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Take the Compensation Survey

Help us help you!

We are once again partnering with fellow youth worker Dan Navarra on his Youth Worker Compensation Survey.

Over the past three years this survey, and the reports that come out of it, have helped countless youth workers like yourself get compensated more fairly. Want to get a raise? You need data. Want to make sure you’re hired at the right rate of pay? You need data. 

That’s why we need you to participate! The more youth workers who take the survey the more accurate it’ll be. Help us advocate for you.

The survey takes a few minutes but is well worth it. We’ll even send you the completed report when it’s ready in December.

Who Should Take the Survey? 
If you are a part-time or full-time youth worker with youth ministry as part of your paid work duties. As much as we love interns and other support staff roles, this survey is for the paid youth worker. 

TAKE THE SURVEY

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Finding a job: Writing your interview questions

Job-Interview-Prep-Part-2-Main-Interview-Thumbnail2-1024x576“Do you have any questions for us?”    “Ummmm, not as this time……”

#FAIL

One thing you need to remember is that during the interview process you are interviewing the church as much as they are interviewing you.  It’s just reality that you need to ask them a ton of questions. That’s generally why you need multiple interviews with many different people.  I suggest you figure out what questions you can ask the pastor, students, parents, elders, deacons, board members, assistants, secretaries, random people you meet.  All of them are potential major sources of information that will help you as you job hunt.  Don’t hesitate to ask questions. They expect you to and honestly will like you more if you show that you are all about figuring out what they are.

 

So here’s what we will talk about:

1. How to start a search process and looking for jobs? 

2. Think about your fit

3. Start writing your interview questions (you will be interviewing them)

4. Prep Work (be the most informed candidate they have)

5. Resumes, video introductions, cover letters and applications

6. Interviews: Presenting yourself well

7. Interviews: How to get a second one

8. Face to face to face to face. What to do when they bring you in for a weekend?

9. Negotiating 101

10. Negotiating 201

11. Seeking Discernment: Praying, asking friends, checking with family.

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Finding a job: Think about your fit

9733e4abfe2f6155b7c4882a4069faf4One thing I don’t feel people do enough is to think about the fit they are looking for.  I fully realize that in this job market often times the goal is to just find a job but you really do need to look for something that is best suited for who you are. I can’t tell you the number of times I received resumes from people who it just didn’t make sense that they were applying for that job.

Here’s a couple of things to think about. 

1. Theology– Ok people I have to be honest with you. This matters. I can’t tell you how many times I get resumes from people who are serving in churches that are so theologically different than ones I work at.   I’ll be honest and say I’ve been careless in this area too and have applied for jobs I had no business thinking about.  You might say theology doesn’t matter as much. That may be true if you are at a non denominational or Bible church where they are similar but old mainline denominations have pretty big differences.  My advice is to figure out what you believe. Any church you interview at is going to ask you tough questions about this anyways. Good to figure it out now.

2. Size of church- Some of us are meant to work at big churches.  Big isn’t better. It’s just bigger.  I’ll be honest and say that there are a lot of times I’m envious of my friends who are at smaller churches.  There are a lot of reasons for this but bottom line is they are just different.  You need to figure out what type of church you are comfortable in and don’t interview at the wrong kind of church.   As an example I’ll say I am mostly comfortable at larger churches with multi-staffed youth ministry. My sweet spot is working on a team and delegating. It’s what I’ve always known.  If I went to a church where I was the solo youth pastor (and I’ve had a few chances to do that) I wouldn’t probably flounder.

3. Your background/history- I’m in the process right now of filling a position. One of the people who has applied is someone who was in my youth group several years back.  He has a leg up on other people applying for the job because his youth ministry background is similar to the style of ministry we run at my current church.   As you look for jobs it is often helpful for you to think about the parts of youth ministry that have been most meaningful for you. If you love overseas missions trips make sure to go to a church that is about missions. If you are passionate about being outdoors and in the wilderness an inner city church with no mountains nearby is probably not for you.

4. The future- All I can say here is you need to think about your future and what you want for your life.  Simple things such as living near family, raising kids in a particular area (assuming you have kids), doing things you love in places you love, going to school, committing for 20 years etc.  You may not fully know what you want to do with your life but thinking through what is valuable to you and important is a step you want to take as you are looking for jobs.

5. Finances– Yes money matters. You may be single and able to live off of what the church pays but what happens if you get married and have kids.  As you are looking for a job it’s probably helpful to pay attention to who the church currently employees. Are they a young church with mostly single people on staff? Do they have a lot of married folks with young kids.  Do your research and figure out who they are.  Even beyond kids too it’s going to matter. What if you want to go to school. Can the churches you are looking at able to pay you enough to afford it?

