If you work or volunteer at a church you know that change is part of the job description. Sometimes change is a promotion that comes with new benefits. Other times change means taking on additional responsibility without much thanks and a slightly different job title. Regardless of the source, change in your role is both a necessary and difficult part of working in the church world. There are three important questions to ask when your role begins to deviate from your job description. Taking time to consider and thoughtfully answer them for yourself will help you determine how to respond to the inevitable challenges coming your way.
1. Will this change help me grow spiritually?
It's easy to think of a promotion or change in job description as either all good or all bad. The reality usually lies somewhere in between and depending on how you respond it can lead to huge blessings. The first thing we recommend you consider is if the change will benefit you spiritually. Will accepting this role change make you a better leader? Will it help strengthen your relationship with Christ and possibly make you a better person? If you accept a role with more responsibility there is always the potential for burnout and frustration. But there is also a lot of opportunity to become a more mature Christian that can take on tougher challenges and lead stronger.
2. Does this change bring me closer to my long-term career goals?
When the role change comes with increased pay or promotion this one is easy to overlook. We have seen some people in the church accept a promotion that wasn't in an area they really cared about or wanted to grow in and the results were not healthy for the employee or the church. It's a great exercise to ask yourself, "If nothing else changed, would I be okay doing this in five years?" If the answer to that question is no then it is probably a red flag to really evaluate your motivations for accepting the role change. Every job comes with aspects you love and others your don't and that is okay. What's not okay is continuing down a road that increasingly takes you away from the things you really love doing.
3. Does this change come with promotion?
In the corporate world this would normally be the first question to consider but you probably didn't start working at a church because pay was your first consideration. You work at a church because you're passionate about seeing lives changed for Jesus and love getting to use your abilities to glorify His name. If you're being confronted with a potential role change it's best to evaluate this move using the same criteria you used when deciding to accept your original position. The reality is that your role at the church is a job and you do have to provide for yourself and your family. Sometimes an increase in responsibility will come with an increase in pay but often it will not. If a raise isn't on the table there are other considerations you can ask for from your supervisor or HR manager that include more paid time off or better insurance. It may sound cliche but God probably isn't going to ask you what your title or pay scale was when you get to Heaven which is why we think this should be your third criteria for accepting or rejecting a change in job title or responsibilities.
What if the job change just isn't a good fit?
At Creative Church Jobs we believe every challenge really is an opportunity. Even though change is often difficult, we encourage you to consider the doors that could be opened by saying yes and taking a step of faith. We also know that sometimes a change just isn't the right fit and isn't going to be good for you or your employer. If after praying and really exploring the possibility you don't feel at peace about it you should be as honest as possible with your employer and let them know that you do not want to take on this new responsibility. You should also try to be as honest as possible about your reasons so there is as much clarity between you and your supervisor as possible.
If after explaining your reasons your employer doesn't seem to understand or refuses to acknowledge your side of the argument it may be time to move on and start looking for other job opportunities. If you are looking for a creative job that fulfills your calling we encourage you to check the Creative Church Jobs board for new openings at some of the fastest growing churches in the country.