application/resume packet..,

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by j_barner2000, Sep 18, 2003.

  1. j_barner2000

    j_barner2000
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    What do most churches expect to be included in a packet when inquiring about a ministry opportunity. I have applied for one, but not sure if I provided the correct info or too much or not enough. I know obviously a resume listing secular experience and ministry experience. training experience... but what else would make a great (not just acceptable, but great) packet to send.
     
  2. GODzThunder

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    What I sent was both a secular resume' and a ministry resume' along with either an audio or video tape of one of my sermons OR a note stating that I can redily send a tape at their request. (Churches I felt "good" about or really desired to minister in I went ahead and sent a tape). I also sent a full list of professional and personal references, mostly from fellow ministers and upstanding Chruch members. Finally, I sent a very good cover letter! It's the cover letter that gets attention and makes people want to contact you to know more.
     
  3. Jonathan

    Jonathan
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    With my current membership on a search committee (that is, thankfully, hopefully, about to wind down), I think that I can give some helpful advice.

    If the ministry position not for the senior pastor position, it is likely that the senior pastor will have great sway over the hiring decision. Make sure that your resmue and application materials are professional, brief, honest, and geared to the specifics of the church's leadership.

    If the ministry position is for the senior pastor position, then your task is much riskier. Here are some "rules":

    1. Understand that you will be at the mercy of a group of laypeople. Overlook this point at your peril. It is highly likely that those on the search committee represent the various congregation "constituencies". As such, you must assume that there will be a number of professionals who will be reading your materials.

    2. Send a professional resume. You are a pastor and it is expected that you have a clue about writing, spelling, grammar, content, communication, etc... Every English goof that appears on your resume will be noticed and discussed by the committee. If this sounds petty, it is...but it is the reality.

    3. Make sure that the information on your materials is accurate/honest. For example, if you don't have an M.Div from X seminary, don't state that you do. If you state that you are currently in a program and expect to receive a degree on a set date, make sure that the date is accurate/reasonable. Assume that all of your historical information will be independently verified by the committee.

    4. Cover letters are important, but mostly as a way for committee members to check your ability to communicate important items in a brief manner. Make sure to include, separately from the cover letter and resume, a description of your salvation experience, calling to the ministry, and the type of vision that you bring to the position.

    5. Our committee went through nearly 80 resumes and 4 interviews before finally asking a candidate to come preach in view of a calling. I can assure you that, just like recruits in boot camp, you do not want to stand out for the wrong reasons. If you try too hard for the "wow factor", your resume will most likely be tossed immediately by a tired and weary committee.

    6. If you make a tape of a sermon to send, make sure that you actually listen to the copy that you intend to send. I've lost count of the number of tapes I've listened to that cut out before the end of the sermon or tapes where an important point was lost in the transition from side one to side two. In this regard, if you are able to burn a CD with your sermon, send both a tape and CD of your sermon.

    7. Send a sermon from what you are currently preaching. Don't send your "oscar winning" exposition of your favorite text. It is better for a committee to hear the real you on a regular Sunday. The closer the sermon is to the current date, the more credibility it will have to the committee.

    8. If you want to include real information about your family be careful. No one really cares if your wife is pianist (despite the old ministerial joke). If your wife's ability to play the piano is a selling point, you have a great deal to worry about and if you over emphasize her abilities, the committee will have reason to be sceptical about you.

    9. Most importantly, pray, pray, pray that the HS is in control of this committee. Lay people, no matter what their background are rarely ministry professionals. And when non-professionals attempt to select a professional, the road to ruin is wide. We are just not equipped for this task no matter how many decades we have actively served in church.

    Have a heart of compassion for these petty people who are going to spend probably hundreds of hours (away from family) in committee meetings, listening to tapes, reading reference material, traveling to hear sermons, interviewing candidates, etc...
     
  4. j_barner2000

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    Thanks for the input... At this time I believe I am being called more to a youth/children's director or associate pastor position. Keep it coming... also We feel led to Missouri as far as we can tell.
     
  5. gb93433

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    I would suggest that you have another pastor or staff member look at your resume.
     
  6. Sherrie

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    I have sent you a pm that will probably help you out a lot.

    God Bless
    Sherrie
     
  7. Dr. Bob

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    Anyone so interested in evaluation of their resume or letter et al can feel free to send it to me for critical evaluation and (hopefully) helpful suggestions.

    As a "professional" interim and pulpit supply, many churches seeking a pastor have asked my opinion on such packets of information.

    BTW, I would not consider looking at the bio and resume of a man who did not include a 15-20 page detailed doctrinal statement. Each church has such and it is MANDATORY to find a reasonable "match".

    [email protected]
     
  8. Trotter

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    Dr. Bob,

    If we run less than "15 to 20", will you still look it over? I'm currently in the construction process on mine (and they said Rome wasn't built in a day...).

