Evaluating an Employment Offer from a Church

Today I want to talk to you about evaluating a pastoral job offer or a letter of offer to be a pastor of some kind in a church. I’ve been asked about this a lot lately. Many of my ministry friends are in transition and have asked me about evaluating their offers, and in some cases sent me the offer for advice on addressing the things in the offer. Let me just share a few thoughts along those lines. 

First, the time to evaluate the offer, crunch the numbers and figure out is before you accept the offer. Before. Do not ever, ever, ever engage in a situation where some details of the offer are to be determined once you’re in place. In fact, one of my friends had an offer and some of the benefits were described that they were to be decided or to be negotiated once the person is in their position. Not a chance. You negotiate that before you accept. You need to know exactly what the numbers are so there’s no surprises because generally the surprises end up being a minus sign in your wallet, not a plus sign. So everything absolutely needs to be clear. 

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Time-Saving Tech Upgrade

I recently did something that cost me less than $150 and probably saves me 30 to 60 minutes a week. It’s something I’d been thinking about for a long time and finally got around to it. Like a lot of things that I put off doing, I asked myself, why didn’t you do this sooner? 

Basically what I did was replace the hard drive in my computer with a solid state drive. I’ve got a Dell Latitude computer that’s a few years old now, but it’s a workhorse. It does everything I need it to do, including edit videos and things like that, but it’s starting to get a little bit slow. 

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What is Your Mars Colony?

A friend on a mastermind call last week asked me an interesting question. He asked, “What is your Mars colony?” 

He asked that question after I had shared some of my projects, plans and multiple ministry roles I’m involved in. He shared an anecdote from the life of Elon Musk and how he makes decisions. When Elon Musk is faced with an opportunity or a fork in the road, his locus for decision making really is asking himself if this will help advance the ultimate goal of creating a self-sustaining city on Mars. 

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When the Lead Pastor is Broken

In my previous post I talked to you about a crazy dysfunctional staffing situation from the perspective of being a lead pastor. Well, here’s the flip side. What if you’re that staff person? What if you’re a staff person and your lead pastor is the crazy, messed up, dysfunctional one? What if the lead pastor is broken? What if the lead pastor is unethical or abusive in some way? 

This is actually unfortunately rather common. In fact, in transitional ministry that I’m engaged in and familiar with and hearing from other transitional pastors, in many cases, the situations we step into and the reason the church is in transition is because the lead pastor was out of line. 

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Dysfunctional Church Staff Situation

I just got off the phone with a young pastor friend, a mentee, who finds himself in a rather crazy situation. He’s dealing with a staff person who was present in the church before he became the lead pastor there. This administrative staff person has no real job description. They kind of wrote it themselves and it is ever evolving as desired. They are taking free rein and a lot of latitude with the finances, the facilities of the church, their job and even the job of a friend who does some work at the church. 

It’s just a crazy situation. In the end, because of either their administrative role or because they were there first, they believe they have authority over the new lead pastor, at least in some areas. This person thinks the new pastor actually has to ask them for permission to do things. 

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