Spiritual preparation for an interview weekend
The most important preparation you can make— throughout the process, but especially at the point of getting ready for an interview visit/weekend— is spiritual preparation. Because of the nature of the interview process, there are two dimensions to this: ministry preparation, and personal/candidacy preparation.First, remember that you will be in-residence as a minister to the people you
Hacking the phone interview
Profhacker recently posted an excellent piece on "prof-hacking" the phone interview. It's filled with great tips for doing a better job with phone interviews; some of the highlights:Location, location, location: make sure the place you take the call is private and quiet.Timing is everything: be ready when the time is right.The incredible "invisible" candidate:Of course you aren’t really invisible,
Though I don't focus on it much here, working in the academic world can be a legitimate pastoral calling, too-- I know that several of my former professors ministered to me in profound ways.There was a great article recently on the ProfHacker blog on "hacking" an interview for an academic position. The highlights are:Get your facts straightKeep your answers short and foster conversationThink about
Bits and tidbits
April 22, 2008 11:50 AM | Transition, Ordination and Presbytery, Interviewing, Seminary Life, Ministry, Effective, Pastoral Transition, Candidacy
A few articles, posts, and other such have come to my attention recently that those in transition (or considering it) may find interesting. How a Presbyterian Minister Should Resign. Good thoughts here on the way that a resignation is approached-- not in a strictly businesslike manner, but with care and consideration for one's responsibilities as a Pastor and Presbyter. PCA Ministerial Glut. Back
Here's a good (brief) piece on choosing references... eventually I'll get back to the information packet and will offer some additional thoughts to this.I finished ordination last month, and my ordination service was 10 days ago (2/17). It was great!I sent out a handful of proposals for the transition book yesterday. No telling how they will respond, but I'm shooting for the big guys first: Baker Academic,
This weekend! (Right now, even.) Please pray...Technorati Tags: Candidacy
Candidacy questions, #3
Here is another list of questions from a questionnaire.Please give a brief testimony of your Christian experience.Regarding your personal devotional life, briefly describe your approach and practice.What are your hobbies and special interests?Is your wife persuaded of your call to pastoral ministry?How do you anticipate her being involved in your ministry?Are you quick to admit when you are wrong and
Candidacy questions, #2
Here is a list of questions from a questionnaire I was asked to complete.Describe your preferences for worship style; i.e., contemporary, traditional, blended, etc.What are the core values that define your vision for ministry?How do you handle conflict between people within the church?What are the greatest strengths in your ministry?What do you consider to be the primary areas for your own personal
When does the interview end?
I've already blogged about how the interview begins the moment the plane touches down. But when does it end?Rands, the Silicon Valley manager I've mentioned before, suggests that the interview really lasts for 90 days past your first day on the job. And I think he's right.Look folks can't evaluate you accurately by just your information packet-- and neither can they really assess your value during
Search committee questions
In a recent interview, I was asked 35 questions over the course of about 90 minutes. These are the questions:Tell us about yourself-- who is Ed Eubanks?How did you come to know Christ?What about our position description made you excited about considering our church?What are your spiritual gifts?There are two kinds of people-- visionaries and task-oriented. Where do you place yourself?What does church
Dressing up for phone interviews
The morning of a recent telephone interview with a candidate-church, I rose from bed, showered, shaved, and put on dress pants and a pressed, starched shirt. No, I didn't have any other appointments that day-- I was dressing for my phone interview.I know: they can't see me when we're on the phone. (And no, the interview was not a Skype video call.) But how you dress doesn't just affect the way oter
Answering Questions #3: women and ministry
This may seem like a subject to fit under the category of "hot topics" but in reality, this topic has matured beyond that point. While once a matter of debate similar to that of other theological controversy-- which is to say, largely theoretical and abstract for most-- the question of what role women have in the local congregation is now anything but abstract or theoretical. Indeed, one who cannot
Answering Questions #2: "hot topics"
Another question I anticipate getting, at least in some interviews, is regarding current "hot topic" issues. Every denomination has it's controversies and conflicts (if they aren't theological, as they often are in the PCA, they may be ecclesiological or even just matters of pragmatism). I've posted about how to understand the relative importance of these issues (see here and here), and early on
Answering questions, pt. 1
I have a telephone interview coming up, so I'm going to spend a few posts discussing how I would answer some of the questions I anticipate fielding. I'll also proffer a few thoughts on how others should approach answering them.Anticipated question #1:"Tell us about your greatest weakness."I've mentioned Manager Tools before, and I think they regularly offer good advice. In a recent "members only"
What do you wear on the interview weekend?
