ordained to ministry

Top 3 Strengths

Social/People Skills0%

Speaking0%

Leadership0%

Student Pastor Questionnaire Responses
Personal Info
Please share briefly how you became a Christian.
I grew up as a fatherless kid searching for value. I tried earning value through sports, friends, and any other avenue that I could. While playing football in high school I was invited to come to church several times by other players and a coach. I tried church a few times but it didn’t stick initially. Over time I understood that I mattered to God and I was made for a purpose. I gave my life to Jesus and was baptized the week before my senior year of high school.
How would you describe yourself?
  • Fun
  • Motivational
  • Flexible
  • Loving
Personality Type
ENFJ. Enneagram – 7w8. Strength Finders 1. Woo 2. Futuristic 3. Achiever 4. Positivity 5. Includer
Tell me about some people (i.e. authors, mentors, and ministry leaders) that have had a big impact on you.
Jeff Chamberlain had a massive impact on me. I served under him for three years in college. He allowed me the opportunity to help plan and execute the preaching schedule, events, and services. He gave wisdom, experience, and opportunities that lead me to be the leader I am today. Dallas Willard and Mark Batterson are two authors that shaped my life. Dallas’ book, “The Great Omission” is so rich in theology, pursuing Jesus, and at least a yearly read. Mark’s book, “Chase the Lion” helped me to see that God does want to do more than we can ask, see, or imagine. It’s inspiring every time I read it. John Mark Romans was a supervisor and friend while working at Compassion Christian Church. His wisdom, leadership, and how he approaches ministry is very unique. I loved learning from him and growing as a leader under his influence.
Parents/Volunteers
How do you plan to engage and inform parents or guardians about your ministry objectives and progress?
I believe you cannot over-communicate to parents and guardians. A rhythm that we’ve discovered is beneficial is a parent gathering once a trimester before the next ministry season begins to cast the vision for what is to come (January, May, and August). We also have weekly text updates about programming that we send out on Wednesdays. We also have a biweekly parent enews that we send out with information about the ministry, parent resources, and other materials. We have utilized FaceBook to connect and communicate with parents as well. We post often and have strong engagement online.
Tell me about a time when you developed a new team of volunteers into a strong working group. What did you do?
There was a season of ministry where our midweek outreach program was growing and doing very well. We realized, as a team of staff and volunteers, that we needed to develop a stronger discipleship pathway for students. We decided to have a strictly small group environment on Sunday mornings. We developed a new team of leaders to run retention rates, hospitality, group leaders, security, prayer, and more. We started with 30 students and had 130+ in 10 months time. We started with three leaders and in 10 months had more than 35 leaders engaged with that service. The leaders did a great job creating an environment where students could grow in their faith in relational environments.
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 have always loved the phrase, “help me understand.” I encourage everyone to use it as ministry is a collaborative environment. If I were confused by a leader or vice versa I would hope they would ask for clarity. Whether in a leader meeting or meeting with someone one on one I always ask if they have questions. With ministry being such a collaborative environment I believe you cannot over-communicate with people. Our leaders know what we are teaching for the next five months at least, know what the next two major events are, and are well informed. They know they can share wisdom or ask for clarity
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?
Every situation is different. We had a girl recently, Maddi, come forward at one of our campuses at a student worship service. Maddi explained that she understood the Gospel, wanted a new life with Christ, and desired to be baptized. I met with her, along with a female leader, to talk about next steps. We answered her questions, gave resources on prayer and reading scripture. We prayed together and I told her that I would call her parents tomorrow. I wanted her to tell her parents that night about her decision to follow Jesus. I met with the family, she was baptized, she joined a small group, and is actively engaged in our student ministry.
As the spiritual leader of the children’s ministry, how are you going to help volunteers grow in their faith?
I believe the leader of the ministry should develop the volunteers in their ministry. I meet with our volunteers before service for a time of vision and prayer. I connect with at least three leaders outside of service a week. This ranges from a phone call, group call, coffee, letter, or having them over to our house. I want to relationally pour into our leaders, I want them to know that they matter to me and to God. When we meet I always ask how their life is going, how their relationship with God is going, and how their ministry is going. I care more for who they are and who they are becoming than what they do for the student ministry.
Ministry Growth
What is your philosophy of ministry?
I believe that God matters and that people matter to God. That belief drives my passion and expression of ministry. I also believe in contextualization, you have to reach your area however works. I think an outreach environment where students far from God can experience fun, community, hear, and respond to the Gospel is needed. I also believe there needs to be be an environment where students can grow in their faith in a relational environment with peers and leaders who are committed to them.
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?
I’m not sure what our most creative idea was. I would think it was our events model or our preteen initiative. We decided that camp would be the best thing that we did all year and everything we do should point to that. Camp would always be in the summer so we need an event in March and an event in October to support camp. These events should be onsite, very inexpensive, and have very similar atmospheres as camp. The March event would point towards how powerful camp is. When you get off the bus at camp you get a card in your hand for the October retreat. It started at 50 students and increased to 200 students. We were told that the second highest drop off rate was a fifth grader going into sixth grade. We worked with our Lead Kids Pastor to start a PreTeen Ministry. We went from a monthly service to a weekly service. Kids Ministry provided worship, leaders, and games. Student Ministry provided teachers and events. We also intentionally had leaders who were in the PreTeen and Student Ministry. Our Elementary Pastor would attend Student Camp. We saw a great increase in that age group over time.
How would you evaluate systems and structures to see if there could be improvement?
I am not confident that any system is perfect, whether it needs a great deal of attention or minor adjustments. I would seek the purpose to the system and see how effective it is in reaching that goal. If the retention strategy is numerically low, then it may need attention. I would ask for input from those who are on the team to see how we could increase its effectiveness, make adjustments, while continuing to measure its success. If our check in process is getting everyone checked in every night but it takes students 30 minutes to check in, we need to collaborate on how to make that process quicker. It would be a collaborative effort to make the best experience for students.
