I spend most of my days in conversation with those who are thinking about a move in ministry. It’s either time to move on, time for a new challenge, or they find themselves in a season of seeking something different.
I wind up saying the same version of four things over and over:
1. Don’t make a 5 to 10-year decision based on a 5-month need.
2. You gotta finish well.
3. Stay connected to the connectors around you.
4. Don’t navigate this alone.
So let’s unpack the first comment:
1. “Don’t make a 5 to 10-year decision based on a five-month need.”
Through my work with The Slingshot Group, I’ve come to realize that it takes about 5 months to work a great process for candidates and churches alike. If you are 43 or 26, it doesn’t matter—you need to put a six-month plan together.
Your next move should NOT be a “two year and out” position. Go someplace where you can build a great ministry. This is going to take you longer to find than you think.
I don’t know why God won’t just ring your phone with the perfect ministry position. (I guess His thoughts actually are higher than mine). But, I have seen God over and over use a truthful and thorough process to match talented candidates to great ministries that are desperately seeking.
If you can take the following steps:
- Make a financial plan. How will you pay the bills for six months without a ministry (if it comes to that)?
- Treat your ministry search like a project. Have a plan, work the plan, and stay faithful.
- Fight discouragement. I’ll talk more about this in the 2nd point, but this will take longer than you want it to, so don’t give up!
God knows your address. This takes patience, as well as homework. The reality is there are thousands of churches looking. Finding a job is one thing, finding a mission fit is something altogether different.