Searching For A Ministry Job Without Losing Your Mind
By: Vanderbloemen March 6, 2012
We’ve all heard it said that when you’re looking for a job, that process should be your job. Even if you’re currently unemployed, spending forty hours a week looking for that perfect ministry position probably isn’t the best use of your time.
Taking the time to focus on quality, not quantity is likely to produce a more valuable result, saving you even more time in the long run. What are some steps you can take to focus on building your path in ministry?
15 Minutes - Pray. When you’re starting to sense a leading in a new direction, it’s easy to get caught up in the logistics of it. Setting aside time each day before you begin making phone calls or sending emails helps give you the foundation you need as you go about your search
15 minutes - Organize. Spend the first few minutes of your time organizing. Making to-do lists, noting who you need to contact and follow up with will give you a road map for your day. Keeping these lists running from day to day will help you see you’re making progress even when it seems like you might be spinning your wheels. If you prefer something electronic over pen and paper, check out the various apps for tablets and phones, or use a spreadsheet.
15 minutes - Define Your Ideal. During the next few minutes, take some time to research other organizations or people who are in the position or ministry you’d lik to be in. Familiarize yourself with the game-changers and leaders. What books are they reading? What blogs are important? Immersing yourself further into the culture where you’d like to end up is a great way to have a reference point on your search and connect with a likeminded community.
15 minutes – Find Personal Connections. You’ve organized, you’ve researched; now it’s time to make deeper connections. It’s likely you’re going to have to introduce who you are and what you want to some new people, and the best way to do this is through a personal connection. You may have to utilize contacts you already know, or search through Linkedin, or by simply calling churches and asking for information. The key here is to stay personal and not start by pitching your interest in working for them. At this level, it’s simply a relational connection.
10 minutes – Social Networking. It’s easy to spend a little too much time Tweeting and using Facebook. However, try setting aside ten minutes or so of the time you spend on these sites and use that time specifically for ministry/job purposes. Reply to people you’d like to get to know or share what you’re learning on your search. Ask people for help! By letting people know you’re available, you never know how far that information may reach.
20 minutes – Connect. Once you’ve established a relationship with someone or you’ve been introduced to a hiring manager, start sending those messages with your resume. Be specific but open-minded in how your gifts can truly benefit a ministry. A tip: Don’t send these messages late at night. If that’s when you’ve worked on them, save them as drafts and send them first thing in the morning so they’re certain to be noticed. Keep track of what you’ve sent who and when and place reminders on your calendar to follow up after a few days if you haven’t heard anything back.
10 minutes – Scheduling. Ask if you can meet decision-makers over coffee or for breakfast, letting them know you’re not looking for a significant time commitment - just a brief face-to-face meeting. If they aren’t local, send an email or talk to their secretary to schedule a phone call.
15 Minutes – Follow Up. You’ve made it through your to-do list for today, and it’s time to spend some intentional energy on following up on contacts and connections you’ve made in the past. Don’t be discouraged if you haven’t heard from someone yet. Often, people need a little nudge as a reminder to get in touch with you. Be specific and flexible with each reply, not to make the person on the receiving end feel obligated or under pressure for not following up with you.
5 Minutes – Accountability. The best-laid plans do often go astray, no matter how hard we try to keep them. Have someone, a friend or family member, check in on a consistent basis to see how you’re doing, spiritually and functionally on your ministry search. They can also be a huge source of encouragement in those moments that seem bleak.
Total Time: 2 hours. That doesn’t seem so overwhelming, now, does it?