In my conversations with current church leaders through Slingshot Group, or future church leaders through Leadership Pathway, I have found there are basically six essential factors that all of us are looking for when we are considering what is next. These are elements that can help draw us to that next position in ministry.

Place, Boss, Team, Church, Challenge, and Salary 

1. The Next Place. There are zip codes that are desirable places to be. There are towns and cities where family lives, or perhaps where our roots once were.

2. The Next Boss. We’ve read the cliché: People join organizations, but they leave their boss. This is so true. We are looking for a good connection, and someone’s leadership that will help us to thrive in a new position.  

3. The Next Team. Have you ever sat down with a group of people for a meeting or a meal and just felt right at home? We leave these encounters thinking things like I’d hang with that group again – they seem to really have a great vibe together. Or perhaps there is a lot of talent and shared experience within a team that we desire to join.

4. The Next Church (or organization). Sometimes we are looking for a vision we can really get behind, a shared philosophy or deep passion.  

5. The Next Challenge. Leaders love to solve issues. Great leaders run toward a problem, if they feel they are uniquely gifted or qualified to address it.

6. The Next Salary. God knows our context. He knows our needs, and sometimes they change within our family, or season of life.

Here’s the Real Question: Will you ever be able to get the job you want, in the place you desire, working for the boss you love, on the all-star team, at a great church you really resonate with, tackling the perfect challenge, and all for the right compensation?

The majority of the time, I would say no. There’s no perfect church. There’s no perfect candidate, and there’s no perfect scenario in your future.

I caution candidates to never move for just one reason. Just the dollars, or just the location, or just that perfect person you believe you want to work alongside. I have worked with some in those very scenarios, and when that one reason goes away, they are set up for a disappointing, and usually short, stay.

On the other hand, I have seen candidates find two, three, or four of these six factors to align, and they begin to use language like I believe God is calling us to…

So, take a look at the six elements for a place that you may be going to next, and prioritize them. What is most important to you, and/or your family for this next season of life? Prayerfully consider these before getting onsite with a potential next employer. It may actually help you see more clearly through all of the factors that go in to making the decision of where you may be going next.