Residency Now or Full Time Job Now?
By Sean Badeer, Recruiter
“I think I should just take this full time ministry that’s been offered to me.
Why should I do a residency for less money?”
This is a question I get often. It’s a legit question. Parents are on our backs to pay the bills, get off their cell phone plan, and move on.
Here’s the four things I typically answer with:
1. STRONGER START. Co-Founder Dave Miller. who does some work with the pastoral search team called Slingshot Group, has written before about how it seems like every church in America is looking for that magical 29 year old who has built a ministry over the last seven years or so. We discuss often how this is the Purple Unicorn for churches who are looking.
My question is always: how do you get THERE from HERE.
You must start from the strongest position possible. I mean, here’s the deal, the church that will hire a candidate with no experience is in a tough spot. From a Kingdom resource perspective, the RISK is actually all on you! You are betting your abilities, giftings, your investment in education, and future that this church is going to be a healthy and safe place to launch you forward.
Residency affords you a place to not just be another statistic in ministry failure in the first couple of years.
2. EXPECTATIONS. Which would you rather experience: moving cross country and being met with a pile of work, a title, and expectations to go with it, OR moving cross country and being met by your new boss whose job is to help coach you to be ready for that pile and expectation in two years?
Reality is, many residents are getting opportunities to do ministry at a pretty high level, but when they fail (and we all do) there is an expectation that it’s actually OK…it’s a residency, not a full time job! I’ve personally seen this with my own resident, David Ramirez, who basically leads a guest services team of 200. But when something doesn’t go well, my boss is looking at me, not him!
In other words, residency it’s a safe environment to fail. You need this when you are beginning.
3. A LONG TRY OUT. Most churches do look at a residency as a long job interview. They are wondering if this candidate is going to fit on their team or not. But here’s the deal: the opposite is true as well.
Residency affords you the opportunity of interviewing the church! Within the first year you are going to know if this is the type of position, team, boss, and church you’d want to invest your next few years with. This is an amazing position to be in as a potential team mate at a church. You get to see them at their best and their worst over the course of many months.
4. A BETTER FUTURE! I see so many candidates burn out in the first couple years because they took the wrong job. Not because they didn't have the gifts and calling to be successful in ministry. Remember, you are not only looking for a great place, and a great church, but you are looking for a team where you’ll fit. A residency gives you this opportunity to know for sure.
So, here’s the deal…two years is an eternity when you are 20 or 23 years old. (I know, I was 23 just a couple years ago!) But this two-years in residency sets you up for the next five to seven which you need to truly be the next type of leader that the Church needs you to be! We must stop allowing young, talented people like you take whatever job they can get…and then wash out.
If you still haven’t yet applied now is the time! We’re in the final stages with some amazing opportunities coast to cost.