I’m jobless. I Don’t Want To Be. How Do I Find A Ministry Job?


Unemployment in the United States is high and has been steadily high for a long time. There are plenty of talented people who simply don’t have work. Competition for jobs is unlike anything this country has seen in a long time. So if you’re talented, unemployed, and ready to get a job, what do you do now? Here are a couple of thoughts:

 1. Just because you’re unemployed doesn’t mean you’re unemployable.

When I founded our search firm, I told myself that I would not present candidates to a church if they were unemployed. I felt that bringing our clients people who were out of a ministry job meant I was bringing sub-par candidates to the table when we are being paid to bring the best available talent.

I was wrong.

Turns out, there are many really talented people who are in between a ministry job. Churches have had to cut departments, and the cuts have been deep enough that good people have been let go. Beyond cuts, I’ve found that people in ministry are usually driven by principles more than anything else. A shift in ministry focus, a sense that God is calling, a loss in confidence in a senior leader….there is a long list of reasons people may leave a ministry job without having another job in hand.

So be encouraged, just because you’re unemployed, doesn’t mean you are a leper.

2. Get a job.

Now that you’re encouraged….go get a job. Any job. The easiest way to get the job you want is to have one already going. People leave a ministry job for lots of valid reasons, but staying unemployed because you’re waiting on just the right thing isn’t just short sighted, it’s unbiblical.

I don’t encourage people to jump at just any ministry job. Waiting on a long term call is wise. But while you’re waiting, go work at Starbucks. Volunteer at a church or a shelter.

Beyond being the right thing to do, it will do wonders for your resume and your story as you vie for the ministry job you really want when it comes along. Being employed is the best way to get employed.

3. Put together a great resume.

We do not offer resume coaching at our firm, but from time to time we do offer pointers. Little things like having a good cover letter, avoiding common mistakes, and keeping it simple are basics that go a long way. You won’t get a ministry job because of your resume’s format or presentation, but you sure can lose one because of it.

4. Search for a placement service.

In the corporate world, there are job placement services (which usually cost money) that help folks find a new position. We aren't aware of such a service in the ministry world, and we don’t provide that service at our firm (our clients are the employers).

However, there are several good job boards you might consider using at a low cost. Honestly, job boards don’t usually work, but if you’re unemployed, it’s not the right time to be too proud to post.

5. Send us your resume.

Even though we are not a placement service, us knowing about you may make a real difference. It never hurts for us to have your resume. Your information is secure and confidential with us, and someone from our Candidate Team will reach out to you when you submit your resume. Who knows, maybe you’re exactly what one of our clients is looking for!

6. Approach churches, but do so wisely.

It is okay to go directly to a church that is looking to fill a ministry job, just be cautious. Follow some ofthese tips. Remember, you only get one chance to make a first impression.

Finally, remember that a whole lot of great people who have made a difference for the Kingdom have had periods of unemployment, not the least of which was Jesus. Hang in there. Whatever your situation, God isn’t done with you yet!

8 Steps To A Successful Church Job Search