Seventeen years after their initial Sunday service, Church on the Ridge in Snoqualmie, WA, moved into a brand new building to welcome those gathering for Easter services in 2021.
The church is emerging from COVID-19 and is ready to impact even more of the Snoqulamie Ridge (and the greater east-side community). This is evident from the way newcomers are greeted all the way through one of Charlie Salmon's heart-felt talks he gives on a Sunday morning. This church, truly is a place where people are introduced to the grace found in Jesus.
Church on the Ridge was planted in 2003 by Charlie and Sandy Salmon. On Easter 2004, Church on the Ridge (COTR) had their first Sunday gathering. Charlie Salmon has been the Senior Pastor since that time and led the Church through different remodels, growth and a building campaigns.
In 2006 it was listed as one of the fastest growing churches in America. A decade later a building campaign was started to find a permanent home for COTR. This new building, which just opened, is right next door to the rental it had been inhabiting for almost 20 years!
Church on the Ridge has an excellent staff led by their Lead Pastor, Charlie Salmon.
Charlie has been a pastor and serving in ministry for over 35 years. He is an adventurer and has climbed Mount Rainier, flown hang gliders, and enjoys scuba diving. With that said, he says his greatest achievement is marrying his wife, Sandy, and helping raise three children.
Coming from an alcoholic broken family, Charlie was forced to live with an aunt and uncle whose condition for his staying with them was to attend church. At 18, Charlie heard God speak to him and ask him to become a pastor. He left Willamette University to attend a Bible school then on to seminary. He recently completed a Doctor of Ministry.
The new Youth Pastor will report to the Student Ministies Pastor, Stephen Salmon who oversees the ministries serving those from birth through High School. As a developer and encourager, Stephen does all he can to make sure the team is completely equipped, supported, and assisted, while giving clarity and direction on our broader mission and goals of the church and department.
Middle and High School students are asking “Who am I?”, “Where do I fit?”, and “What difference do I make?” The Youth Ministries of The Church on the Ridge (COTR) exists to provide a space that answers these questions and more: helping students understand their identity, providing them with a tribe to which they belong, and guiding students in finding their purpose.
They focus on creating large group settings where all can feel welcomed and engaged. In addition they seek to move students into small group settings where students can grow in relationship with Jesus and friends while feeling known.
High School Ministry meets on Sunday mornings at 9:00am and Middle School meets at 10:30am-- in both cases the goal is to create a safe space in which students hear about what it means to be a follower of Jesus through the Bible and where they can openly discuss, question, learn, grow and be real with one another.
In addition a combined (Middle and High School) youth group meets on Thursday evenings from 7:00pm-8:00pm. This setting is almost exclusively led by students (greeting, games, announcements, worship) with one of the youth leaders or pastor leading the talk.
The ministry is launching mid-week small groups as well. These groups are split primarily by grade and gender so that students in similar life-stages can grow deep together.
The new Youth Pastor will inherit a ministry with a tremendous history, however, it should be known they have experienced a season of stagnation, mainly caused by COVID-19. However, this lost momentum and pandemic could also prove to be the biggest asset for the new leader if he or she prioritizes existing relationships and then begins to re-establish the pathway back toward vibrant ministry. The new Pastor should have an entrepreneurial edge and see the school campus, the community at large and new inroads as an opportunity to build even more relationships and bust out of these recently-cast shadows.
Church on the Ridge has a fun environment with many rewards-- however it is a driven environment as well. The new leader should come in ready to laugh, but also equipped and driven to work. The church has a goal and expectation for growth, not just for the sake of numbers, but mainly because they believe the Lord is at work on the Snoqualie Ridge and the Chruch has the oppoortunity to make an enormous impact.
The team is beginning to do much in collaboration, and would love for the new hire to speak into a variety of ministries while also receiving input about the Student Ministries.
As previously mentioned the youth ministry at COTR has a solid long-term foundation to build upon. However, programmatically the Sunday Morning ministry settings should be re-vamped in order to meet the growing needs and diversify from what takes place on Thursday evenings. The church is consistently looking to innovate in order to reach and serve more people. The new Youth Pastor will be charged with the opportunity to build the program, explore new ways to expand the ministry and continue to relationally invest in leaders, families and students to continue building a culture that is both invitational and biblically relevant.
Because of the size, scope and potential growth of the Youth Ministries it is imperative that the new Yotuh Pastor come in with the knowledge that much of his or her time will be spent balancing time with students and the adult population in student ministry (leaders and parents). Time with students is always desired, but the realistic expectation for this new hire is that he will equip and empower leaders for relational ministry with students.
The previous Youth Pastor was a tremendous communicator who drew a crowd to herself through relationships. While the hope is the new Pastor will be a relationship magnet as well, the real goal is a scalable approach to relationships that is not reliant upon one person, but a growing team of adults pouring into relationships.
As COTR (and the world) continues to emerge from the pandemic, it is imperative that the new Pastor grows a ministry structure that is scalable to grow with the church. This primarily happens through the recruitment, training and sustaining of the leadership team. The ministry currently has a small group of volunteers who seek to be equipped with the effective tools and methods to meet students where they are, partner with parents through the teen years and equip students to love Jesus and others well.
Purpose of Ministry: To equip and empower leadership teams to lead and develop volunteers to show the love of Jesus and help students become fully devoted followers of Christ.
Scope (coverage or expanse) of Ministry: Youth Leadership Team, Youth Volunteers, 6-12th grade students and their parents.
Responsibilities and Authority:
1. Recruit, train and retain volunteers for Youth Ministry
2. Create and execute ministry plan for reaching youth students in the community.
3. Write and practice messages for mid-week and weekend programming.
4. Plan and execute yearly events for Youth Ministry Students.
5. Track mid-week and weekend attendance. Keep records of student attendance and create system of follow up.
6. Update goals quarterly.
7. Oversee the leadership journey for leaders on moving them to become fully devoted followers of Christ (members).
8. Foster easy and fast communication through social media and emails to update parents on what is happening in youth ministries.
9. Establish healthy and dynamic small groups for students to connect with leaders.
10. Lead and equip student impact leaders to grow in their personal relationship with God, confidence in their God-given abilities, and strengthen their character to obtain the calling on their life.