David Fletcher gave this PowerPoint presentation at Dallas Seminary in 2002. There was a “snappy” discussion on the topic that was highly animated at times. This 28-slide PDF begins to explore some of the issues of getting hired at a large church. It raises more questions than it answers, so please “right-size” your expectations.

The presentation puts some significant questions and issues on the table:

  • Why focus on a large church?
  • Bigger is not better, just different.
  • Bigger is not worse, just different.

A large church can be a different hiring environment:

  • Often harder to get your foot in the door.
  • Often wants tons of experience.
  • Sometimes pays more and so have more people submitting resumes.
  • Often less willing to take recent graduates.
  • Often highly focused positions.

And the downside of a large church:

“I went to a seminar by a guy who has seven or eight thousand in his church. One of the pastors stood up and asked him, “How do you call on people?” “I don t call.” “How many funerals do you do?” “I don’t.” “How many marriages and baptisms?” He said, almost impatiently, “I study and preach. That’s what I do. I study eight hours a day and preach the Word.” I couldn t understand how this worked. It just sounded too cut and dried, so I asked him, “How do you get things going?” He said, “I don’t. I pray and ask God to motivate other people to get things going. I don’t start anything. I just preach.” I don’t know how he can do it. I wanted to ask him, but I didn’t get the time. People visit big churches and they can get lost if they want to. If they visit my little congregation two or three times, we smell fresh blood.” Stefan Ulstein, Pastors Off the Record

Fletcher’s definitions of “large”

  • 1,200-1,400 in worship
  • The “problems” are beyond direct control of leadership and must be delegated
  • Relationships only come through small groups—I don’t even assume to know everyone anymore

Brian’s Hiring Experience

  • Desire to serve
  • Flexible about where that would be
  • Willing to take a risk, something he had never done before

David’s Initial Problem in Hiring Brian

  • David didn’t see the passion that others observed
  • His age was not an issue
  • Brian had volunteered for 6 months
    • 3 hours every Sunday moring
    • 2 hours every Sunday night
    • 1 hour each week with Rodney Lara
    • Lunch meetings with Rodney at DTS

NBC Values

  • Some personal knowledge
  • Dedication
  • Faithfulness in ministry
  • We accept a “less than full toolbox”
  • Talent and giftedness
  • “Hiring is an educated risk”

What You Can Do

  • Be faithful in a ministry
    • It is harder to get in the door if you serve two years here, two years there, two years over yonder
  • Have an impacting resume
  • Get personal issues attended to in counseling
  • Know your gifts and abilities
    • What are you good at?
    • DiSC? Myers-Briggs?
    • Power of Uniqueness (MAP)
    • Individual Operation System (Ralph Matson)
    • LEAD

What You Can’t Do

  • Don’t become an expert on your weaknesses
    • If you are not gifted at sprinting, why are you training to be a sprinter?
  • In your weaknesses, strive for average!
    • Average is perfectly acceptable
    • Find others to complement your weaknesses
    • Hone your strengths
  • Don’t blame God for failing to get a church

Resumes for the Large Church

  • Get my attention! Page 1
    • Values: What can you do for the church
    • Churches hire for specific positions
    • Education
    • Personal connection
  • Keep my attraction/interest! Page 2
    • Paid and volunteer ministry experience
  • Page 3—Other items (omit?)
  • Page 4—References
  • Photos can be helpful for ministry resumes
  • Emial is preferred for some churches
  • Use Word and Adobe Reader


  • Have a sane email address
  • How does it look when a guy is applying for the Minister of Singles position and his email address is:

How to get your feelings hurt

  • Expect an interview
  • Expect a phone call
  • Expect for every church to respond
    • The truth is that some churches rarely conduct staff searches and are unprofessional
    • Some Search Committees get bogged down with hundreds of resumes

Work your contacts

  • Friends
  • Current ministry colleagues
  • Home church
  • Seminary professors
  • Seminary alumni placement
  • Web boards
  • Denominational resources

David’s hiring procedures

  • Hiring process is laid out on the website
  • Everybody gets a return email within 24 hours, noting the receipt of the resume
  • A reasonable amount of time is given that the church will process the resume and give a red light or green light (10 days)
  • Few are interviewed
  • One is hired!


See charts of the PowerPoint in the original PDF: How to Get Hired at a Large Church