Ministry in the Congregation

Mar 2nd, 2020 | Category: Columns, DCE Ministry
By Debra Arfsten

So what does a DCE do all week?

While this is typically a question posed to pastors, it applies to DCEs as well. DCEs are lifespan Christian educators in a congregation so their responsibilities can span all ages from cradle to grave. A congregation member might see a DCE teach on Sunday morning, do youth group on Sunday night, and confirmation on Wednesday…but what about all those other days? 

A large portion of a DCE’s time is spent in administration. Prepping for Bible studies, planning events for children and youth, arranging details for the next mission trip or youth gathering, creating an intergenerational activity, writing children’s messages, recruiting and training volunteers, doing PR on social media, staff meetings, board meetings, pre-school and school chapel, organizing service projects, and the list goes on. 

In addition to these administrative tasks, a DCE spends a large amount of time in relational ministry including counseling with youth, advising parents, building relationships with volunteers, etc. They also spend time in the community serving others, making connections with local schools and other agencies, and seeking ways to connect others to their church and ministry. 

Here at CUC we teach about time management, creating budgets, writing reports, creating Bible studies and more, but at the heart of what we do, we teach that ministry is about relationships. First and foremost, their relationship with Jesus is most important and we have opportunity to teach them spiritual disciplines to grow and enhance that relationship. We spend time learning about our God-given preferences in how we work so that we can have healthy staff relationships. We learn about dealing with conflict in a healthy and God-pleasing way so that challenging situations can be resolved and ministry can move forward. 

In everything DCEs do, it’s all about pointing people to Jesus. There is no such thing as a “typical” day in the life of a DCE because ministry is unpredictable. Whether it’s a day in the office doing administrative work, or a day in the community helping out at a soup kitchen or visiting someone in the hospital, or a day spent equipping and encouraging people to be part of ministry, it’s all about bringing people closer to Jesus and creating a community of grace and hope for all. LEJ