Hope Church of Memphis is a multi-ethic mega-church (approx. 7000 weekly pre-Covid) with a diverse teaching/preaching team, staff and volunteer base. Hope is known to be a blessing to the immediate area and is known for being the "City's Church" as larger memorials and celebrations are held in Hope's Sanctuary.
As many churches have struggled through the pandemic, Hope has remained steady as they transitioned to online church in March of 2020 and reopened to a reduced capacity of 800 (max) for each of their four weekend services at the end of August 2020.
Hope church began in the living room of a Germantown home in September of 1988. Nine months after Hope’s conception, Eli Morris came to Hope bringing a strong passion and big heart for inner city missions. To this day, Hope’s Urban Ministry is thriving in the North Memphis communities with many opportunities of offering a better life for the families they work with.
Rev. Rufus Smith joined the preaching/teaching team in 2010 and was voted in to take the position of Senior Pastor in 2013. He is passionate about the community and making Jesus known.
Rev. Rufus Smith, IV joined Hope in September 2010 as Associate Pastor of Discipleship and, in October of 2013, was elected as Senior Pastor to succeed Dr. Richard Craig Strickland. Over the past 8 years, Hope has transitioned from a pre-dominantly Caucasian to a multi-ethnic church in the deep south, with 30% of members being people of color.
In 2016, he Founded the Memphis Christian Pastor’s Network (MCPN) an ethnically & denominationally diverse clergy-only network that “bridges the trust-gap” between pastors via candid conversation, supplication, and social interaction—outside of church walls. Rufus is highly involved in the city and has worked with community leaders on a variety of educational, employment and training opportunities to assist programs and initiatives.
The leadership culture at Hope is marked by humility, character, authenticity and laughter! Hope Church is an elder governed, staff-led congregation that strives to equip God’s people for meaningful ministry.
Hope Student Ministries wants to make "more and better disciples." The mission statement of Hope Church is, "to engage our unchurched neighbors of every age and ethnicity to experience Jesus." In the student ministry they actively pursue outreach, growth, and discipleship. Not every student that comes through the door knows Jesus but they want them to leave the youth ministry as a Christ follower. They engage students in outreach efforts, Bible study, missions, and fellowship that is best defined as contact work. They agree with the adage, "it is a sin to bore a kid with the Gospel."
HSM is the exciting and engaging student ministry of Hope Church. It focuses on creating large & small group settings for students in grades 6 to 12 (Middle School grades 6-8; High School grades 9-12). HSM engages a diverse group of students through worship, games, teaching and relationships. The Student Ministries Director gives oversight to all of the ministries for this age group.
One goal of HSM is to create a place where students are loved and cared for by volunteers who express Jesus' love to them, as well as a place where parents feel safe and secure about their students attending their Sunday morning, evening and Wednesday actvities.
In addition to opening up their facilities during the week, the leaders look to be present in the lives of the students in the community (both churched and unchurched) by attending games, concerts, plays, etc.
HSM utilizes the large-group experience to help break down relational barriers, engage students with the Gospel, equip young believers to grow in their faith and invite all into a worship experience with the Lord.
Relationships with both a small group leader and each other are a focus of the HSM environment. There is a flurry relational connection on a typical Sunday night-- including time to connect in a smaller settings.
Hope Church is seeking a strong and visionary leader who has the ability to develop leaders, cast vision and develop strategies that will promote growth within the Student Ministry. The overall Student Ministry at Hope has changed in the last year with both COVID and the Student Ministries Director moving into adult ministries at Hope. The new high-capacity Director will inherit the normal challenges that go with these changes but will have the opportunity to help shape and define the path forward.
The Student Ministry Hope has some amazing staff leading middle and high school students. With multiple paid staff HSM needs a strong team builder who can lead the movement for more recruiting, training and development of the volunteer team. The new leader should have the skills to lead collaboratively but also effectively train in areas where the team needs to improve.
Hope is an outreach focused church. The expectation for the Student Minisries Director is to continue to place an emphasis on outreach and reaching those who do not yet know Jesus. In addition, the new leader should equip adults who will engage students outside the walls of Hope Church. It should not be uncommon for HSM Staff members or volunteers to show support and engage by attending sporting events, musical performances and drama productions. The Director should lead this charge by setting the example for others to follow.
Hope is driven by the desire to see lives transformed by Jesus. The Church has a regional reputation for being generous with their time and resources and it is believed that this core value of generosity is instilled at a young age. Serving in community helps transform lives, the new Director can lead in this area by seeing increase in service opportunity and participation (local service, missions, etc.).
This position is an essential part of the Student Ministry Department, a relational ministry, with the responsibility to create opportunities and environments for students to hear and respond to the Gospel, create opportunities and environments for students to grow in their faith, create opportunities and environments for students to live out their faith, and create opportunities and environments for students to fellowship with one another and the leaders of Hope. This position will also oversee, along with the Middle School staff and the High School staff, the recruitment, training, and pastoral care of volunteers that serve the student ministry, as well as the students and their families.