While Andy Jones may be new to his recent senior ministerial post at Derby’s South Rock Christian Church, he is certainly not new to the church congregation.
Jones has spent the last decade in Derby, serving as Minister for Youth at South Rock before stepping into the role of Senior Minister from August 2.
As minister of youth, Jones was in charge of events and programming for church members in grades six to 12. Now, as a senior minister, he noted that he would take on a more global role in leading the church – providing leadership and guidance, along with the elders. , for the whole congregation.
This includes serving as a senior preacher in Sunday services, as well as guiding staff to better serve the church community.
“I thought that someday I might step into a high-level ministry, or a high-level ministry, because I love to preach and I feel like I have gifts of leadership. Usually people do not stay in student ministry all their lives. It usually takes a while for people to transition, ”Jones said. “Really, it was just kind of a circumstance that opened up the job right now and it was like, ‘OK, that’s something God wants me to be here now. “”
Before moving to Derby with his family, Jones was minister of youth in Seneca, Missouri for nine and a half years near where he grew up and attended Joplin University in Missouri.
True, Jones said he intended to study engineering after high school due to his passion for math and science, but several of his classmates saw a different path for him.
“When I was in high school, a lot of people kept asking, ‘Have you ever thought about youth ministry? I think you would be good at it, ”Jones said.
Going beyond his introverted nature – Jones said he was afraid to even present book reviews in front of the class – a little luck helped him get on the path to ministry. At a summer camp before his senior year, he won 12 free credit hours at Ozark Christian College in Joplin.
Originally seeking to focus on youth ministry, Jones said God prompted him to pursue a more in-depth study. He noted that it is rare to have two long periods of service in this more focused area of ministry, but referring to a verse from Esther, he said he felt it was time to take on a greater leadership role where it could impact more people.
“My heart is really at the service of people. When people are connected to Jesus and actually see this in people, it inspires them. It doesn’t have to be “hey, here are the things taught”, although I think it’s super important, but when they see it in action it really inspires people and it empowers them. They see it’s real, ”Jones said. “Part of me is really ‘How do I look like Jesus? How can I let Jesus transform me? ‘ As this happens, people can be transformed on their own.
Taking on a larger leadership role, Jones said he was not sure what the alumni long-term vision for South Rock was, but looked forward to participating in those discussions now.
While excited about the opportunity as Senior Minister, Jones said that while he expects to take on more responsibility, he also looks forward to continuing to work as a team and empower the staff at South Rock to work together to achieve the goals of the church.
“At the start, I really want to encourage the staff and our core volunteers to kind of go in the same direction,” Jones said. “We’ve all done a lot of good things in the past, but there might be a way to unite even more. “
Kelly Breckunitch is the editor-in-chief of Derby Informer. Contact him at [email protected] for questions and news advice.