Just Offer the Job Already: 5 Things You Should Do to Maximize the Waiting Period
Churches generally do not hire pastoral staff overnight. Before you send in your resume, the church has likely spent time praying and strategizing for their next pastoral staff member. After months of collecting resumes, you finally receive a call to be one of many who will conduct an initial phone/video conference interview. It is usually at this time where both parties get their feet wet and it allows you the opportunity to learn more about the ministry opportunity. Job offers are not typically offered at this stage in the process.
As time progresses, you eventually may have a feeling that the church in question is interested in you. Some signs, conversations, and interactions may have you wondering why they have not just offered you the job already. As hard as it is to wait, this period of time is important to the church and it should be important to you. As a reminder, 400 years passed between the Old and New Testament. Praise God for His perfect timing and Praise God that the church takes seriously the hiring of those that they seek to lead their church under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. While not exhaustive, you should do these five things so that you can maximize the waiting period.
1. BE IN CONSTANT PRAYER FOR GOD’S WILL
Prayer should be at the forefront of any decision you make. God’s will is best when we rest in His plan. Martin Luther on prayer said this, “To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.” Pastors and staff, how much more should we value prayer as the ones desiring to lead? Jesus prayed specifically for the will of the Father and so should we (Luke 22:42).
2. BE SURE YOU CAN BUY INTO THE MISSION AND VISION
There are differing viewpoints on what defines a mission and vision. For the sake of argument, mission is being defined as the overarching goal of the church. Vision is how you plan to carry out the mission. As an outsider coming in, it is crucial that you buy into the mission and vision of the church. If you cannot get on board with the current mission and vision, you must ask yourself if you are the right candidate for the job. Yes, these things have potential to change. However, buying in before will launch you into the ministry with a heartbeat that is similar to the rest of the current church body.
3. REQUEST CHURCH DOCUMENTS FOR REVIEW
You likely will have access to these via their church website. If for some reason they are not online, ask for them. This is assuming that you are far enough along to be asking for more information about the ministry. Check out social media, ask for newsletters, review the bulletins, and review anything and everything that will engrain church culture into you.
4. KEEP A RUNNING LIST OF QUESTIONS
You likely will not remember these questions if you do not take the time to write them down. A good interview process will allow you to ask questions that you have about the church and the ministry. Every interview I have partaken of (whether ministry or secular) provided me an opportunity to ask questions. Having a repertoire of questions shows that you are prepared and that you care. No question should be off limits. You should be interviewing the church as they interview you.
This area is often overlooked. Self-development should never be taken for granted. There is always an area of your life that needs work (whether personal or spiritual). Develop your communication skills. Work on your people skills with people at the grocery store. Read books in areas that you are weak. Take or audit a class that will benefit your future ministry. Self-development is never a bad investment in your life.
You may be ready for the job offer, but trust and know that God has a plan during the waiting. Waiting patiently and maximizing the waiting will only benefit you and the church in the long run. Continue to develop yourself, seek God’s will, and prepare your heart, mind, and soul for what God has in store.
What else would you add to this list?