Encouragement For Pastoral Candidates

Dear Church Candidate,

You have found yourself in a time where God has spoken to you, and it is a new season of ministry or a circumstance has happened beyond your control and you find yourself without a place to minister and income for your family.  You may be wondering when, where, and WHY IS IT TAKING SO LONG!?!? The search for a new position in the church world can be long and frustrating but also very rewarding process.  I wanted to write you a letter to encourage you in your search. 



When it seems like nothing is happening and the email box is full of nothing, other than hard to read rejection letters, that desperation can set in.  We've have seen applicants (I have been guilty of this myself) starting to bend their views, beliefs and style.  Where at the start of the search process it was a big NO, now it is… well… maybe… it could work. The problem is that if you compromise, after the “honeymoon” period of the new job, you would be miserable.  Then you will be right back where you are now, maybe even more hurt and disillusioned.  Stay true to who you are, and God will honor that.



God has promised to provide for you.  Stay in your Word and in prayer to fight off the voices that seem to scream “You have been forgotten” or “You are finished in the ministry.”   If God has called you, He has placed a very important mark on your life.   I recommend keeping a journal and writing down the promises of God over your life.  When it is tough, go back to those promises and read over them encouraging yourself in them. It is often in the valley that His voice can be heard the clearest. Let Him sooth your fears and keep believing.



I remember when I first answered the calling to ministry, I was so overwhelmed with dreams and visions. Over the 20+ years of ministry my path to those dreams has changed, but my dream is still the same.  During this time of waiting and frustration the temptation will be to bend the dreams or think the dreams are now impossible.  I encourage you don’t give into that!!  If a position comes up that does not line up with a path to get to your God given dream, don’t let frustration pull you into applying for that position. It will come… stay true to your dreams!



In ministry we must find a crazy balance between family and the people we serve.  Frustrating as it might be, you have a moment of time during this process of searching that you can throw the balance beam out the window and over indulge on your family.  The temptation during this time is to spend all your time searching and putting out resumes.  The average search once a resume is submitted is about 4-6 months and 10,000 steps (little dramatic, but you get the point.)  My recommendation is search once a day on the web sites that you frequent and see if anything new is posted.  If there is, pray and send off your resume.  There is nothing more you can do.  If you don’t check it again that day…a position is not going to slip by.  Go spend time with your family.  When you move into the next position and the balance beam comes back, you’re going to wish you did.


A search for the new position can be frustrating.  My biggest piece of advice is:  DON’T GIVE UP! I promise God will bring you to where He wants you.  Now go, stop reading this and spend some time with your family & friends.



Kevin has over 20 years experience in pastoral ministry. He has a bachelor's degree from Southwestern A/G University in Dallas and a Masters Degree with North Carolina College of Theology. His passion is helping pastors and local churches succeed and prosper. With his wife Angela by his side, he is raising five daughters along with pastoring a rural church in Arkansas.