How to Find a Ministry Job

By Jesse Criss edited by CJ Limvalencia

Over the last 20 years, I have had a number of opportunities to not only go through the “looking for a job” process but also help lead others through it. The reality is that finding a job in a church or parachurch organization is the exact same thing as finding a job in the secular world… it’s 100% about who you know… kind of.

Let’s deal with the “100%” first then loop back to the “kind of” at the end. 

Relationships drive the world around us, and word of mouth travels fast. However, these are just by-products of a culture and industry built around consumer review. If we go and buy almost anything, online or in-person, we almost automatically look for consumer reviews. But, we are not just looking for one review – we are looking for dozens and hundreds of reviews. For example: if you are debating between two TVs on Amazon that are both about the same price but different brands and features, the odds are high you will look at the “stars score” and the number of reviewers. If TV #1 has 5 stars but only 20 reviews, and TV #2 has 4 stars but 900 reviews, my money says you will pick the 4-star TV because more people are happy overall.

When it comes to work, there are not necessarily 5-star reviews on each of us, but through sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and so on, employers are looking for social reviews. They are looking for connections, who know you that they know, because they will go ask around about you. This process has a fancy industry word attached to it, and it’s called “networking”. About a year ago I wrote a guide on how to network and why it’s important and how to actually go about doing it.

To physically find a job posting, you can go to a number of places, e.g. denomination pages, college/university job boards, church recruitment groups like Slingshot, and so on. These are good places to start, but if you ask me, the better place to start is letting people you trust in your networks know you’re looking and know your heart, and trust God to spark the right conversation. 

I added a “kind of” that I also want to take a minute to address, because it has cost me at least one job in my life. Your network and people-connections will get you extremely far in the process, however knowing people still doesn’t guarantee a job. There are two factors that actually determine that:

The first is that you actually need to interview/candidate well. We will talk more about this in coming weeks, but it is very possible to bomb this process (I’ve been there). 

However, the second factor is maybe the most important thing of all, and it’s based on a question: is God calling you to this job? See, the reality is that sometimes the job we want is not the job God wants us to have. Again, we are going to talk about this in the coming weeks. 

So, how to find a ministry job? You start with the networks and relationship connections that you have, but never forget that relationships will only take you so far. 

Jesse Signiture
If you would like to know more about this topic or learn how to implement this in your youth program feel free to contact me.

Week #2 – Good, Bad and Ugly

Week: June 30-July 6th

What was GOOD this week? Canada Day was by far the best part of the week. We had a fantastic time on Vacation and despite a few bumps, my kids had a great time celebrating. Each year I love the opportunity to celebrate all that we have in Canada. I’m don’t dress all up and make a big deal about it but I’ve always taken a moment to pause and be thankful. Watching my girls run around and discover that, “Tinkerbell is real daddy, did you know… did you know daddy” (people were dress-up), I realize just how much I have to be thankful for, and in this season that’s important. 

What was BAD this week? Being away meant that I was removed from the situation. Coming home meant that I had to return to conversations and explaining what’s going on to people who were just finding out. 

What was UGLY this week? Like I said last week letting go is not always easy. Most of the week was fine, but then a situation or conversation would spark a feeling both good and bad. Nonetheless a feeling and feelings can be powerful and hard to manage. 

How’s your HEART doing? Over all if I had to give it a rating out of 10 I would give it a 7. However, if I’m 100% honest, most of that was due to vacation. 

NEW: What’s making me happy this week? This week I started two things that make me happy. First I tried a new recipe and have decided to dust off the old FATJESSE blog. Second I’ve decided that while I’m off I’m going to watch all the Star Wars movies from Ep1 through Ep8 and the 2 extras in between. I’ve got 2 down and 8 to go, I feel confident it’s going to be a good few weeks. 

Jesse Signiture
If you would like to know more about this topic or learn how to implement this in your youth program feel free to contact me.

Week #1 – Good, Bad and Ugly

One of the things I do when I coach pastor/leaders is ask a series of questions. I figured for this transition journey I would ask myself the same series of questions and post my responses at the ed of each week. What I like about these questions is that if forces you to stop reflect but it also helps create a pattern over time. You can start to see your progression and what God’s been doing in your life. 

Week: June 23-29 (I’ll catch up soon I promise)

What was GOOD this week? The best part of this week was being on vacation. We headed to the Okanagan for a week and it’s been a blast so far. I loved going to the kangaroo farm with my family and watching my girls bravely hold a snake for the first time. We have been coming here for yeas and its been fun to watch how each year they get more and more brave and outgoing. 

What was BAD this week? There have still be some hard conversation as I walk away from my work commitments. Not everyone understands what’s going on and I don’t really have answers for them but people don’t always like that. Each conversation can feel likes it’s adding a weight and at the same time I’m doing my best to let go of the weights. It can be a hard balance. 

What was UGLY this week? Officially nothing was ugly this week but cutting strings and letting go is not easy. These moments are not good or bad… they are just hard.

How’s your HEART doing? Over all if I had to give it a rating out of 10 I would give it a 7. I’m excited for the future and the possibilities before us but I know I’m going to be missing opportunities/events coming up. I think in transition it’s easy for a heart to become hard. God’s been gracious to me and the outpouring of love and support from people has been overwhelming. Their words have kept my heart soft and sensitive to what God wants to do in this season and I’m grateful for that. 

Jesse Signiture
If you would like to know more about this topic or learn how to implement this in your youth program feel free to contact me.