As most of you are aware, our Minister to Students Hayden Walker and her husband Cody are on the verge of delivering their son Rhett, and we are elated at God’s favor toward them! As the two of them have prayed over their role as parents, Hayden has sensed God releasing her from her responsibilities as Minister to Students. She and I have discussed this matter and given it prayerful consideration, and I am in agreement that this transition is God’s will for the Walkers at this stage in their faith journey.
As I told Hayden in our last conversation, I am so grateful for the substance and personal attention she has brought to our student ministry. I know everyone in our church joins me in expressing gratitude for her efforts because of the positive impact she has made on the faith development of your youth, as well as to our larger church family! Now, however, we must put plans in place to continue that trajectory of growth in our student ministry. Fortunately, we believe that we have the resources in place to manage this transition and see our student ministry thrive in the coming days.
Our church’s Personnel Committee has named Tim Sanderlin, our Associate Minister to Students, as our Interim Minister to Students. Tim has come into our church and done so well in adjusting to the unique challenges and opportunities of ministering in the Mountain Brook culture. He has quickly endeared himself to our youth and we are confident that the personal attention we have enjoyed in student ministry for so long will go on unabated. We will reinforce Tim’s efforts with an increased role for our interns as needed in order to make sure that our students receive the attention they need for their continued spiritual growth and discipleship. If we need others to join that team, we are prepared to make that happen. Our ultimate aim is for our student ministry not to miss a beat, and with Hayden’s good work and the interim team’s evident gifts, we are confident about the future of student ministry in our church.
Hayden’s last Sunday will be November 12, pending baby Rhett’s arrival. You will be hearing more word on a time for us to acknowledge her many contributions to our church, which I am certain will continue at a future time in a future role. But for now, join me in praying for the Walkers as they make their transition from student ministry on a staff level (but not a volunteer one) and for our interim youth team as they carry on the work. Pray for our youth as they move ahead in what already has been and will continue to be a great year of student ministry. Pray for our Personnel Committee as they work toward selecting a search team for our next Student Minister. Together in prayer, I am confident that our best years in student ministry are yet before us, and God’s choicest blessings will be with the Walker family as well!
“And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen” (Philippians 4:19-20).