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Top 11 Trends in Employment of Church Pastors

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The religious industry is seeing some major trends across the country when it comes to the employment of pastors. We have a top 11 list of those changes. Here they are:

Churches are Consolidating:

With all of the church consolidations taking place across the country, many pastors are being asked to report to other pastors at new parishes. This means that they are no longer in charge at their new location. When larger churches absorb smaller churches, the larger church is typically the one making hiring decisions about pastors.

More Pastors Hired by Churches with Multiple Sites:

Churches that have multiple sites or venues are more likely to hire more pastors because of need. Churches having multiple sites are becoming more common across the country. The majority of the hiring decisions for pastors in this situation comes from the original church.

Trouble Finding Qualified Pastors:

Churches that have been around for quite some time will find it difficult to come across pastors who meet their criteria for the job. Many pastor search committees employ criteria that is unrealistic and even unreasonable. The majority of the candidates they will come across are willing to begin their own church or work in a consolidated setting.

Larger Demand for Pastors Who are Bi-Vocational:

Whether the churches are established or brand new, an increased demand will occur for pastors who are bi-vocational.

Churches Begin to Partner with Seminaries:

Churches will start to create partnerships with seminaries in an effort to train their own pastors for the jobs available. This will lead many pastors to join training programs in order to acquire pastor jobs.

Pastors’ Social Media Actions Will be Assessed:

With the changing times, pastors will find themselves being weighed based on their interactions using social media sites. Many pastors will be eliminated from competition for a job if they are controversial or argumentative on social media sites. Checks on social media history are becoming just as common as legal background checks these days.

Megachurch Pastor Openings Growing:

There are two reasons why the openings for megachurch pastors continue to grow: the number of megachurches continue to increase and the megachurches are led by baby boomers who are aging.

Tenure for Pastors Takes Two Directions:

Tenure for pastors will go in two directions; the first of which is brief and declining and the other is an increase at multisite churches.

Mentoring of Pastors Grows:

Mentoring relationships between boomer pastors and millenial pastors contineus to grow.

A Decrease in Denominational Influence:

Denominational influence will continue to decrease when choosing pastors for jobs.  

Unpaid Pastors Could be the Future:

Don’t be surprised if more churches begin using unpaid pastors in the near future.

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Top 11 Trends in Employment of Church Pastors by
Authored by: Jim Vassallo