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I live in Gaithersburg MD, and am not willing to relocate.

Sign in to contact Jonathan Der

I would like to work in…

  • Youth / Student Ministry
  • Young Adult / College Ministry

I would like to work at a…

  • Unspecified

Jonathan Der's résumé

Last updated

To honor God by using my gifts of shepherding and leadership to assist a church towards next levels of health in reaching and discipling students


MINISTRY EXPERIENCE Student Ministry Pastor July 2013 – April 2018 Seneca Creek Community Church, Gaithersburg MD (900 in worship)

Student Ministries Pastor January 2008 – June 2011 First Baptist Church of Wheaton, Wheaton IL (600 in worship)

Lead Youth Pastor June 2006 – April 2007 Smoky Hill Vineyard Church, Centennial CO (1500+ in worship)

Youth, College, & Young Adult Pastor July 2001 – June 2006 Journey Evangelical Church, Orange County CA (300 in worship)

High School Co-Pastor / Pastoral Assistant May 1996 – July 2001 Chinese Christian Union Church, Chicago IL (1000+ in worship)


EDUCATION Master of Divinity, 2001

Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, IL

Bachelor of Arts: Religious Studies & English Literature, 1996

Washington University in St. Louis, MO


I am a 20+ year youth pastor veteran with a StrengthsFinder profile that characterizes me as a ministry strategist with a conceptual and forward-thinking tendency, but I am also highly relational in my ministry style. I am a team-builder by nature, as I believe that God has gifted the Christian family and the minister to work in complementary fashion. As such, I delight in recruiting, equipping, and nurturing my volunteer leaders and my student leader teams, that they might know the joy of God working through them. My years of experience both as a minister and as a youth minister coach have taught me enough to know the difference between working for the Lord, versus working with the Lord, and so I endeavor to follow God’s unique leading for each ministry context, as opposed to applying a generic paradigm or program from a box.

Having said that, if there is a pattern as to how God successfully works through me, it usually involves deepening the walk of our individual Christ-following students by assisting them in creating an attractive culture in both the large and small group gatherings that welcomes and adopts the unchurched and disillusioned teenagers from any walk of life into the safe place that is God’s presence and His family. We accomplished this via volunteers who would love on these students and adopt them into our small groups, providing mentors for any who wished, and by teaching of God’s immediate presence in our everyday lives, as well as His presence in the eternal state. It has been my great joy to witness these alternative, cynical, confused, and apathetic students adopt new identities, from “them” to “us,” and then eventually, with the help of their loving Christian friends, to that of being a child of God. My hope is to find a long term placement that will embrace all of our students for as long as they would have us involved in their lives.

Of final note, my preferences are to view youth ministries as supportive to the parents, in that we are on their team as partners. Similarly, that youth ministries are to be a vibrant part of the intergenerational church body, as well as assisting in the awareness of and compassionate action amidst the local and global needs to which our Lord has commanded our presence.

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