Social Worker for Mission and Community Witness Job Description:
The Presbyterian Church (USA) and Maxwell Street Presbyterian Church are apostolic in that they seek to preserve the mission and tradition as founded by Jesus Christ, his apostles, and disciples. In Christ, by the power of the Spirit, God sends the Church into the world to share the gospel of God’s redemption of all things and people. The Church is sent to be Christ’s faithful evangelist by participating in God’s mission to care for the needs of the sick, poor, and lonely; to free people from sin, suffering, and oppression; and to establish Christ’s just, loving, and peaceable rule in the world. The Church demonstrates the Kingdom of Heaven to the world by being present in solidarity with the marginalized and vulnerable.
The Church’s call to participate in the inauguration of God’s reign is evidenced throughout scripture: in Hebrew scriptures that call for hospitality towards the stranger and the alien, in the invitation by Jesus to his disciples to follow him, and by the proto-church’s concern for the widow, the orphan and the ill. Maxwell Street identifies Matthew 25.34-36 in particular as a source of inspiration for its purpose: “Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.'”
In the late 1990s, Maxwell Street Presbyterian Church created a staff position for a social worker. This employee’s purpose was to be a single point of contact for requests for assistance by people in our community. Over the 20+ years that this role has been in existence at Maxwell Street, it has continually evolved, a witness of the life-giving Spirit at work. The fruits of this position are evident when those in need experience the presence of someone who cares for their well-being, someone offers a hand-up, and generosity flows forth from the congregation. In 2020, we re-evaluated this position and have discerned that it continues to help us meet pressing needs within our congregation and community.
The Spirit empowers the Church for mission through the gifts of people. Leadership is a critical gift provided by the Spirit because, as the scriptures demonstrate, fundamental change in any body of people requires leaders capable of transforming its life and being transformed themselves.
This staff person will primarily provide leadership within the particular work of community outreach and mission. As a staff member, they will be called upon to use their understanding of social witness and faith-based mission work to help equip the church in matters of discerning God’s will for its missionary action. Their ministry will be a model for the rest of the community. They will guide the congregation in being wise stewards of the church’s abundant, yet not endless, resources of time, talent, and financial assets. They will bring experiences and training to the position that will give them an understanding of how to accomplish the goals of Maxwell Street’s missional endeavors.
The salary for this position will be part-time w/o benefits and is available immediately. At Maxwell Street Presbyterian Church, the Senior Pastor is the head of staff and the position supervisor with an annual review done by the Personnel Committee and ultimate accountability to the Session.
Three Focus Areas:
a.) Social Work (12 hrs per week direct contact with clients)
Maxwell Street Presbyterian Church employs a social worker to be the face of the Church to people seeking short-term assistance with essential needs, living out the Church’s commitment to love our neighbors in varied and concrete ways. The Social Worker has historically helped our community with immediate needs not supplied by other agencies in our community. These needs have included helping individuals or families navigate area agencies, providing necessities like toiletries, food, or clothes, and sometimes by simply offering a caring and concerned presence. They are also able to provide limited financial assistance to those who need just enough to see them through a difficult circumstance and with the hopes of preventing a situation from spiraling. This person should have qualifications that enable them to oversee Social Work student interns. This qualification helps expand the Church’s mission within our community and aides in the education and formation of compassionate, skilled social workers.
b.) Mission and Social Witness Coordinator (5 hrs per week on average)
This person will also be a leader within the congregational life of Maxwell Street Presbyterian Church. Given that our actions in the world flow out of our worship experiences, this person will be present and participate on occasion in worship leadership. She or he will serve as staff liaison and source of guidance for the Maxwell Street Mission Committee, the body charged with supporting, empowering, and harnessing the congregation’s passion, skills, and resources. Maxwell Street offers several congregational-led mission initiatives, such as Room-in-the-Inn, Thursday Night Meals, and Mission Immersion Experiences. While this person will not be expected to coordinate such congregational initiatives, his or her presence and leadership amid such initiatives deepens the experience of God’s kingdom.
c.) Repairers Board Executive Director (3 hrs per week on average)
Maxwell Street has a long-standing relationship with Repairers Lexington. Repairers Lexington is dedicated to the operation and advancement of E7 Kids Café, a registered Safe Place. Repairer’s Lexington is committed to providing free, no-cost after-school educational programs, meals, and mentoring that supplement local school efforts and help these children excel in the classroom. Repairers Lexington is determined to cooperate with neighborhood and civic organizations to establish good relationships and trust to promote greater community involvement. To that end, Repairers Lexington engages in fundraising activities to advance the effectiveness and sustainability of E7 Kids Café.
This person will serve as the Repairers Board Executive Director. The Executive Director serves as the chief administrator of the Corporation and has general supervision, direction, and management of the business of the Corporation, subject to the Board’s By-Laws. The Executive Director executes contracts and agreements authorized by the Board, and may serve as a Director of the Corporation concurrently. Subject to the instructions, directions, and delegations of authority by the Board, the Executive Director has day-to-day charge of the affairs of the Corporation and has such other duties as may be assigned from time to time by the Board. The Executive Director has the authority to hire and fire other employees within guidelines and rules issued by the Board and within the Board’s overall budget. The Executive Director shall attend all meetings of the Board of Directors unless excused explicitly for a good cause. Although the Executive Director is hired by Maxwell Street Presbyterian Church, they are also accountable to the Repairer’s Board and serve at the Repairer’s Board’s pleasure. A member of Maxwell Street who is also a member of the Repairer’s Board will be part of Maxwell Street’s hiring team.
Qualifications (Entry-Level Position):
a) Min. BSW from a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited program.
b) Ability to demonstrate evidence of a deep appreciation for diversity and progressive values that include all people joyfully.
c) Has demonstrated through past experiences the ability to build rapport quickly with others, be an attentive listener, seek a thorough understanding of a client’s needs, and see multiple perspectives.
d) Has demonstrated through past education and experiences organizational skills that enable one to lead and develop skills in others needed to reach a particular goal.
e) Ability to demonstrate evidence of experience with and passion for street outreach with the homeless community and an understanding of their experience and life challenges.
f) Ability to demonstrate evidence of entrepreneurial leadership skills that support, empower, and harness the passions, skills, and resources of volunteers to sustain the programs currently meeting our community’s needs and potentially create new ministries when new needs arise.
g) Comfort with and an understanding of failure that doesn’t necessarily take it personally, and recognizes the limitations of the earth-bound Church and those it seeks to serve.
h) Comfort with public speaking.
i) Experience with grant writing would be ideal.
Maxwell Street Presbyterian Church values diversity, inclusion, and connectedness. We believe we are able to grow and learn better together with a diverse community and staff. In recruiting for our team, we welcome the unique contributions that you can bring in terms of your education, opinions, culture, ethnicity, race, sex, gender identity and expression, nation of origin, age, languages spoken, veteran’s status, color, religion, disability, sexual orientation and beliefs.
Salary Range: $20,000 – $23,0000 per year without benefits
Hours Per Week: 20
Email resume and cover letter to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact the church office at 859-255-1074 with any questions.