Wisdom For Rookie Youth Pastors: What Should You Include On Your Resume

A Picture You need to have a semi-professional, current picture in your resume. Some churches may ask for a picture separate from your resume, or will expect it to be in your resume. The picture should be on the top corner of the first page and it doesn’t matter what side you put it on. Furthermore, some may wonder if the picture should be of just themselves or one that includes their entire family. Honestly, there’s no right answer. I’ve heard it both ways, but what matters is this picture allows the hiring team to put a face to your name.

Your Testimony

Your testimony should be the first thing the search team reads on your resume. It should be no longer than one page and should include: your salvation experience, call to ministry, family events (marriage and birth of children),  school attendance (if any), years of service in a particular ministry, and anything else you believe the search team should know about you that has shaped your life in Christ. If you are a younger person, and don’t have much life to add to your testimony, don’t sweat it. Focus on major events and elaborate on them.

Ministry Objective

This is your one sentence statement that declares where you would like to serve as, and at what type of church. The type of church you describe should not focus on music style, but on important matters like growing, sharing faith, making disciples, declaring God’s word, etc. Think of this section as a purpose statement.

Ministry Philosophy

This section of your resume will discuss how you will accomplish the task of making disciples of Jesus Christ. You should talk about why you believe it is important to minister to teenagers, what means you will use to accomplish this task, and the eventual outcome of a student who will go through your ministry. Think of this section as a vision statement.

Ministry Experience

Use this section to discuss all of your ministry experience. You should include the tenure of service at each ministry and your responsibilities. Moreover, if you have never served on staff in a full-time, part-time, or intern capacity, that’s okay. Include the ministries you participate in as a church member. For example, Sunday school teacher, small group leader, leadership teams, or anything else for that matter, and include the responsibilities as well.

The Rest

  • The rest of your resume should include elements you would put in a normal one. This will include education, non-church work experience, skills, and references.
  • You should have a minimal of three references and they should be from a pastor, youth pastor, and church member.
  • Also, if you Tweet, Facebook, blog, or use any other type of social media outlet, consider how you can incorporate your accounts in your resume. You can include your accounts under contacts or put your blog under skills. It’s okay if you don’t want to include your social media accounts, but know this is another way a search team can get to know you. Plus, don’t assume a search team won’t try to find you online, even if you don’t include your accounts. Don’t be afraid to be open.
In the end, this is not the standard for all resumes. Talk to other ministers and find out what they include in theirs. Have them let you look at theirs, and ask them questions about why they did or didn’t include some of the elements mentioned in this post. Furthermore, if you’re not good when it comes to formatting, YouthMin.Orgg has a resume template you can purchase and edit. If you have a resume and want to add some flare to it, than go check out one of my former mentor’s blog at Shanegarrison.org. He has a great post on how to do this. Now that your resume is ready to go, head on over to YouthMin.Org contributor Heather Lea Campbell’s blog. She has an amazing post on places you can use to find a job!

If you have a resume, who helped you put your first one together?

Do you believe it is necessary to include your social media accounts on your resume? Why or why not?

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5 Comments

    • Thanks Keith. Its been over three years since I've had to use my resume, but I think its good idea to pull out the old resume once in a while and update it. Plus, it gives you an opportunity to see how much you've changed over the years. I know my ministry philosophy is completely different from the one I had first starting out!

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