Give an example of a successful outreach program or event that you put together.
We shifted our ministry approach to have an environment to “Share Christ” and a different one to “Build Believers.” We knew families had a lot going on so we decided to do this on the same night. We did small groups at 6:15pm, a break at 7pm, and a worship service at 7:30pm. It was. great system for all of our campuses. If you have a friend who is far from God come at 7pm to hang out with me, meet some new friends, and eat food. Service at 7:30pm. Your next step is to join a group, which is simply an hour before you would usually come. It was a great season of numerical and spiritual growth for us.
How would you deal with a teenager in trouble?
I’m not sure what “in trouble” means, I will give a few examples. If we are are service and a student is “in trouble” by causing issues I take them to the side. There are many times students are acting out in order to be seen. I try to see them, talk to them, pastor them rather than policing them. If a student is “in trouble” with mental health we need to help the student as needed. It may be as simple as pastoral counseling, it may mean meeting with the family, it may mean them seeing a professional counselor, joining a serving team to feel like they have a purpose, or joining a group of people their age. If a student “in trouble” is an abusive home then we need to respond appropriately with the church leadership and follow the guidelines given.
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 was at Compassion Christian Church our lead pastor, Cam Huxford, always challenged us to grow by 20% a year in order to double our impact every five years. I have taken that on in my ministry as well. We need to increase our numerical attendance by 20%, increase our volunteer leader numbers, increase resources, etc. I would rather have a goal written, known, fasted, and prayed over than aimlessly hope the ministry grows. For service growth we schedule regular “invite nights” where service is geared towards inviting your friends far from God to attend. We are intentional with the media we share, songs we sing, message we preach, games we play, and an invite to return next week. We have numerical goals for every invite night and follow the numbers the following weeks with our retention team. A goal we have every year is to intentionally serve with 5th graders. We want to have influence in their lives before they join the middle school ministry. We have someone from our team teach on a regular basis in their class, have leaders promoting student ministry, attend their major events, and have an event for them before they join middle school ministry. We hope for more students to make that transition every year rather than having a specific numerical goal. Since putting more effort towards this we are seeing an increase in 5th graders joining the ministry.
What do you do to stay current with the culture of young adults today?
I try to invest into a group of young adults and young professionals. I want to help them navigate life and following Jesus. I also ask them to keep me updated on the trends. I lead a student small group so I can know what culture is teaching them today. I would like to think I’m a student of culture and know about what is going on in their world whether that’s terminology, apps, school, or the world.
What do you see as some of the biggest problems plaguing youth currently?
I believe in this current season that the biggest problem facing youth is mental health, compromise, and lack of healthy relationships. I believe that Jesus is the answer to all of those problems plaguing youth and we can show them how to follow Jesus in the midst of that struggle.
Describe what a weekend student ministry experience would look like. What multimedia components would be used to create a learning experience that makes the Bible relevant?
I think a student ministry experience should include elements of fun, discovery, and response. I think we need to have a variety of service styles and creatively challenge students every week. I don’t think it should feel the same every week. The pre-service environment should have great atmosphere of fun, connecting with one another, good music, and be engaging. Service should disarm students and engage them with a fun element. I think media is wise whether that is a sermon piece, game piece, student testimony, how to serve the community, or what is going on in the life of the church. I think we should lead them to discover something new about Jesus and lead them to a response. Every student should leave knowing their next step. Students love and resonate well with illustrations. If the series can have strong imagery, a take home element, social media follow up, and a clear object lesson then it will be well received.
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?
I learn about my community first through the staff and the leaders. I ask about the history of the church then of the community. I believe in contextualization. You need to reach your area through their needs. I believe in being involved in the schools where the students are. Schools have truly taught me what the community thinks, feels, and needs. I have been part of communities that were state failing schools needing supplies and a tremendous amount of help. I have also been part of communities that were doing better than most and felt they didn’t need anyone’s support.
Is there a process that you go through when choosing a platform for screening volunteers, curriculum choices?
I trust the process that the church uses to screen volunteers. If we need to update that process we definitely can. I believe in background checks, a clear interview process, shadowing for a few weeks, and involving a few trusted leaders to join us in this process.
What have you done in the past to ensure your church has a safe environment, including emergency procedures.
I have always had a security team outside of and inside of the building during services. If our numerical attendance is large enough, I request a police officer for our services. I have had leaders attend special trainings where a professional has come to discuss mental health, sexual abuse awareness, active shooter trainings, and other key issues that students are facing. Leaders know how to get out of the building if there were a fire, hurricane, or other incidents. I have been at places that require a lanyard or name tag for every adult who enters the building, if you don’t have one then you cannot enter. Safety and security is a big deal to parents, it should be to us as well.
How would you describe the ideal relationship between senior/lead pastor and student pastor?
An ideal relationship between a lead and student pastor is candor. They can talk to one another, they can share ideas, they can trust one another, they trust one another. I desire a good relationship with my lead pastor so we can move the church forward together in the same direction. I try to preach on similar topics when we can, have him preach at camp, and show the students that the lead pastor is for them. I want to support his vision, not create my own.

References

Jeff Chamberlain || (618) 303-2599 || jeff@coppercreekcc.org
Jason Ishmael || (618) 889-9926 || jasonishmael@communitychristian.org
John Mark Romans || (912) 507-4682 || jmromans@compassionchristian.com
Jim Bolen || (912) 844-3023 || jbolen@compassionchristian.com

Favorite Bible Story

The Story of the Rich Young Ruler

Favorite Scripture

Jude 23