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