Hannah Hayden serves as DCE at Redeemer in Springfield and Nixa. She graduated from Concordia: River Forest (Chicago) with a DCE degree and a theology minor, though church work wasn’t always her first choice for a career. “My dad is a pastor, so like many ‘PKs’ (pastor’s kids) I was maybe thinking that I wouldn’t go into church work,” says Hayden. But, Hayden grew up attending the Lutheran camp, Okoboji in Iowa. It was there that a DCE approached Hayden and asked if she was interested about becoming a DCE.
Hayden notes that she didn’t really understand everything a DCE did, but because her dad worked in Iowa District West as their youth executive, she learned about the many different types of DCEs. “From that point on,” recalls Hayden, “I really felt that’s where God is calling me.”
DCEs do more than run youth groups (though, Hayden notes that is a very fun part of the job!), and there are a variety of ways to serve. “It’s from the cradle to the grave,” says Hayden. She also writes curriculum, does administration, creates mentoring opportunities for kids, and more.
“The role of a DCE is as challenging as you think it is,” reflects Hayden, “but it is incredibly rewarding in ways that you can never expect... DCE ministry is being called into places where you are way over your head and watching God pull it all together and work through people to do miracles right in front of you.”
Hayden’s advice to those considering becoming a DCE? “Pray diligently and trust in the Holy Spirit.”