Determining The Best Ministry Job For You
By: Vanderbloemen December 6, 2012
As a part of the Candidate Development team here at Vanderbloemen, I have the honor of walking with candidates through the interview process. I see a lot of ministry resumes, and I spend a lot of time talking with candidates about their experience and spiritual gifts. In my experience, one of the most difficult parts of the job search process is discerning a clear vision for where you are going. Here are a few tips on how to determine which jobs in ministry may be a good fit for you.
1. Condense Your Vision – The Lord has called you to ministry, but within ministry, there are many different paths to pursue. Know thyself. What are your unique gifts and skill sets that you bring to ministry? In what aspect of ministry do you thrive? Where is God leading your long-term ministry goals?
Clear answers to these questions will help guide you in applying for jobs. Once you have a vision for where you feel the Lord is calling you, apply only to jobs that align with that vision. If the thought of walking into a room of middle schoolers terrifies you, youth ministry probably isn’t a good idea. If organizing spreadsheets overwhelms you, you may be a miserable Executive Pastor. Applying for jobs with drastically different ministerial roles may cause the interviewer to wonder if you have a clear direction or if you’re desperate for a job.
If you need help solidifying which aspects of ministry best align with your skill sets and experience, we recommend tests such as the Myers Briggs and StrengthsFinder as a resource to helping your learn where your interests and skill sets align within ministry.
2. Clarify Your Theology – Think through theological issues to find a church community where you will thrive. Are you applying to a Reformed church when your theology is Arminian? Are you applying to a charismatic church when your theology is cessationist? Be sure you know where you stand on issues like predestination, free will, baptism, communion, etc. Every church wants to interview candidates who can champion its beliefs and ideas, not just tolerate them.
3. Check the Church – Research the church before you submit your application. Read everything you can about its theology, vision, mission statement, and staff members. Does what you are reading align with your answers to our questions in #1 and #2 above? If not, that position probably isn’t the right fit for you or the church, and that’s okay! The right fit will surface. If so, then apply and continue to do research on the organization. If you get to the interview, you want to show the interviewer that you are knowledgeable about the church, the staff, and the church’s vision. Nothing shows disinterest more than being unprepared for an interview. Come to the interview having done enough research on the organization and the job that you have questions to ask.
As in every major decision, trust in the Lord's leading. Recognizing your gifts, discerning your vision, and clarifying your theology will help steer you in a more clear direction as you navigate your job search journey.
If you're in ministry, how did you decide which aspects of ministry were the best fit for you?