Saturday, October 30, 2010

Joblessness Hits the Pulpit

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal looks at the problem of "Joblessness in the Pulpit".

Here's a vital take-away from Joe Light's article for those who are in the midst of transition (interestingly, from my own denomination, the PCA): "Right now, the Presbyterian Church in America, which includes about 1,700 churches, has about five pastors looking for work for each of its 54 job openings, about twice the level before the recession."

This statistic isn't presented as an anomaly, but as the norm. That means that, if you are in transition into ministry right now, the "competition" is as high as it has been for a long time. It also means that seminary students are particularly disadvantaged in at least one way: most churches would prefer to hire a pastor with experience over one who has little or none; likewise, most will ordinarily prefer a pastor who has been out of seminary and is already ordained than one who is a fresh graduate.

Another interesting note from the article is that "[n]early half of the 3,000 members of the National Association of Church Business Administration say they have reduced or frozen salaries and benefits." I certainly know guys for whom this is true; I'll be you do too, even if you don't realize it.

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