Are you checking out all the sites that list positions? Do you feel unprotected that your present job may be at risk if you reveal you’re even considering a new position elsewhere? Are you looking for a ministry role upon graduation? OR have you submitted your resignation and need a role—NOW! Transitions and timelines can be challenging to navigate.
Here’s a few observations and recommendations (founded in personal experience and connections to many others).
- has multiple online sites to preview positions offered by hundreds of churches nationally
- has a passion for a particular role in ministry and ideals for the position, or team model he/she wants to join
- desires for his/her resume to stand out among so many others
- has timelines for employment and transitions (sometimes based on family, i.e. kids in school); and may prefer specific locales
- based on experience and history, the candidate may be able to collaborate on a “salary/benefit package”
- PRAY. Sure, this seems obvious but important. You want to be in the best role and location God can use you, not just the next place. Develop an open heart and mind attitude. As in the “California” song by Avalon, “Anywhere you lead me I will go…”
- Polish your resume. We review many of these—some need a makeover with an online template and spell check. You need to stand out if you want to be considered. Get a trusted friend to review it and give you feedback.
- Understand what gifts/ministry skills you bring to the position. If you haven’t done it, take a personality (StrengthFinders, Myers Briggs, and/or Enneagram) test. Be prepared to speak to the gifts and abilities you bring to the role. Some church leadership will lean heavily into this to determine if you’re a good fit with their present team.
- Remember that the church’s process is likely slower than yours as you wait in anticipation for a response upon submitting a resume. Though the church is hoping to hire soon, follow-up is not always as quick as the candidate’s desire due to calendar restrictions, search committees and process. Don’t become discouraged.
- Once you have the opportunity for an on-site interview, ask questions!!! We can’t overstate this. Be sure to understand the history—how was the position managed before, what were the strengths, challenges, and what are ongoing or new expectations. Who will be your supervisor? How does the paid team function together? What is the process for decision making? What ‘whole church’ responsibilities are not in the job description? Who controls your ministry budget? Ask questions! Don’t hesitate to create a list for an interview process. Be as prepared to interview the church, as the church is to interview you. Don’t find yourself surprised by the position requirements once you move in to your new office.
- Research the area you’re considering. Use a site like moving.com or Zillow to understand the cost of living for the area. Be informed when a salary package is presented.
We are champions for ministry candidates to find the best place to serve. We believe that it’s key to building God’s kingdom in the local church. If you’re looking, the toughest part may be in exercising patience. Hang in there—there’s a church looking for you!