Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Write my resume

Okay, not really. I received an e-mail from a church to which my PIF was referred. They sent a list of supplemental questions for me to respond to. One of them was, "Since you've spent the last six and a half years at a micro church, just what the heck makes you think you've got the chops to take on a head-of-staff position at a big healthy (says them) church like ours??" Well, they said it more diplomatically than that, but that's what they meant. (I'm getting good at translating PNCese). Help me out sisters et al: I need some snappy comebacks to put me in the proper mood to compose a credible response.


Songbird said...

I wish I could be more help. This morning an older female colleague who served a small church for a long time said, when I asked her to write a reference, "Let me know what sort of things you want me to write, how you want it slanted, because you have to work hard to convince committees that you have anything to offer after serving a small church." Jebus H. Christ! What is wrong with this world? She did eventually get a job that suits her, so we ought not give up hope, but it hurts to know that the search process is sometimes more corporate head-hunting than movement of the Holy Spirit.
But you are gifted and experienced, it's obvious, and that will shine through to the right church. How about something like this:
All parish leadership requires drawing forth the gifts and talents of church members, equipping them for their own ministry in the church and the world. The difference between doing ministry in a micro church and your setting lies in the application of the skills, not in the skills themselves.

SpookyRach said...

When confronted with such snobbery, I think you might as well throw in some quotes from the Godfather. Its not as if it could make things any worse.

"Tattaglia's a pimp. He never coulda outfought Santino. But I didn't know until this day, that it was Barzini all along."
"I don't like violence, Tom. I'm a businessman. Blood is a big expense."

Or maybe not.

cheesehead said...

Golly, I came back here hoping that somebody had imparted the wsdom of the ages on you. As only in my first call for 17 months, I'm still getting over my own PNC experience, so I have no wisdom to offer.

But I kinda like Rach's idea! (smile)

Songbird said...

What was mine? Chopped liver? ;-)

Quotidian Grace said...

I was the chair of our last PNC (seeking our first associate pastor). So here, for what it's worth, is my advice.

As solo pastor of a small church you have experience in every facet of ministry: pastoral care, worship design, office and financial administration,working with the session and church volunteers, training these people and ultimately leading them through the difficult and painful decision to close their church. This is better preparation to lead a larger church than 6 years spent in a specialized ministry where your experience would be limited to one facet of ministry.

will smama said...

I guess I am kind of stunned. What DOESN'T prepare you for leading a larger church when you have effectively led a small church?

It is all the same issues without being able to dilute the intensity with a ton of people and programs.

Anyway, here is my sarcastic, snappy (potentially offensive) response: Although I have been involved with what may stereotypically be considered a small church, once I whip my steeple out, I think you will realize that it is far bigger than yours.

Purechristianithink said...

I probably framed my post with too snarky an attitude. After all, if they were completely arrogant and snobby and unaware that small church skills were transferable they would have tossed my PIF in the circular file without even bothering to send me supplemental questions. I've gotten this question more than once, though. That's probably why I'm feeling prickly.

Lorna said...

you are right to feel prickly

the fact is that pastoring a small church is extremely challenging - and much of what you have learnt and experienced 'hands on' can be applied to a larger church

If your potential employees employ a large staff however you need to emphasise your ability to team work - again it comes naturally in a small church because you have to motivate others to find their gifts and use them :) - and you need to know what of your many gifts and talents God really wants you to use right now.

here's hoping that the committee are spirit-led and that God guides you into your next pastoring post. IN the mean time enjoy those weekends off- I think they'll be over all too soon !!!

Anonymous said...

You could mention things like knowing the name of each sheep in the flock is as important to management as knowing how many head of cattle you are running.
Then there is that whole bit about the original group being under 20 members and none too healthy, but it grew.
Or mention that the meek are supposed to inherit the earth, and so it is time for them to hand over some earth.

jean said...

I think quotidian grace is on the right track.

LutheranChik said...

Yeah...what they said.;-)

I'm a parishoner in a small church...and to use the Fred-and-Ginger metaphor, our pastor does what pastors in big churches do, but backwards and in heels...so to speak. (Not sure he'd be liking that analogy...)And without a retinue of assistant pastors, interns and paid staff, nor with the revenue stream of a large congregation.

LutheranChik said...

BTW, you just reminded me of how much I hate the interviewing process.:-/ (I am feeling "happy feet" coming on at my current job, and suspect I will be test-marketing my next-edition resume in the months to come.)

cats said...

well, i went from a part-time small church call to a full-time larger church call. what i told them was that i now knew how to do everything from fix the toilet to write the bulletin to visit the sick in half the time.

now, imagine what i can do with a staff...