Mesa Youth Results

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Mesa Church of Christ, an active, diverse congregation of about 450 members located in Mesa, Arizona, began looking for two new ministers in the summer of 2015. Traditionally, they had had one minister in the combined role of Youth and Family Minister, but Mesa decided to change that when they began this search. As one of the strongest congregations in the Phoenix area, they thought it best to split that position up into separate roles so that more time and energy could be focused on both aspects of ministry. Since churches of Christ do not have a large presence in Arizona, it was difficult for Mesa to attract ministers to live in an arid desert climate like that of Arizona. That is why, in late 2015, they turned to Minister Match for help. Here are the details of the Youth Minister Search.

Minister Match was hired in late 2015 to begin the Planning Phase of the Minister Search Process. The recruiting process began on January 4, 2016. Advertisements were placed on ministry job posting sites, email blasts were sent to about 1600 church leaders across the country, and the Minister Match recruiters began to make calls. From January 4 to March 11, Minister Match networked with 708 ministers and came up with a total of 16 candidates for the position.

Mesa’s Youth Minister Search Committee were faced with some tough decisions during the Selection Phase. The candidate pool was filled with several exceptional candidates, and the Search Committee really had to dig deep to decide which of these men would be best suited for the job. Though they would have been happy with any of the men in their final candidate pool, the Search Committee became convinced that Joel Soumar was the right candidate for the job when he came to Mesa for a visit.

About Joel Soumar

Joel Soumar was born in Marathon, FL. During high school, he began attending church services with friends and became a Christian when he saw the love of Christ showed to him by the youth group there, eventually leading to a passion for youth ministry. Just five months after he was baptized, he went on a mission trip to Guyana, where he discovered that he had an ability to share the gospel with others. After high school, he spent a year and a half as a missionary apprentice in Glasgow, Scotland. While there, he helped create a youth program and led his team in outreach to the community.

From there, he returned to Florida and began working with the Vero Beach Church of Christ as a Youth Ministry Intern. In the 8 years following his internship, he continued to work in both volunteer and interim roles with the youth group at Vero Beach. During this time, he met his wife Ann, whom he married on a hot air balloon in 2011. In 2012, he was hired as the full-time Youth Minister for Vero Beach Church of Christ. Joel was drawn to Mesa due to his combined passion for youth ministry and missions, and he made the decision to become their Youth Minister effective 9/5/2016.

"We would not have been exposed to the large number of qualified candidates without the resources and expertise of Minister Match...I'm convinced we would not have contacted nor hired our two new ministers without Minister Match."

- Ken Fox, Mesa Elder


"It was a great process for me...Overall the experience was very smooth and very easy."

- Joel Soumar, Mesa Family Minister


"Communication was excellent...Most importantly, we ended up with some terrific candidates and a top-notch youth minister.

- Brandon Clark, Mesa Youth Minister Search Committee Chairman


Contact Information

Minister Match
410 South Lowe Avenue
Cookeville, TN 38501

ABC Blocks

Your congregation has just hired a minister, and it seems like they are the perfect fit. Congratulations! There is one more step to the process, though, and it is just as important as the process of finding the right minister. You might have heard people refer to how the “first hundred days” of someone’s job usually sets the tone for their entire career with that organization. The same is true with ministers. Just as your congregation is going through a major transition, so is your new minister. The first few months of a job are a stressful time, and it is the job of the elders and search committee to help your new minister through their transition.

We refer to this as the “On-Boarding Stage.” Since the “first hundred days” is so important to the rest of a minister’s career with your congregation, we believe this stage is one of the keys to reducing minister turnover in the church. In this post, we want to talk about a few of the things that a new minister needs from their congregation during this transition period. We will refer to them as the ABC’s of the On-Boarding Phase.