Monday, May 14 we gathered as a congregation to vote on our annual ministry plan and budget and to extend a call. The call committee put forth Jayme Nichols for the position of Director of Youth and Family Discipleship. The congregation voted unanimously to pass the budget and to extend the call to her. We ask you pray for her and her family as they consider the position.
Jayme is currently Director of High School and College Ministry at Concordia Lutheran Church, Kirkwood, MO (ckhome.org).
Jayme graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Family Science from Central Michigan University in 2001 and was certified as a Director of Christian Education (DCE) in 2004 through Concordia University, St. Paul, MN. She has served as DCE at Promise Lutheran Church, Murrieta, CA (2005-2007), Salem Lutheran Church, Tomball, TX (2010-2014), and Concordia Lutheran Church, Kirkwood, MO (2014-present). Her current congregation has an average worship attendance of 1000 on a weekend.
Jayme and her husband, Kobi, grew up in Saginaw, MI and met at Valley Lutheran High School. They have been married 13 years and have three children: Isaac (10), Carrington (9), and Jeremiah (5). In their down time, the Nichols’ enjoy watching Michigan football, Tigers baseball, and Red Wing hockey.
Her favorite aspect of ministry is building relationships with people and watching God use those relationships to draw people closer to Him.
Call Committee Comments
The Call Committee used the primary areas of responsibility and qualifications from the Director of Youth and Family Discipleship (DYFD) job description, along with criteria established by St. Luke’s staffing toward vision to evaluate candidates for the DYFD. Below are a few comments from the call committee about Jayme under those headings.
Instilling St. Luke Mission and Values with Youth and Families
Jayme authentically and genuinely presented herself in a way that consistently resonated with our St. Luke Mission and Values. We noticed her connecting in authentic relationships and being open to people throughout her onsite visit.
Building a Culture of Discipleship with Youth and Families
Jayme spoke about Jesus consistently throughout her interviews, both online and in person. In her teaching time with students and leaders, Jayme engaged the group relationally while giving us new tools for engaging Scripture. She even divided the group into multigenerational groups to interact with God’s word and each other.
Building Discipling Relationships with Youth and Families
Jayme linked “seeking everyone’s story” to relationships and spoke about creating space for people to be comfortable as a way of building trusting relationships. She is both intuitive and empowering as a discipling leader.
Recruiting, Equipping, and Coaching Volunteers
Jayme is a team builder. She recruits both student and adult leaders into ministry opportunities, leading with relationship.
As the youth representative on the call committee, I felt the youth needed an experienced and mature leader for this role. Jayme fit this description perfectly. I also really liked:
- Her focus on authentic relationships for supporting others and feeding them spiritually.
- Her structured recruitment of leaders and volunteers for trips and events.
- That Jayme mentioned that the potential of St. Luke mattered more than the overall numerical size of St. Luke.
I value the following qualities about Jayme and feel they make her a good fit for us:
- She comfortably resonated with our mission and values, used some of the same language.
- She has knowledge and experience in rebuilding a youth program.
- She has maturity and confidence (this would help in working with parents as well as the youth).
- She has experience and is comfortable recruiting and working with volunteers.
Jayme is a strong follower of Jesus and places great importance on authentic relationships with others. She understands the needs of a healthy team ministry and has had valuable experience serving as a DCE in other large congregations. She seems to fit in well with others on the staff at St. Luke.
I believe Jayme to be a highly relational intentional leader. She understands the need to connect with both youth and their families and is able to implement appropriate boundaries (peer vs. mentor).
Jayme has had experience and great success serving in other congregations that were also rebuilding their youth programs.