Tag Archives: interviews

I Was Interviewed – Or Was I?

Good Friday, everyone! I hope today will be the start of a great weekend for you.

Phoned In

I just wanted to share some thoughts with you guys, whoever might be interested, regarding some recent interviews I’ve had.

Let me be clear, I am perfectly happy to stay right where I am as pastor of South Soddy Baptist Church. Now, don’t get me wrong, it would be great if this little church could grow, even by a few people. But I’m happy to stay here and work my tail off as long as this is where God wants me.

That being said, recently several churches have contacted me and asked if I’d be willing to be considered for the position of pastor. Again, I’m NOT looking to leave where I am, but I felt it would be wise to at least have a conversation with these different churches just to make sure I wasn’t missing God’s direction.

Because the churches that have contacted me have been out of town, each one has elected to do conference-style phone interviews, their pulpit search committees on one end of the line, me on the other.

However, what concerns me…which is what this post is going to be about…are the questions these pulpit committees are asking – or NOT asking.

Weak Questions

What I have been experiencing from these pulpit search committees are questions that are rather weak, vague, and easy to manipulate. By “manipulate” I mean that they are questions that by their very nature tell me what the answer should be.

For example, before I participated in any of these interviews I did my research on who these people were. That’s only smart. So, if I were to have been asked questions about worship style, what version of the Bible I use, or even denominational polity, all I would need to know is apparent on their websites and social media accounts. If I had wanted to, I could answer their questions just like they were expecting.

But beyond that, the typically weak and vague questions are ones that inquire about my family, how well I work with committees, how long my average sermon is, and am I willing to visit people in the hospital.

Should you be one of the committee members of one of the churches that have interviewed me, whether on the phone or in person, please understand that I’m not mocking or deriding you – I’m simply concerned.

Tougher Questions, Please!

Whether it’s me being interviewed or someone else, my advice to these churches – maybe even yours – is to ask tougher questions that demand answers grounded in solid theology and backed with Scripture.

In the last several interviews I’ve never – not once – been asked questions like the following:

  • Describe the time surrounding and leading up to, including the actual moment of your conversion.
  • What are your views on the divinity of Jesus Christ and the doctrine of the Trinity?
  • What is your belief regarding the sufficiency of Scripture?
  • How do you think you meet the requirements of a “bishop” as found in Paul’s letters to Timothy and Titus?
  • What do you think the Bible says about marriage?
  • Do you regularly view pornography, and if not, how do you avoid it?
  • Do you have a time you regularly spend with the Lord outside of sermon prep?
  • How is your marriage?
  • What books are you reading right now?
  • Do you believe in a literal Adam and Eve, heaven, and hell?
  • Why do you even want to be a pastor in the first place?

Just to be clear, I pastor Baptist churches, and Baptist churches select their pastors differently than other denominations. Baptist churches are autonomous, therefore (except in rare exceptions), we do not have a standard prerequisite for how pulpit search committees select and vet their candidates.

However, all I’m asking is that at the very least … should I be contacted again … could you make the questions a little more challenging, please? I really do need the workout.

I promise it’ll be fun 😉

Thank You! 

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Filed under baptist, Church, ministry, Preaching

“If You Could Pick Your Dream Career…”

In my last post, I gave you an update regarding my shoulder surgery and a head’s up about a job interview. Let me tell you a little about the interview.

The Interview

First of all, I am not at liberty to tell you where I had a job interview, at least I’d rather not at this point. I feel it’s best to keep a possible future employer’s name out of the conversation and off the internet; I’m not sure how they’d appreciate it, and I’d hate to jeopardize anything.

Let me just say that I met with several people during my interview, each one representing a different department in the company, including a person from their HR department. The atmosphere was intended to be low-pressure and rather casual, but it did start off a little stressful, at least for me. It was the first job interview I’d been on in a long time and the first time with an employer of this size, so it took a few moments to find my stride.

But after a few moments, not long after introductions and the first question or two, I was able to settle into some confident conversation. Since I was not there to be quizzed on my knowledge of their company or industry, only to be questioned about myself and my abilities, I did my best to present the best version of me I could. If I was the product being sold, I think I sold myself well.

The Question

Now, there was this one question they asked that really brought out some passion. The Human Resources lady asked, “If you could pick your dream career, no limitations or restrictions, what would it be?”

I didn’t have an immediate answer. I was at a loss for words.

Even now I can’t think of anything akin to a “dream job,” at least not one like what you might think. I mean, to be honest, I am doing what I want to do – I’m a pastor! All things considered, there’s nothing else I really dream about doing.

You’re probably wondering if I’m already a pastor, then why would I look for something additional to do? A simple answer is that I want to provide for my family, and sometimes – if not most of the time – little churches don’t have the means to do that.

Is my “dream job” a big church? No, not at all. I’m really happy to be where I am.

So, what was my answer?

“I want to make a difference.” When I die, I want to be missed. I want to know I’ve made an impact on people’s lives. And should it be possible to make a lot of money doing that, I could live with it, sure.

Then I narrowed it down a bit. I said, “I love to teach…I love to see the look on someone’s face when they get it.”  I love to take something complicated and make it simple. My perfect job is one where I can create passion in others so they can do the best they can at what they do.

A gentleman then asked if I thought I could stand before a group of 200 drivers…from all walks of life, with varying degrees of desire and commitment…and convince them of the importance of understanding “driver fatigue.”

“Absolutely,” I replied with a grin. Then I explained how.

Keep Praying (and giving)

I do appreciate the well-wishes and prayers so many of you have offered. Should I be hired for the position being considered, believe me, life would be a little more comfortable and less stressful; it would be a game changer, for sure.

I’ve yet to receive any feedback from the interview, but when I do I will certainly let you all know. Just keep praying God’s will be done.

Remember, because of my surgery, it’s now been over a month that I’ve been out of work. If you would like to help alleviate the financial burden we are under, please consider going to the sidebar and clicking the Paypal donation button.

Every little bit helps.

In the meantime, I’ll just continue being the one-armed pastor of a little church where God is doing great things! 🙂

P.S. At one point I did say, “Being the President would be a good gig, but it only lasts eight years, so…” 😉

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Filed under current events, ministry, Struggles and Trials