Dear churches listing an available job position,
Realistically, most churches have paid staff, which means that at one time or another, they have job openings that must be filled. Ideally, we would want all positions to be filled by members of that current church family. I acknowledge that my desire to adhere to that is a bit idealistic, and who’s to say God isn’t in charge of bringing people to different churches, I get it. So, in that, churches have to get the word out about those job opening(s). What I want churches with these openings to know is that people, Christians and non-Christians, men and women, well-educated and not, read your job listings, and that much is communicated through what they include.
As many of you know, I have been keeping an eye out for a particular job for a couple years now. What that job is, I’m not quite sure. I’m hoping that I know when I see it. (Stay tuned, I’ll let you know.) But, what that means is that I have read LOTS of church job descriptions. And unfortunately, I am often very disappointed in what those express, both through what is written and what is unwritten.
- When you cite “1 Timothy 2” as a job qualification, it says something.
- When you list a part-time job with a tiny stipend but require a Master’s degree, it says something.
- When you require the submission of a photo, it says something.
- When your description includes something like “we are looking for a man who….he…he…he….”, it says something.
- When you list number goals in a job description, it says something.
- When you list a pastoral role that is only paid for 5-8 hours per week, it says something.
- When a quick glance at your church staff webpage shows only men, it says something.
- When you list “married” as a requirement, it says something.
Clearly, I’m making a judgment of what each of these phrases and requirements says, and that’s not fair of me. And, I believe that many churches may not recognize the statements these….um…statements are making, and might change them if they did. But many would likely stand by them, and that would be some places we differ in theology and ecclesiology. I felt it worthy of calling attention to, though, and appreciate your patience in reading.