How not to get a job.

Because of my work with a network of churches, I often get requests from people looking for church work. I am often amazed at the poor grammar in many of these requests, and in resumes that I receive. I got this one today. I have removed the person’s name, the name of the church, and the name of the town. It is not my desire to embarrass this young man; but rather to make a point. If you are trying to impress someone to help you look for a job where communication is one of the most important skills, you may want to have someone look over your request before sending it.


Hey my name is _________ and I am the pastor son at ________ baptist church in ____________ NC and I am licence in the ministry and I am also have my associate degree in bibical studies and bachelor degree in Bible studies and I have been preaching at different churches for almost 3 years and I was was wondering are there any churches in this assocation looking for a supply pastor or intermin or full time pastor.

I have a few suggested improvements. Some of these  are grammatical, other are stylistic:

  1. Don’t start a correspondence with someone you don’t know with “Hey”.
  2. Pastor’s son (possessive).
  3. Baptist (capitalized).
  4. __________, NC. (add comma after city name and period after “NC“).
  5. I am licensed (drop “and”, begin new sentence, spell “license” correctly and put it in the past tense).
  6. to the Ministry (replace “in” with “to”).
  7. I also have (drop “and”, begin new sentence, drop “am”).
  8. Associate’s Degree (capitalize and add possessive).
  9. Biblical Studies (capitalize and correct spelling).
  10. Bachelor’s Degree (capitalize and add possessive).
  11. Bible Studies (capitalize “studies” for consistency’s sake; was this the actual degree program?).
  12. I have been (drop “and”, start a new sentence).
  13. and I was (drop extra “was”).
  14. wondering if there are any church (reword).
  15. association (spell correctly).
  16. supply pastor, interim pastor, or full-time pastor. (reword, add comma, spell interim correctly, hyphenate full-time).

This may sound harsh, but I wouldn’t recommend him to a church based on this email. It also makes me wonder where he got his two degrees!






As a church consultant, I find that some of the most effective tools in my box are good, strategic questions. Good questions are always clear and easy to present, but often difficult to answer. As a big fan of Will Mancini, I often use his five questions to discover where a congregation is. Here are those questions:

The mission question: What are we doing? Mancini says that the trouble with most pastors is that they lead from a general sense of mission, rather than a clearly focused sense of mission.

The value question: Why are we doing it? Our values are our motives that guide our actions reveal our strengths.

The strategy question: How are we doing it? Can you draw a “napkin sketch” that illustrates your “how”? Mancini says that we often confuse ministry means with ministry ends. When we are not clear, we tend to measure our means rather than our ends.

The measures question: When are we successful? He states that a lot of churches just count attendance and income. Circuses can count these – what makes your church different from a circus.

The vision question: Where is God taking us? This is unique to every church (hence, Mancini’s book “Church Unique”).

So next time your team is debating some proposed activity or new ministry, it may be helpful to fall back on these questions before making the decision.




Yesterday was the first cool day of September. Being a lover of summer, I’m not ready to see it go yet. But, seasons change. Each season has its good points and bad points. We experience other kinds of seasons in life. There are big seasonal changes such as family situations change, vocational changes and the aging process. But there are also smaller seasonal changes that I have learned to pay attention to.

In my line of work, there are very busy times and not so busy times. There are times when I am in front of groups of people so much that I get tired of hearing myself talk. And then there are will be several weeks where I am not in front of people.

What I have learned is to roll with the seasons. During the slower times – I slow down. I don’t try to force busyness on those periods of time. Instead, I catch up on reading, focus on those important-but-not-urgent tasks, and just let life happen. I came through one of those seasons last month. It was great. I knew it would be short lived, because with the coming of fall my calendar gets jammed up. I was able to “rest into” the busy season.

I also pulled back from a lot of social media stuff for a while and got outside – remember outside? So, I haven’t been blogging, and have posted only a few Twitter or Facebook posts.  Hopefully, now I can return to the discipline of blogging (I never blog enough, I know), and engaging in other media more. But it sure has been nice!