How many times, how often and why?

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by NateT, Feb 12, 2003.

  1. NateT

    NateT
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    If you are a pastor, how many times have you switched churches. How often have you switched churches (every X years) and why did you switch churches.

    You can give "God lead me to" as your answer to the why, but if you do, please expand, how did you know God was leading you to?

    I'm just curious. I'm on a search committee and see a lot of variation among the resumes. Thought it might be interesting to find out what pastors on the board do.

    I also have an interest as I look towards going into the ministry myself.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. newgirl

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    From a pastors wife stand point----
    We were at our first church about 6 years, for about the last 6 months, I just had a feeling that the Lord wanted us to leave. It is hard to describe, because we truly loved the people and are still great friends with everyone in the church. It just seemed that we were just sitting spinning our wheels. Our first church was a small church with only about 45-50 in worship service, then our second church was about 75-80 in worship service and we felt lead to leave after about 2 years. We are currently at a church with about 125-140 in worship service. It is so different, the spirit is really in the church and it's people.
    Before we came to this church, I had to made some decisions, we had recently built a new home and I wasn't sure about leaving my new house. But the more I prayed about it the decison was clear..... God wanted me to make the move and not worry about leaving a new home. As it turned out the new church did some remodeling to their pastorium before we moved in, so I actually had another new house. I probably didn't answer your question exactly like you expected. But some times you have a feeling and as long as that feeling comes from GOD and it's not you trying to do something on your own. Good luck with your responses.
    New Girl
     
  3. rufus

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    n&b_t asked: "If you are a pastor, how many times have you switched churches. How often have you switched churches (every X years) and why did you switch churches."

    In 32 years, I've pastored ten churches. The first 6 were part-time and I was bi-vocational. Many of these churches had annual call and a few of them called different young pastors every 2 to 3 years.

    After Seminary, I pastored 2 churches while earning advance degrees. They were full time. They were in different parts of the country.

    After getting my degrees, I've pastored for 10 years in Kansas (which I left because I felt God leading my elsewhere) and for almost 5 years in Arkansas.

    Rufus [​IMG]
     
  4. SaggyWoman

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    I am not pastor, but I am called church staff. I have been in three ministerial positions in 15 years. The first position I was in for six years, and had become very unhappy and wasn't at peace. It was time to move.

    My second position I was in 2.5 years, and was very unhappy the whole time. But God used that time.

    I have been here 5.5 years.

    How did I know it was time to move? Unhappiness. Lack of peace.

    How did I know I was going to the right place? I don't know. I didn't have peace until after I took the step.
     
  5. blackbird

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    In fifteen years I have had four churches--God blessed in all four--I have been at this fourth one for 2 years now--the honeymoon that is suppose to be there--disappeared when I drove the Ryder truck back to the dropoff point!!! I keep a runnin' deposit on Ryder trucks--don't like to use it--but will oblige Almighty God.

    We are in the second month of our new church facility--go to www.allenconst.com click on new projects and then scroll down to Strong Hope Baptist--

    I guess my mentality is this--when I accept a church, my motto is "I will die for these people!" and when I go to leave a church--I look back and can still say--"I will die for these people!"

    Your Southern Baptist preachin' fool!!

    Blackbird
     
  6. Pastork

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    I was an interim pastor of a tiny church for two years while a junior and senior at Bible college. I am am now in my first full time pastorate (after several years of itinerate preaching while in seminary), where I will have been for ten years this coming May. I have no plans or desire for a change at any time in the future, but I always try to remain open to whatever God may call me to do.

    Pastork
     
  7. Dr. Bob

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    I was an Associate Pastor for Youth/College for 2 years after grad school. Then just over 6 years each in 3 churches as Senior Pastor. Also have done two 4-year each stints as a college prof. Been serving 5+ as state missionary/interim/et al and see that as my future.

    About 5-6 years into a church, the routine of the ministry sets in. Major problems have been dealt with, sermons preached, growth achieved. Then it begins to plateau. I always was "driven" (more than "called") to push on and so the impetus toward new ministries and new challenges.

    I help a lot with churches that are searching for pastors (the one I'm with now has a new man coming in June - I've been interim for a year now). I'm seeing a big change to LONGER pastorates (8-12 years) compared to earlier days in the ministry where it was much shorter.

    Rule of thumb: If a pastor spends less time in a church than a missionary would on a term on the field (4-years usually) I would be careful to evaluate it closely. Usually there is a good excuse, but seldom a valid reason.

    Lots of short termers who can be very damaging to a church (get into the hire/fire mentality, pastor is just a body).
     
  8. baptistteacher

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    I am a long-term Associate Pastor/Music Minister/Education Minister. Have been in 4 churches since 1979, and have been at my current church for over 16 years.

    The first church "left me," that is, it closed up, due largely to pastoral misconduct which led to a very bad testimony, and insufficient finances. Most of the congregation joined another fairly new IFB church in the area.

    The reasons I left the others have faded into memory, but dealt with a growing sense of dissatisfaction and lack of peace.
    I had an opportunity to go to another church one time, but could not get that peace about it, so we didn't.

    -->> I was chairman of the pulpit committee 3plus years ago when we were lookng for our current pastor, and it is a daunting job!! Going through resumes and letters and getting phone calls and trying to sort all of this out while the church was in some turmoil -WOW!
    I got a phone call from one man who was slightly belligerent. Not the best way to approach a church. I asked him to send me some kind of statement of faith, (as we believe that Doctrine is Important). He said that "The Bible is his statement of faith." As you can tell from the various opinions on this board, even amoung the Independent Fundamental Baptists there are a lot of convictions regarding most things, so to say that the Bible is your statement of faith really doesn't explain anything.