 

So here’s what we will talk about:

1. How to start a search process and looking for jobs? 

2. Think about your fit

3. Start writing your interview questions (you will be interviewing them)

4. Prep Work (be the most informed candidate they have)

5. Resumes, video introductions, cover letters and applications

6. Interviews: Presenting yourself well

7. Interviews: How to get a second one

8. Face to face to face to face. What to do when they bring you in for a weekend?

9. Negotiating 101

10. Negotiating 201

11. Seeking Discernment: Praying, asking friends, checking with family.

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Finding a job: How to start the search process

625px-Get-a-Job-IntroThis part of the process always seems to get many of us stuck.  We either get completely overwhelmed wondering where to start or we often get a myopic focus that is so narrow we can’t find any traction.

Fortunately there are some easy steps to getting unstuck and moving your search process ahead.

1. Network–  The best thing you can do when starting to look for a job is to let people know. I realize this is slightly problematic if you haven’t told your current employer but you’ve got to figure out a way around that because your best bet in finding a job is to enlist people to help you.  It’s just reality that if you can get more people to put out the word and help you look you will find more opportunities.  As an example I was in an interview process recently where we were interviewing a candidate that several people I know had told me was amazing. That paid off huge for this candidate as we already had a good feeling about him before the interview even started.  In a similar vein I can’t tell you how important getting to know people in the youth ministry world is and networking with other youth workers.   I realize not everyone is like me but it is such an important thing to be known and to know people because that is often what opens doors and opportunities.

2. Beginning to Look: : There are a lot of different places to look for a job.  The general youth ministry ones are the Youth Specialties job bank, the Youth Cartel Job Board, and Church Staffing. Don’t limit yourself to those though. A sneaky way of finding local openings would be to look at local Christian College job boards. You don’t have to be a student or alumni to browse their websites. You can also do some direct searching of church websites and if you are really forward go ahead and call churches directly and ask whoever answers the phone if they know of any jobs opening up.  If you are in a denomination you can check with them to see if they have a job board. Another place you could look would be to see if you could find any local youth ministry networks and see what people know. More often than not someone might tell another youth worker they are connected to that they have an opening “or that they will be the opening” before they will tell others.

3. Expanding/Narrowing your search:  I hire a lot of people and I can’t tell you how many resumes I receive sometimes that just don’t make sense. It’s someone who currently works as a church that is theologically opposite of  mine or they have absolutely no experience and are applying for an executive ministry level position.  Know what you qualify for and what you believe and narrow your search down to that.  One thing that I suggest is that you may want to consider finding someone who can coach you through the process.  I’ve done this several times and sometimes it’s my tough questions about what they are looking for and what they think they are qualified for that helps them see where they should apply.  I think it is worth saying that we sometimes need to expand our search when there just doesn’t seem to be any opportunities. That can be tough if you are locked into specific geographic or denominational categories.

4. Pray: Although I’ve listed this 4th this is not a stack ranked blog.  Pray through out the whole process.  I’m going to just believe that you also believe that God opens doors and makes things clear.  A great place to start is to ask God to do just that.  I’ve been in some weird job hunts before where either nothing was showing up or too much was being offered and I needed God to make things clear.  Praying and being in his will at the beginning of this process will help through the whole thing.

 

So here’s what we will talk about:

1. How to start a search process?

2. Where to look for jobs?

3. Think about your fit

4. Start writing your interview questions (you will be interviewing them)

5. Prep Work (be the most informed candidate they have)

6. Resumes, video introductions, cover letters and applications

7. Interviews: Presenting yourself well

8. Interviews: How to get a second one

9. Face to face to face to face. What to do when they bring you in for a weekend?

10. Negotiating 101

11. Negotiating 201

12. Seeking Discernment: Praying, asking friends, checking with family.

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Finding and negotiating for a new youth ministry job

job_interview_funnyIt feels about time for me to write another blog series about jobs.  I have done this a few times over the past bunch of years.  The reason this keeps coming up is I continually find myself in conversations with youth workers who are looking for new jobs and feel like they don’t have a clue how this works.  I’ve joked for a while now that I should be an agent for youth pastors to help them negotiate as they are accepting new jobs.  It’s a knack I have to know how to best make sure that you are asking all the right questions when you are interviewing and before you sign on the dotted line.

I guess since I won’t ever be an agent I should just write about my experiences and see how I can help this way..

I’m not the expert in all of this but I have done it a few times and would love to see what I’ve learned the right and the hard ways help you.  I plan on making myself available to interact via comments or over at the YSNetwork for you to ask questions and get feedback.

 

So here’s what we will talk about:

1. How to start a search process?

2. Where to look for jobs?

3. Think about your fit

4. Start writing your interview questions (you will be interviewing them)

5. Prep Work (be the most informed candidate they have)

6. Resumes, video introductions, cover letters and applications

7. Interviews: Presenting yourself well

8. Interviews: How to get a second one

9. Face to face to face to face. What to do when they bring you in for a weekend?

10. Negotiating 101

11. Negotiating 201

12. Seeking Discernment: Praying, asking friends, checking with family.