Church leadership sometimes really hurts. Church leadership since 2020 has been nothing short of earth-shattering in the lives of many ministry leaders (and some are saying that the hardest year for many of us will be 2023). Some have chosen real estate or starting their own travel agency, but some of us still want to stay in the game. After all, God has called us. So, we’re saying yes to God. The problem, though, is saying yes to God doesn’t always turn into a church saying yes to us.
To be honest, it has been a hard thing watching potentially great candidates sidelined from a role because they weren’t in a healthy place as ministry leaders. Sitting in some interviews, my heart goes out to the person who has the calling, the gifting, and the experience but they’ve lost their passion and confidence. I hope that’s not how you’re feeling, but if you are, I get it. We’re all trying to hold on to the passion when it feels like the game has changed (and it HAS changed… for all of us).
This leaves many of us asking the question... How do I interview well when I’m still bleeding from my last ministry role?
I’d like to encourage AND challenge you in this moment. It is entirely possible that the hardest part of your ministry journey might be the very thing preparing you for your next ministry role. It’s just going to take a bit of work on your end. The truth is that you can’t change what happened, but you can change you in the process. You can’t fix your old church, but you also can’t bring your unresolved angst into your new one. You’ve got to process that pain through prayer, filter it through Scripture, and perhaps even seek some counsel along the way.
As ministry leaders, we carry a lot of baggage. Feelings of betrayal and abandonment, lack of recognition, unfulfilled promises, unspoken expectations… we can be a messy bunch. It’s almost as if God won’t let us lead hurting people without experiencing hurt ourselves. Jacob would walk with a limp after wrestling with God, but he also received God’s blessing in that same moment. After all the events of 2020 and beyond, I think most of us ministry leaders are now leading with a limp. But what if we saw it as a gift rather than a setback? What if God’s intention for you was not the deconstruction of your faith but the deconstruction of our egos? What if God’s intention for you is not to leave ministry, but to enter the next season of ministry with a more realistic perspective of leading with humility and passion? What if your pain didn’t have to derail you from your ministry but could help clarify your ministry?
I can’t change the fact that you’re cut and bleeding… but I can help you make sure that you didn’t bleed for no reason. After all, God promises us that we will reign with Christ IF we first suffer with him (Romans 8), and that our suffering can actually lead to the building of our character and the maturity of our faith (Romans 5, James 1). Paul explains to Timothy that he is not called to an easy assignment. Rather, he is to “fight the battle well” and remember that the consequence of surrendering the battle is a shipwrecked faith and ministry (1 Timothy 1:18-19).
I’ve been telling my church in recent months that the only way the Devil wins is if you quit before he does. God isn’t done with you. In fact, He might just be getting started. So, my goal right now is to help you slay the interview dragon—even if your last ministry role slayed you.
After all, when you win, we win! More than that, the Church and the people you end up leading will win. And, because we love you, here’s a free downloadable resource to help you slay your next interview. In it, you’ll find interview tips and advice to refine your interview skills.