    >>>> One thing I discovered, most pastors do not know anything about resume writing, so try not to judge them on format, wording, etc. Look for their heart!! [​IMG] The pastor we called had one of the worst looking resumes, even was a bad photo-copy, but he has fit our church like a hand-in-glove.
    I pray that you can find such a person!! [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  9. dan53

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    I envy those who have had lengthy stays. I have been in four churches in 9 years. The first was a year (said they could do it without a pastor), the next was two years and they decided to close the doors. The next one was about twentyone months; they did not want to go forward; they only wanted their family and friends to attend. Got scared when others started coming. My last church just forced me to resign; did not want to grow or reach out into the community. I don't bear any of these folks any malice; nor am I bitter. When you see a short stay at churches usually it tells me one of two things; either the pastor did it wrong or he did it right. Check out the pastor's story and see if there is anything that he does or doesn't do to get people excited. If he is doing it right; a small church will get on board or fire him pronto.
     
  10. NateT

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    About resumes:

    You are absolutely right that pastors aren't the best resume writers. The five of us have said over and over again about how bad some of the resumes are. But when we say they're bad, we're not talking about format. Usually content. Usually there is little to no content. We definely consider their heart when they provide us enough information to do so. I think part of the problem is the whole "1 page only" idea has slipped into ministry. As a layperson I'd have to say that I don't know that I can learn enough about a man who is going to lead our spiritual growth in only one page.

    I know that's off topic.

    Thanks for all the replies, just trying to understand the different situations and views that exist.
     
  11. dan53

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    Bob;

    I agree with you regarding the "hire / fire" mentality of some churches. What's a pastor to do when they are on the receiving end of these type of churches ? I do not go to a new place with the intent to move; but the reality is that I have experienced more of these "pastor is just an emploee" types then I care to admit. Any feed back on this ?
     
  12. SaggyWoman

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    The format of a resume doesn't make or break anyone. But a well rounded and well written one does.
     
  13. Dr. Bob

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    Think that such a church needs to be taught and guided before it calls another pastor! A good interim (have I mentioned I'm available?) might help the church.

    Then as a new pastor, develop a plan of action for the church. Teach them how to support and respect the office (not necessarilly you as the man).

    And love them. Love them. Love them. Do everything, from administrating to preaching, with showing love. It's hard for them to work up a "hate" for someone obviously in love with them.
     
  14. baptistteacher

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    I don't know how a "one page only" resume could be done for anyone who has been in ministry for any length of time. Especially if, as me, they have been in bi-vocational ministry a lot of the time. Mine is 3 pages. And I would send a short letter out with it.
     
  15. christine

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    Maybe the resumes are not very good simply because, as a preacher they feel in their heart that it would be bragging or boastful to take credit for what God did. Humility, minimizing their accomplishments, self consciousness.
    As a retired Navy person, I always had a hard time thinking that what I accomplished was enough to be mentioned, even though I knew I deserved good evaluations. I had a tough time "bragging" about it. P.S. Bragging is not a dig, for the civilians here, it's what we call your input of your accomplishments "brag sheet".
     
  16. Rev. Joshua

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    When our church decided to become dually-aligned, those of us on staff decided to fill out the UCC Profile to have on staff. Within the UCC, an entire (computerized) profile is sent to the church instead of a resume.

    It's a very thorough and - in my opinion - useful process. I would estimate that my completed profile (not counting the eight 2-page appraisals done by others familiar with my ministry) was around 20 pages. It includes an employment history, a statment on ministry, an in-depth self-appraisal, and all sorts of other biographical information.

    The Alliance of Baptists has a more simplified profile process that fills a similar role. Does anyone know if the ABC (USA) does something similar. I know that the Presbyterian Church (USA) does.

    Joshua
     
  17. NateT

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    After reading Joshua's post, I got to thinking, when I applied for seminary, I think I gave more information about myself than some of our resumes do. I didn't have much of any "official posistions" that I could write about, but still I had a 1 page testimony, 1 page call to ministry, (up to)1 page employment, 1/4 - 1/2 page education.
     
  18. j_barner2000

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    I have just had my first opportunity to inquire about a ministry position. Since this would be my first "professional" position, I was not sure what to include in the packet. I sent a photo of my family, resume, testamony, cover letter and some certificates from training classes I had attended. It has been 2 weeks since I sent this out and have not heard anything back. I am wondering if I should call the pastor who offered me the opportunity to apply. He has not acknowledged recieving the packet. what to do?
     
  19. NateT

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    2 weeks? I know for us, that wouldn't be that long. We just got 60 some resumes from NOBTS and SBTS, as a group we've gone through maybe 10, by next week, we'll have gone through 20, it may take a while to get through them all.

    That may be what you're encountering. However, if you are on familiar basis with the pastor you might think about calling him just to see.
     
  20. DallasAmBaptist

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    Rev. Joshua:
    Yes, ABC-USA has American Baptist Personnel Services, which collects and provides personnel profiles. I am a lay person and have not filled out a profile, but from what I've seen of the profiles, they are not as detailed as the UCC profiles you describe.

    And in the ABC-USA, the profiles aren't used instead of resumes, but more as on-file profiles that can be used by regional staff to match prospective candidates to churches and as a supplement to resumes. I don't think they can be accessed or used by a church without the assistance and guidance of regional or area staff.
     

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