When God is moving your family to a new ministry, it is important to get your name out to other churches the right way. If you do not know where to start then these helps should help you start in the right direction.
Self-Promotion vs. Humility
Many people find it difficult to put themselves out there and apply for ministry positions because it seems like self-promotion, pride, and vanity. We know that ministry jobs are not like secular careers where self-promotion to obtain a position to advance your career is the norm. Actually, it is quite opposite because ministry is about servanthood and obeying a calling. If you keep a right heart about why you are seeking the next place of service then you can rest knowing God will lead you.
How do we forsake a self-promoting nature? Let’s look at some verses about humility that helps us keep a godly perspective:
- “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” James 4:10
- “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” I Peter 5:6,7
- “Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find?” Proverbs 20:6
When and if you venture out to let others know you are available it starts with the thoughts of your heart. You have to check yourself before you go about it for it to be right.
- Am I humbly willing to do any position God calls me to or am I proudly trying to obtain a specific position using my own talents and strengths?
- Have I humbled myself under God or my authority first before seeking where He would have me to go?
- Has this decision to contact others been brought to the Lord in prayer before I have taken any other steps?
- Am I allowing the Lord to exalt me or am I competing against someone else to show how good I am to gain a specific position?
- Am I bragging or lying about qualities I do or do not have to secure this position?
If you believe your heart is right before God then I encourage you to go on with the next steps of using your contacts to be able to communicate your availability.
Helpful Contacts List
- Have your pastor contact other pastors telling them about you and your desires. They can do this through a formal letter, e-mail, or phone.
- Make contact with people who you know in ministry. Previous pastors, Bible college teachers, friends in ministry, etc.
- Attend preacher’s meetings and other places where you will meet other pastors and/or ministry-minded people.
- Look for online connections to ministry opportunities. There may be websites or listings of ministry openings available.
- Make phone calls about possible openings.
Recognize that through the process of contacting people even if a situation does not work out for you to go and serve with a pastor and/or church that the relationship may have been brought together for a future purpose. God uses people to be able to perform His tasks and your contacts may prove to be a benefit to His work down the road or to you personally. You never know how God may use any contact in your life for the future!
Good Etiquette Tips
- Verify with the church or ministry that there is an available opening. “I’m calling because I understand you are looking for ____(position)____. Is that true?” Clarify that they are wanting someone instead of assuming that there is an open position because the position may not be available yet or may have been filled.
- Speak to the person in charge of filling the position if possible. Don’t assume that the first person who answers the phone will be the one to speak to.
- Let them tell you what they are looking for and/or ask the questions first. While you may have a list of questions, wait until you are asked “Do you have any questions?”
- Thank the person (pastor, pulpit committee chairman, etc.) for their time because filling a position is a time-consuming process.
- Send in resumes to pastors or ministries that have made those requests.
- Allow the pastor and/or church be the first to contact you in return. If you have not heard anything in a month, it may be appropriate to ask and see if the position is still available by phone or through e-mail.
Pray and Wait
When you have done the work of getting your name out to people and/or churches then the most pivotal thing you can do next is pray and seek the Lord’s face about His will about your future ministry.
Psalm 25:4,5 is a good scripture to pray: “Shew me thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.”
Finally, all that can be left to do is wait on the Lord. The process may take longer than you expect or it may move faster than you ever realized it would. Remember, His timing is always perfect and your greatest asset in the Lord moving you to another ministry is the Lord Himself!
Psalm 27:14, “Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.”
We heard a story from a pastor who was wanting to move ministries to live in a specific town between he and his wife’s aging parents. He endeavored to pray for a pastorate in this town without revealing to anyone beside his wife the place on his heart. After some time a phone call came to him from a man saying, “I know you don’t know who I am, but I would like you to consider pastoring _________ Baptist Church.” The Lord lead his family through the private prayers of his heart to do just that and he has served there for many years seeing the blessings of the Lord. This story proves that even if you choose not to do anything besides pray that the Lord can still lead you. The important thing is not to give up praying and waiting!
I hope and pray if you are the one looking for a new ministry position that you will humble yourself in the sight of the Almighty and trust that through your contacts and your prayers God will lead you into the paths of ministry He has for you next. He loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life!!