This is part 10 of a blog series called Finding a Church Job.
The economy has affected churches and para-church organizations just like every other sector. Any semblance of recovery is delayed as people generally stop charitable contributions first and resume them last.
Finding a church job that is a good fit is hard enough as is, introduce this economic climate and it can be nearly impossible. This is a personal one for me, here’s my story.
In the fall/winter of 2008 we knew our time at our first church was winding down. I was going on four years as a youth pastor of a great church that was in the process of coming out of some painful moments. Leaders, both paid and volunteers had left and leaders, both paid and volunteers had been asked to leave. Depending on when you asked we were a church of 250 and a church of 750.
We learned a lot, made incredible relationships, and started to understand what it meant to be a pastor; but it was really hard.
So when we felt our time ending as the church began to stabilize it was bittersweet.
In the spring we started praying and job hunting. Heidy got a job first that paid little but had benefits and housing so my search narrowed. I had some leads but nothing definite, but we moved anyway. Moving from a full-time job to nothing in the middle of 2009 was not a good idea, but we were naïve and confident in our call so we left.
Over the next 5 weeks or so we got settled in and I kept job searching. I interviewed at several different places but kept being drawn to one community. Only problem was they were offering me a part-time position.
I passed on full-time positions and did the part-time thing for a year, before coming on full-time. It was a tough more psychologically than financially, but I’m thankful we didn’t have any emergencies that year because things could have gotten tight. It worked because that was where I was supposed to be.
It was a shot to my pride. To go from salaried with benefits and an office to part-time two days a week in a shared cubicle was tough. I needed the humility of a cube and the humility that came with stepping into a church that celebrates authenticity and excellence.
Nearly three years in I’m salaried with benefits and in the process have grown immensely and I’m thankful that I took that step that was hard because without it I’m not sure how things would have worked out.
Don’t be afraid to take something that makes you uncomfortable if it means you fit where you should. It may involve some level of sacrifice, but then again shouldn’t it?
And yes, I’m still in a cubicle.