Archive - January, 2016

5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Take The Pastor Job

5 reasons you shouldn't take the pastor job

Finding a job as a pastor is usually a difficult process, so when someone finally offers you one, it almost seems like a given that you should take it. However, there are some really good reasons not to accept the job offer.

Here are 5 important ones:

1. You’re desperate.

Desperation is an extremely powerful motivator. It also happens to be a really bad one. Desperation causes us to minimize the negative and maximize the positive giving an unclear picture of reality until we settle into the job.

Once reality does set in, the opposite tends to happen. We maximize the negative and minimize the positive leading to a really, really bad situation. It’s far better to settle down, stay calm, and trust in the sovereignty of God as he faithfully provides for your every need until you find the right position.

2. You’re just passing through.

Far too many pastors view job opportunities as a bridge to something else or something ‘better.’ Because of this, they’re willing to take a job they’re not passionate about or committed to. The result? Apathy. Frustration. Ineffectiveness. The list continues.

While most pastors practically experience transitional roles at some point in their ministry, going into a job with that in mind is a set-up for disappointment for both parties- the pastor and the church. It’s far better to wait for a role you could see yourself in long-term and commit to that. (*Qualifier- there’s nothing wrong with taking a job that offers future opportunities for advancement, just be content with the first role offered.)

3. You don’t fit the culture.

Culture is one of the most difficult things to understand, describe and recognize. It’s almost imperceivable until you immerse yourself in it. But culture matters. It really matters.

I was once offered a job at a church in a different city/state. The church flew us out for several days to interview, poke around and get a feeling for things. They offered the job which included a considerable raise, great benefits and a ministry ripe for growth. But, I declined their offer. Why? Because there was a clash of cultures. The things they valued, I didn’t value. The things they were most proud of were not that important to me. Great people. Great church. Different culture.

4. Your strengths don’t match the needs.

Every pastoral position requires a unique set of skills depending on a variety of factors: expectations of the leadership/congregation, the community the church is in, the size of the church, the development stage of the ministry, the culture (see above), etc.

All of these factors create a unique profile that can only be met by a unique person. The majority of jobs offered by churches are nothing close to “one size fits all.” Just the opposite, they require a fairly specific profile of personality, giftedness and experience.

5. You lack conviction for your calling.

Calling goes by many different names- passion, heart, drive. However you describe it, you’ve got to have it. Why is it so important?

Every pastor will inevitably encounter hard times. You will face obstacles and challenges. Every person called by God will find their self in a moment of opposition to their calling. (Moses, Joshua, Joseph, Nehemiah, Job, Jonah, Jesus, to name just a few.) Often, in those moments, the only thing you have to rely on is the fact that you have been called by God to complete that which he has called you to.

When you think about the position being offered, does it make your heart happy? When you consider the opportunity, does it make your brain race with possibility, does it fill your mind with exciting dreams? Most importantly, is there a sense that the very Spirit of God is leading you, guiding you, to accomplish and carry out His will?

From your experience, have you seen these to be true? What would you add to the list?

5 Reasons You Didn’t Get The Pastor Job

5 reasons you didn't get the job

“You didn’t get the job.” I don’t like saying it and would rather avoid it altogether. But… there are always reasons. Though they vary with the person and the situation, I’ve seen a few recurring issues so often, they need to be considered.

Here are 5 of the most common:

1. You can’t settle down.

I can’t tell you how many resumes I’ve seen that would better fit the life of a drifter. A year here, a year there. Always moving, never putting down roots.

I understand “things happen.” I even had a 9-month stint early in my ministry career. But when it’s a pattern, it points to bigger issues. Lack of commitment, the inability to work through conflict, impulsivity, etc. None of which you want in a pastor.

2. You didn’t ask the right questions.

In a first conversation with a candidate, I asked, “What questions do you have?” Their answer was, “None.” The conversation was over as well as the possibility of that person being a potential hire.

Questions tell me that you’re thinking things through. Good questions are even better. They show that you understand the nuances of being a pastor. They show an awareness that every church has a culture, a set of expectations and assumptions that must be carefully considered before making a move.

3. You don’t know who you are.

A popular church staffing website allows individuals to identify the kind of ministry position they’re willing to be hired for. It’s common for a job-seeker to list a dozen or more.

There’s something noble about a willingness to “Go anywhere. Do anything.” However, it’s concerning when a person thinks they could effectively be a campus/teaching/small group/youth/missions/worship pastor, etc. and do it well.

I’m much more confident in a candidate who says, “This is the position God has called me to.” than one who says, “I’m open to whatever.”

4. You didn’t pay attention to details.

On more than one occasion, I’ve been given a cover letter addressed to a different church.

Not paying attention to details has a way of exposing that a person has a tendency to be hasty or careless. Did you proofread? Any typos? Did you ask someone else to look things over? Details matter. They tell me you care enough to do it well and get it right.

5. You lack experience.

Far too many resumes have a gaping hole in their experience section. I’m not expecting the kind of almanac found in the history of a seasoned veteran, but I do want to see something.

I want to know that you invested in something. I want to know that someone invested in you. I’m looking for increased responsibility, progress, promotions and achievements. (It’s not unreasonable that a college graduate would already have several years experience.)

Have you been responsible for hiring a pastoral position? If so, what have you seen? Are you, or have you been, a candidate seeking a pastoral position? What do you have to add to the discussion?

On a related side note, Expedition Church is looking for a high-capacity youth pastor to be a part of our exciting ministry. Click the link for more details: http://www.expedition.church/youthpastor.html