Looking for a new church job can be an exciting time in a job seeker’s life. Unfortunately, it can also be a little difficult as you determine where to transition next. While it can be easy to get caught up in daydreaming about where you’ll land in this next season of ministry, it is vitally important to understand why you’re looking for a new church job.
Understanding your motive behind searching for a new role will be beneficial to you as you anticipate what your best next step is, discern where God is leading you, and set your expectations. Here are a some questions to ask yourself as you begin thinking about your search:
1. How long have I been in my current church job?
We all know that jobs can have an expiration date either due to outgrowing the responsibility or simply desiring something different. Have you been at your church job long enough to feel either of these things? If not, how can you joyfully continue to serve there?
2. What has changed in my job in the last six months?
It is important to understand where the desire to begin the job search has come from. Has something shifted in the last six months that has caused this new itch for change? If so, maybe you can pinpoint what it is and determine if it is something that is actually worth the move.
3. Is the grass greener elsewhere?
Sometimes it's easy to seek something new simply because it's different than your current role, not necessarily better. Have you seen a role somewhere else that truly is greener or is your longing for something different than your current job clouding your perspective?
4. Is there actually a position that looks better, or am I just ready to be out of this position?
Is there a specific church job that has caught your attention that you’d love to be in, or is your current role so bad that you just want to leave? Understanding the difference is crucial to your search process.
5. Is there room for me to grow professionally in my current role?
Maybe it is not time to leave your current church but rather just your current role. Is there any room for professional growth where are you currently serving? Perhaps a shift in job title and responsibility is just what is needed to satisfy this.
6. Is a colleague causing my desire to leave?
Is there a specific person (or group of people) that's fueling the fire of your desire to leave? If so, can anything be done to alleviate that so that you do not have to leave a job you enjoy? If the tension is something that can be resolved by working through the issues with your co-workers, maybe a job change isn’t the answer after all.
7. Am I running from something or running to something?
Similar to the last question – what is the root of your desire to search? Are you running away from something that is scary and difficult in your current role, or are you running to an exciting, new opportunity? Neither answer is a bad one, but it is important to understand which one is driving your motives so that you can better discern what your next, best fit will be. Are you simply desiring a change in geographic location?
8. Have I consulted with anyone about my desire for a new church job?
Obviously a job search is something personal and often kept private from people around you. It is understandable to want to keep the process quiet, but it is important to make sure you loop a few others in for support and perspective. If you’re married, you obviously need to consult with your spouse and make sure they are fully on board with your decision. Or maybe you need to confide in one of your closest friends or a mentor to simply walk through your options. There is power in community.
9. Am I qualified to pursue the role I am dreaming of?
It can be easy to idealize a role where you’d like to see yourself in the future, and it is actually healthy to do so. It is a good practice to figure out what position you’d like to have in the next several years and work toward that goal. However, have you stopped to think if you are qualified right now for it? If you’re not quite qualified now, how can you get there? Make sure your expectations are realistic as you search for your next position.
10. Have I prayed and sought God’s guidance with this?
Although this question is listed last, it is obviously the most important. It is easy to dive straight into job searching without seeking God’s guidance at all. Take time to pray about your future and listen to what God’s next plan is for you.
Searching for a new church job and leaving behind your current role is a delicate and sacred time in life. Asking yourself these questions can help you evaluate whether or not a new church job is on the horizon.
This article was provided by our church executive search partner, Vanderbloemen Search Group. To learn more about Vanderbloemen Search Group's recruiting services and how they can help you fill your open position, click here. To read more insightful articles on Vanderbloemen's blog, click here.