Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Interviewing - the groundwork

Continuing on we'll turn to the questions that really are the groundwork for who you are and how you function, not only as someone in a position of leadership in the church, but as a person in the world:

5) Tell me about your family? Growing up?
This is one of those can't lose questions. If you grew up in a healthy intact family (the 5 or so left in N. America), you talk about how you were nurtured and and supported and how that provided you with a safety net so you could take the kind of chances and risks that has made you a cut above. If you grew up in a dysfunctional and broken home where you had to fight tooth and nail to survive, you talk about how God lead you through that and how that has enabled you to relate to troubled kids/youth/adults and empathize with them in their struggles. But what this question is really getting at is this: Have you come to terms with your family and your childhood or are you still there? Better yet, is it lurking in the recesses of your mind waiting to pop out when you hit your first hurdle?

6) Tell me about your support network? Friends?
This question combines with the next one to ask: "Are you healthy?" What they want to know is this: are you going to bring all of your personal & professional struggles to "work" or do you have a sounding board? Do you know how to have healthy relationships, find support when you need it and support others when they're struggling? If you're going to work in the church, you're supposed to know something about being the church and being in relationship with others. In this day and age with PDA's, e-mail, cell phones, IM and everything else, there's no excuse to be alone - not even when you move somewhere completely new. So, if you have no friends & no support network, that screams that you're not ready.

7) What are your hobbies & interests? How do you keep balanced? What do you do when not involved in ministry? (What did you do when you worked at __________ - away from the church?)
Are you healthy #2 is about a well-rounded life more than relationships. If you're always putting energy into your "work," even if that work is "kingdom" work, and finding no way to relax, no time to kick back and enjoy something other than constantly e-mailing about room reservations, meetings and budget crises, how will you ever relate to the world you're supposed to be serving? If you're, for lack of a better expression, a "church rat," how will you talk to the gamer or the armchair quarterback or the quilter? Not to say that you need to relate to them all equally, but if you have no outside interests, you'll seem boring and no one wants to hang out with a boring person, plain and simple. Now, the flip side of this (and I love doing the flip side) is this also gives a chance for the interviewer to assess the health of your outside hobbies & interests. If bar-hopping, internet chat rooms, off-track betting, pyramid schemes and pornography round out your top 5 interests and hobbies... well, do I need to say anything? This doesn't mean you need to have boring hobbies or exciting hobbies, just healthy hobbies...

1) Tell me about what you’re doing now – what do you enjoy & dislike? Why do you want/did you leave? (What have you been doing since you left?) What lead you there in the first place & how has that experience informed your view of ministry?

2) How was the transition from volunteer to staff/minster?

3) What has been your greatest struggle in ministry so far?

4) Tell me about your faith journey? What are the 3 most significant moments in your walk with Christ? Who are the 3 most significant people who have shaped you & your understanding of your call to ministry?

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