Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Finding a job in Youth Ministry

Little over a year ago, I started the process of searching for a new position in Youth Ministry.  My wife and I felt called to move, so we started to look.  During the beginning process we were getting calls from churches, when we had not even posted a resume or let anyone know that we were looking.  It was a very exciting yet scary time on where to look.   With the help of a good friend in ministry Lars Rood, I updated my resume and put it on YS Job Bank.   I searched the YS job bank daily as well as several other sites.  But the YS job bank was where I had the most success while looking.

We traveled as far west as Hoover, AL, south to Tampa and Orlando, and throughout the Carolinas and Georgia.  It was a long process.

As I was finishing my Masters of Arts in Christian Education with an emphasis in Youth Ministry through Pfeiffer University and Wesley Theological Seminary, I was daily searching for a change.   I was mostly trying to stay in my roots in the United Methodist Church.  I saw bad communications, bad search committees, horrible follow-up, great people, frustrations, and roadblocks.  These were things that I had never experienced before while searching for previous youth ministry positions.  It amazed me how churches would publish one thing in their online ad and then be a total different church when I looked them up online or went to visit the church.  I'm glad I did my homework on the churches or I might be looking for another position right now if I would have taken one of them.

One major thing that helped was having a network of friends in Youth Ministry.  Lars Rood was beyond a friend with his help and support during my searching.  I'm not sure where I would have landed if it weren't for his guidance and suggestions.  I was in unchartered territory while looking.  My previous searches for positions in the past were very short, but with the economy and state of some churches, the process was very long with many dead ends.   One of the biggest dead ends was with my education and experience.  Many churches want someone with a Masters Degree in Youth Ministry, certified in Youth Ministry through the United Methodist Church, and with over 10 years of experience.  But the problem was that they did not have the pay or support church budget for youth ministry.   The one thing that Lars kept telling me was not to sacrifice the well-being of my family for the hard work I had put in for my education and experience.   Then on the other end of the spectrum, there were some churches that could, but felt that I had not been in large enough churches to be a part of their staff.  So for quite some time in the month of June I felt that I was stuck in between the two types of churches on an island.

We learned many things during our six month search.  
During the next couple days, I'm going to dive into several of these topics.

No comments:

Post a Comment