Career Story: Senior Pastor In A Church

Senior Pastor In A Church

Job Title: Pastor

Type of Company: My company, which is a church, exists to forward the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We work to spread the faith in the community and foster spiritual deepening within the membership.

Education: Bachelor of Science (BS), Business, Indiana University; •• Master of Science (MS), Management, Worcester Polytechnic Institute; •• Master of Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering, Worcester Polytechnic Institute; •• M Div., Andover Newton Theological School

Previous Experience: I worked as a Chief Information and Chief Operating Officer for a start-up Energy Services internet business, where I learned in detail how to build a business, manage human and capital resources, develop business strategies, implement business plans and develop new business leads and opportunities.

I worked as a Student Intern in a church where I was responsible for children and youth ministry and helping to create new programs for families.

I worked as an Associate Pastor where I was responsible for leading organizational change as the church prepared to call a new pastor.

Job Tasks: I am a Senior Pastor. I am responsible for providing spiritual leadership and organizational guidance to my congregation. I also provide leadership and serve as an advocate within the community.

As a congregational spiritual leader, my responsibilities include planning worship services, preaching sermons during worship services, teaching weekly Bible Study classes and offering pastoral counseling, which may include marriage counseling, funeral planning, baby dedications, and working through emotional issues. I spend several hours per week in prayer, meditation and study (Bible study and spiritual reading) in order to help me serve effectively.

As the organizational leader of the church, it is my responsibility to establish the overarching goals and objective for the church. I also providing leadership to the boards and committees that operate within the church, helping them to define their particular goals and ensuring that their programming helps the church to achieve its purpose of winning souls for Christ and fostering spiritual deepening.

As a community leader, I make it my responsibility to be involved in the community in order to assess and respond to the needs of the community. I meet with community officials and leaders, I meet with school administrators, I avail myself to give lectures and speeches during community events, I translate expressed community needs into programming to satisfy those needs, be the programs implemented from my church or other secular or non-secular organizations. I also provide consulting services as a means to help community organizations meet their goals and objectives.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is to preach the Word of God. As one who loves to preach, I am energized to study the word and learn from it what I am compelled to share to others. I love to see the sermon motivate people to action.

The worst part of my job is visitations to sick or home or nursing home bound people. Pastors must visit those who are sick, share and listen to them as well as pray for them. Because I do not enjoy small talk, visitations are difficult for me.

Job Tips:
1. First seek the call of God. I cannot explain what the call will feel like for you; but I know that it is impossible to do this work without God's leading.

2. Secondly, develop good study habits. Theology is such a broad topic and seminary does not prepare you for it all. There is no way to learn all that is necessary. Instead, you need to learn how to find what you need when you need it.

3. Thirdly, develop good habits of self care. You have to care for yourself while caring for others.

Additional Thoughts: Grace abounds in the ministry. It is hard work. You are constantly on call. There are situations that seem overwhelming at times. And yet, it is amazing work. I have found that none of my experience - from engineering to management to organizational behavior - has gone to waste in the ministry. God uses everything to help me to succeed in this role. In addition, God sustains me. I am able to everything that I need to do - lead my church, be a leader in the community, be a wife, a mother, a volunteer - and do it seemingly with ease. I have had several careers in my life, but this is the most important work that I have ever done.

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