Four Things: How to look for a Youth Ministry Job

in Coaching on July 6, 2012

1| Churches will hardly ever operate on your schedule, but thats ok
– Nothing can be more disheartening and frightening than accepting a new position too quickly. Often, our time table says “I want a new job right now.” Would you rather the church spend a few weeks/months really going through the process and knowing its a good fit, or jumping into something to quickly and realize “I don’t belong here.”
2| Don’t oversell yourself.
– We all want to be wanted, especially by a church looking to hire us. Sometimes it can be easy and far too tempting to word things in such a way that make us seem like the greatest Youth Pastor this church could hire, but it will come back to bite you if you get yourself in over your head. Be as open and real and honest with churches as you can. Any flaws you have will come out and rear their heads when doing the actual ministry, no matter how much spin you put on them in an interview.
3| Be careful what you blog.
– This may not apply to everyone, because although it can seem like every Youth Pastors writes a blog, the fact of the matter is that its a very tiny percentage of us. Still, those of us who do write will need to be extremely cautious in what is said on our blogs. Read through your previous posts, especially ones that may call attention to a situation you are trying to leave. I still hate the fact that I was told “We were all set to offer you the position, and then an elder read this post on your site and it caused us to question some things.” I’d like to say their perception was off, and I knew my heart in what was said, but they got that perception from what was said, which is completely on me. A great reminder when writing a blog is that any voice you hope to have will be discredited by any attacks you publish. The person or organization you want to attack may very well be the worst thing to happen to Church in a long time, but it discredits what you are trying to do for the church to attack them publicly on a blog.
4| Your spouse doesn’t need to know every single church that emails you.
– Last year when I resigned from my position, we had no idea where God was going to take us, and we resigned expecting to live with my parents for as long as a year. During the 4 hour meeting I resigned in, I received nearly 20 emails, calls and voicemails from churches. In my head, I quickly started going through them, imagining “Man it would be sweet to live in Florida. This church in Tennessee looks amazing! Moving to Atlanta would be awesome. There’s no sports teams I like in North Carolina.” I’d get all worked up over the possibilities with every church I talked to, and my wife wouldn’t. It threw me so off, how can she not be excited about where God might take us?
I learned during that time to only talk to her about a church as it started getting towards a more serious point in the churches search. It wasn’t that she wasn’t excited about where God was taking us, we were just extremely hurt by a church and every time we got told “No Thanks” was lemon juice in our wounds. Aside from this, you will only take one position, no matter how many phone interviews you have. No need to get hopes up for every possibility, save it for the definite.

Categories: Coaching

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