    In Christ,
    Trotter
     
  9. j_barner2000

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    wow,
    nobody has asked me for a detailed doctrinal statement before. I did however undergo 2 seperate approximately hour long telephone interviews. The pastor was quite blunt and the other man who is assisting him let me feeling well grilled. However... they asked for my resume after the grilling was over. I think they got a pretty good feel of my doctrinal stand from the conversations we held.

    I will need to prepare one though, as they may be asking. Now, I need coaching in developing and resenting this. Fun stuff. This process is an education in itself. (perhaps someone should offer a class in how to apply to a church to jlin their ministry.) Is this even for a guy who is coming on as the youth director?
     
  10. Dr. Bob

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    Happy to evaluate any resumes or doctrinal statements.

    IF you are ordained, you should have such a statement already developed.
     
  11. j_barner2000

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    no sir, not ordained. surrendered to pastoral ministry in july of 2002. been training under my pastoral staff for the last year. They really have not been training me toward the ordination process, I fear. It seems they have been teaching me more of the service aspect. They have left the academics to the Seminary Extenson program. I really need to see an example. I would ask if the 2000 Baptist Faith statement is similar to what I should use.
    However I served as the youth director at my prior church for about 18 months. So I have no real ideas of the formalities involved. But I have experience in ministry. I think this is the training I need.. The politics.

    [ September 22, 2003, 01:45 PM: Message edited by: j_barner2000 ]
     
  12. Pastor Larry

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    Typically, in our circles anyway, a resume packet is solicited, not volunteered. If I were hiring someone, I would be very leery of an unsolicited packet of information. I would ask people that I know and trust if they know of someone who might be a good fit.

    If you are interested in a particular position, I would contact a mutual friend (friend to both you and the church) and ask if that person thinks you might be a good fit and give them permission to recommend you if they feel the liberty to do so. The school that you graduated from is usually very helpful in this regard, as are pastors and friends in the ministry who are familiar with your ministry.

    In any resume, I would be very careful of overselling yourself. Oftentimes, resumes become opportunities to brag abour your accomplishments and background. IMO, low-key is always better. It is always easier to surpass expectations than it is live up to them.
     
  13. j_barner2000

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    when I started this thread I was just starting the search for the ministry that God plans for me to fit. I feel led to work with youth (it is a burning passion in my soul, and my wife shares it) in Missouri (we are led to believe). It is amazing that this opportunity came up around the time I really started becoming concerned about the info I should send when asked. Fri I spoke with a member who is helping the pastor find good candidates. Sat spoke with the pastor. Each converstion lasted about an hour. Was asked to email my resume to the pastor. I shared my testamony and answered some questions like... when was the last time you and your wife danced... and when was the last time you drank a glass of wine... and why to the answers given.

    He then asked me to email my resume to him.. so I sent a cover letter, and my resume, which lists very briefly, work experience and ministry experience, along with education also.
     
  14. Hardsheller

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    The Five Mandatory Characteristics of An Unsolicited Resume for Pastor

    1. Brevity; Attempt to Introduce yourself and create interest on one page.

    2. Attractiveness; Centered on page - Good spacing - easy to read.

    3. Grammatically Correct; If you misuse the English language on paper you will probably do the same in the pulpit.

    4. Correct Spelling; Anything less than 100% accurate is unacceptable.

    5. List what you've done - not what you want to do. Your experience communicates what you believe and what you CAN do.


    As one who has received many, many unsolicited resumes I can tell you that most wind up in file 13 for violating one or more of these five characteristics.

    Dr. Bob, With all due respect any pastor who sends a 15-20 page doctrinal statement with an unsolicited resume is asking NOT TO BE CONSIDERED.

    Furthermore I haven't seen many search committees who were prepared to theologically analyze such an intense statement.

    Yes such is the sorry state we find the modern church in but it is the reality with which we must contend.
     
  15. GODzThunder

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    I agree. The same basic rules of the secular job resume apply to the Pastoral resume.

    Less is more! In any resume, it is the shortest, least yet impactive and informative resumes that make the final cut. Your cover letter, testimony, doctrinal summary, & overall resume should be concise and brief. It should make the search team want to know more about you and desire to call you for interview.

    I hate to sound so secular when dealing with a Church so I must add that if God is not in your being considered for Church then nothing can get you through or even to an interview. It is ultimately up to God but still you should have a decent professional resume. Your resume reflects your professionalism.
     
  16. j_barner2000

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    thanks for this info. In this case the resume was solicited. I was just wanting to put the best foot forward.
     
  17. j_barner2000

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    OK I have submitted a more complete resume packet to Dr. Bob to review.... Unfortunately, the belief statement is only 5 pages long and the articles are brief and as easy to understand as I could make them. I tried to cover the 15 most common questions I have gotten about doctrine. Hopefully this gives a church enough to know where I stand.
    I have also submitted it to another church that is interested in learning more about me. Thanks again for all of your input.
     

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