January 24, 2007 11:19 AM | Interviewing
When you're getting ready to visit a church for an interview weekend, what to wear may not be a high priority in your preparation. But you need to give it attention, if only in the days before you go.[A disclaimer: in this post I'm assuming a lot about culture. I realize that there are many cultures in which my comments below would not apply-- even within the American context. I'm assuming, therefore,
November 27, 2005 04:11 PM | Interviewing
Recently I was asked to respond to the following question in a paragraph:Understanding a Pastor has many responsibilities, what two areas are you most passionate about?This is one of the better questions I've seen on a pastoral search questionaire. It fairly accommodates the fact that a candidate-pastor may be passionate about a number of things, thereby avoiding all sorts of disclaiming and wordy
Digging up bones
I was recently asked to comment about a church that allegedly had some major difficulties more than 10 years ago. In this particular case, I didn't know anything about what I was asked to speak to-- nor did I want to. There are legitimate reasons why someone would want to know about past troubles in a church; someone considering membership, for example, may wish to know about the church they will
Christians are called to evangelize the lost-- that is, to present the Gospel to unbelievers in a way that is honest, loving, and compelling. Is there a methodology for the presentation of ideas in evangelism that we're missing if we apply it only to the Gospel? Said another way, what if a candidate approached the placement process as the evangelization of himself as a cause, not unlike he might
Early in my ministry experience, I also worked in retail; at first it was when I was volunteering for a church youth group and Young Life, then when I needed full-time employment but the church I served could only pay part-time. I worked briefly for a clothing store, then a toy store, then two different camera stores. I learned a lot of lessons in those jobs that have served me well in ministry.One
How Search Committees can gather information
I blogged already about information a Search Committee should gather to present to candidate-pastors. Is there other information a committee should gather for themselves? YES-- and here are a few ideas for getting it:Survey the congregation. It doesn't matter how well the Search Committee represents the needs of the congregation• ; there are issues, problems, personal grudges, and special
Churches have some obligations in the process, too
Early in my blogging endeavors, I discussed the need for a better balance in the candidacy process (see “Finding a Balance, part 1 and part 2). As I mentioned then, candidate-pastors must be extensively prepared for the process before they even begin communicating with candidate-churches: they will have assembled a resume (at a minimum), and should also have completed some other major documentation,
Search committees-- the stuff they're made of
May 23, 2005 10:15 AM | Interviewing
Here's a question I've been asking myself lately: what is the best “make-up” of a Search Committee?A church I am familiar with is searching for a new pastoral staff member, and they have formed a Search Committee that I have real questions about; mainly, I am concerned that the members of this committee do not adequately represent the people to whom the new pastoral staff member would minister.
History, round three
This is starting to get long-winded, and I don't want that. From here on, I'll recap my candidating history in considerably briefer form.After the trip to Florida, my next trip was a whirlwind out to Texas. I went by myself, because they indicated this was just an exploring visit, not so much an advanced interview (they would bring me back for that, if need be). I left my house very early (around
History part two...
When we left off, I had gotten the position at the small two-Elder church; as I mentioned, I worked there for four years. In my third year there, shortly after Marcie and I were married, I had a strange sense of restlessness. I could never explain it much beyond that, but I had this feeling that God was stirring my heart up to prepare me for a change-- and I was confident that this change would take
A little history
It seems it might be helpful to recount my candidating history. Although I am only set to finish seminary this year, I have a surprising amount of experience with candidacy, and even placement; perhaps this is why other students seem to appreciate my thoughts and advice. At any rate, I'll give my history in increments, because it would be a long post indeed if it were all in one. While I was in
A little more on issues...
November 26, 2004 01:51 PM | Ordination and Presbytery, Interviewing, Seminary Life, Church Research
Working through this recent question about "hot topic" theological issues has made me aware of the level of discernment required for candidacy, and I must say I am surprised at this. Since my denomination-- the Presbyterian Church in America-- holds to a fairly high confessional standard, I never would have guessed that theological discernment would be a major concern in the candidacy process. I
On discernment, caution, and "issues"
November 21, 2004 11:49 PM | Ordination and Presbytery, Interviewing, Seminary Life, Church Research
We received some information from a church the other day that was striking. To begin with, Marcie and I were both quite surprised at the fundamentally high quality of the material; this was, by far, the most articulate and helpful information I have ever seen from a candidate-church. They provided a good introduction to the church, some basic demographics, and details about what the committee views
10 questions I would ask a search committee...
...or maybe sets of questions:(Regarding church description) Describe the church to us; if you were describing the church to an out of town visitor, what would be the key elements that you would include in your description? What are the various ministries of the church, and how would you characterize them? Is the church currently in a growth trend, and if so how is that growth affecting what goes
Ministering through the process
It strikes me that the candidacy process must be very difficult for a church. Oddly enough, I have never been a part of a church that was completely without a pastor. I have been in churches during the transition of an associate pastor, youth minister, or the like, but even then the process has turned around quickly enough that a replacement was found before there was a vacancy. Because of this,
Bow Ties and Boxer Shorts-- In Search of a Metaphor...
I have been trading metaphors for the candidacy process with some friends of mine recently. One friend suggested that the candidacy process is like a beauty pageant-- the candidate-pastor is carefully rehearsed, dressed in their best, and trying to win the contest of placement. Another friend said that his view of candidacy has always been stripping down to his boxer shorts and showing everything
Finding a balance, part 2
I mentioned before that I think there is a clear need for (and absence of) balance in the initial communication between candidate-pastor and candidate-church. I think that this problem continues through much of the rest of the process, and it poses significant problems for both church and pastor. Considering what would bring balance might, at best, present churches with the impetus for change, and
Finding a balance, part 1
As I see it, the process favors churches heavily. Now, I'm all for meeting the needs and preferences of churches through the process-- anything else would be a sure recipe for failure and burnout, and would leave Christ's bride uncared-for. We need to make sure that churches have the pastor they need: they man who will lead them toward deeper faith and maturity in Christ, who can recognize unhealthy