Thursday, January 25, 2007

Sometimes the best positions aren't listed

I just got off the phone with a church where I am being added to the pool of candidates considered.  This particular church is a large, denominational church with a multiple-pastor staff in a major city, and they have at least three-- possibly four-- open positions for ordained ministry (in addition to the five ordained pastors already on staff).

NONE of those three or four positions are to be found on any list of available opportunities.

So how did I get word of them?  How can you find out about similar positions?

The answer is a familiar one to long-time readers: networking. 

I found out through one particular telephone call with a former seminary president.  I had never met this man before, and he was the president of a seminary other than the one I attended.  But a close friend of mine-- the man who discipled me in college-- is a life-long friend of the former seminary president, and my friend asked him to speak with me.

To make a long story short, the former seminary president told me: you should call "so-and-so" church.  And I did.

The point is this: in a lot of churches, the pastor(s) already have enough contacts in ministry to be choosy about how they recruit candidates.  Often, these are the churches that people want to work for.  And the way to get on their radar, if you don't happen to be from that church to begin with, is to use your network.

One of the larger PCA churches in St. Louis has hired three pastors in this manner-- since we've been in St. Louis!  They never solicit resumes or candidates through lists or publications, but prefer to use their existing network.

Networking is so essential in candidacy.  This is just one more way that it can return dividends for your time invested.

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