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Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by mckestev, Feb 24, 2010.
Does anyone have any advice for a young preacher looking to find his first pastorate?
Tell us a little about yourself. A lot depends on your experience, educational level, marital status, age, etc. Where you stand concerning these issues will dictate the approach that you may need to take. In the mean time, pray and serve in whatever capacity you can in a local church. From the time I was first licensed it took eight years before I was called to my first church. In the meantime I worked on my education and served whenever and however my church would allow me. The experience I gained was invaluable.
I'm 23 years old and a Bible College sophomore. I'm married with a 4 year old daughter, an almost 3 year old son, and the due date for the one on the way is March 31. I was licensed in November of 2004. When our schedules allow I go on visitations with my pastor.
My pastor advised me to actively seek a pastorate rather than passively wait for one. I'm hoping to get some advice from more than one source on how to go about it.
See if your college has a placement office where you can send your resume. You may find more opportunities initially in supply preaching, but it's definitely good experience.
Also, check with your local association or state convention. They may have resume databases.
The college I go to is a Christian Church/Churches of Christ school. It's been interesting and challenging at times. But they'll be of little help finding a church.
Since I don't have any pastorate experience, what should I include on a resume?
How active are you at your current church? Your resume will have to include what your current activities. Do you preach at your current church? Do you teach a SS class?
Are there churches who are currently without a pastor? You could begin by volunteering to supply.
Honestly, if you're going to the kind of school you mentioned, it might present a problem to some churches.
One last question, but a vital one. What does your wife think?
Why would you go to a Church of Christ school if you are going to be Baptist minister? Surely you see the immense problems that many in a Baptist church would have with this especially when there are so many opportunities to attend Baptist schools. I know that it would present a problem with me if I were on a pulpit committee considering your resume. Pulpit committees generally search through many resumes and I'm sure that a Church of Christ education would be a justified cause for an immediate file 13 placement.
My advice, not knowing you any more then what has been posted. Finish school and hold off on anymore children until you have finished. Your plate is plenty full already in your role as husband, father, student and employee, because I'm sure you have to be working somewhere to feed your family.
This is a very important issue here. What brought you to your current school?
Do not set limits in how God will use you, or where God will use you. Be willing to go where God calls whether you see personal provision in advance. Be willing to go to the far reaches of this planet and under any and all circumstances. In other words be willing to get out of the boat. Before and during any pastorate pray, study, pray, fast and pray. May God be with you.
I'm going to this school ultimately because I feel this is where God wants me. My wife fully supports me going into the ministry. In fact if not for her I wouldn't be in a Christian College at all. My original intent was to get a degree at a state university and maybe go on to seminary after graduation. Only problem is, the only program I've cared enough to stick too is the Bible program I am currently in. The reason I didn't go to a Baptist college is because there are none close enough to me that are accredited. When I started school my wife was unwilling to travel because she expected her grandmother to die while we were away (and she would have been right). Now for me to transfer would set me back at least a year.
I thought my going to school here might be an issue so I discussed it with both former and current pastor and they didn't think it would be. Also, I contacted Southern Seminary and they did see it as a problem.
I can't imagine a SBC pastor not thinking that it would present a problem. I can tell you that many, many Pulpit committees will not even entertain a prospect with a degree from such a school. Too many churches have been burnt by hiring someone in a situation like that. Having stated this, God can see you through. I would be very certain that it is the Lord that has placed you there and not you yourself. If it is not the Lord who placed you there, you may be making your own road extremely difficult to hoe.
There is no doubt that going to that kind of college will inhibit you in finding a church in the SBC. Do not let anyone mislead you. It is a very big issue.
One note: I don't think you're going to a "Church of Christ" school so much as it is a Christian Church school...that's a big difference...especially for Baptists...
That said, I would encourage you to follow your calling but also realize that you are at a prime place where spending an additional few years finishing your undergraduate and then doing a masters degree in a reputable seminary will pay dividends for the rest of your career.
On the vocational side, this is something that was told to me by a prof one time and I liked it so much I'll tell you. Basically he said "I wish that my students would realize that at this stage (i.e. undergraduate) you have over 40 years of ministry facing you. Then they would understand why we, as faculty, would like to hold onto the back of your belt and slow you down a bit in the rush to get into ministry."
Basically, don't be in such a rush to run out the door that you don't listen to counsel of the wise profs that want to invest in you. Education is the silver bullet. It will help you with your ministry so much.
Now as for finding a church, the best plan I found (especially for a young minister) is to contact the local Directors of Mission and association heads and start asking them if you can meet them. Putting a face with a name is huge. Then you can present your resume and ask if they know of any churches looking for ministers in their associations. Start small...you're not ready for a medium sized church.
Keep your calling in the middle of your focus. Stay rooted in Christ and the Scriptures.
I agree. A Disciples of Christ/Christian church school wouldn't cause as much of an issue, IMO.
One final note:
If you think being a pastor is a career then do something else. If being a pastor is anything other than a calling at all then go be a computer tech, janitor, or elevator mechanic. Anything other than pastor.
Being a pastor is never a career and churches do not call pastors. God calls pastors period. The focus of your ministry will determine a great many things. If you can walk away form being a pastor with a clear conscience then that is what you need to do. But if you are driven and fearful to not do what God has called you to do no matter where He sends you or how He gets you there then carry on. Be convinced of your calling and that is comes from God alone. Leave careers to other people.
Not so sure the school thing is that big an issue. Churches out where I am at look for finished schooling and a record consistent with the kind of pastor they are looking for to be the pastor. Lots of guys and girls have non-ministry degrees from state schools and make fine pastors. Finish school and work on establishing your record as a Baptist, you should be fine.
It's one thing to have a degree from a state school. It's quite another to have one from a Church of Christ school. Church of Christ doctrine is nothing short of cultish in my opinion considering the ones that I've had to deal with in the past. I didn't pick a fight with them but they certainly tried to pick one with me.
Yea if you find a church with a degree from a church of Christ school it is only because the church did not know better. I would not allow anyone to be on staff or in leadership in any form with such a degree.
I have seen this sort of thing happen time and time again. I think that many of these young men have no idea just how many resumes come in for any open ministry position. It doesn't take much to get you eliminated right of the bat... a degree from a Churches of Christ school would likely do the trick in most SBC churches.