I was let go by my former church just over a year ago. I had been their Youth Minister for two and a half years, buy they couldn’t afford to keep me on staff anymore. I immediately began looking for a new ministry. The job search lasted eight months.
While this was one of the most difficult periods of my life, it was also the most defining. The Lord used it to resolve some long-standing issues of calling and character. I am now enjoying His favor and blessing in a new ministry.
Finding a new ministry is the same as finding any other job – hard! Churches are very selective and often slow to hire. But the Lord rewards those who wait and stay faithful to the end.
Here are the steps I took to find a new ministry. May they help you (or someone you know) in your search as well:
Step 1: Pray
Regard this as an opportunity to discern God’s will for the next stage of your life. Ask Him where He wants you to go and what He wants you to do. Just make sure you’re willing to obey whatever He tells you!
There was a painful disappointment in my job search. A church narrowed their candidates down to me and one other guy. They hired the other guy. Through prayer, the Lord used this setback to make me willing to go where He truly wanted me to be.
In the end, two churches offered me a position. I had to decide between two great opportunities. Through prayer, the Lord prompted me to pursue one but not the other. He helped me make the best choice and move forward in His will.
Prayer is the most important step. Without it, it’s nothing more than a job search.
Step 2: Apply
First, decide what sort of church you want to work for. They will set standards for you, so why not set standards for them? I only wanted to work for churches that had active women’s and children’s ministries. They also had to be within an hour of a large city.
Then, find ministry openings. Most Bible colleges allow churches to post job openings on their website. Ask your pastor if he knows of any churches that are hiring.
Finally, send your information. At least send an updated resume with a cover letter. It’s also wise to send a statement of belief, philosophy of ministry, link to your blog, or anything else that helps them get to know you.
Step 3: Interview
You should expect a mixed response. An overwhelming majority of churches rejected me without an interview! This was tough because it made me feel unwanted. But I kept reminding myself that each “no” brought me closer to a “yes.”
Prepare yourself for interviews. Learn as much as you can about the church ahead of time. Anticipate how you will answer basic doctrinal and personal questions. Write down some questions you want to ask them as well.
When churches do contact you for interviews, expect a progression. The church that hired me required two phone interviews, a Skype interview, and a face-to-face visit! This takes time, so don’t expect to be hired right away.
Hopefully you will be offered a position. Ask for a copy of the job description and contract. Make sure all your questions and concerns are addressed. Get feedback from your spouse and others. When you are satisfied, accept the position.
What advice would you give someone who is looking for a new ministry? Leave a comment to share your thoughts!
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2 thoughts on ““More Than a Job Search”: How to Find a New Ministry”
A great book to read during the search for a new ministry is “Indispensable Youth Pastor” by Mark Devries and Jeff Dunn.
I read “Sustainable Youth Ministry” by Devries a few months ago. It was awesome. Thanks for the recommendation!