Thursday, December 6, 2012

Before sealing the deal you should ask...

I wrote previously that interviewing for a new ministry position is like dating.

First you find out details about one another and work out if you have sufficient common interests. 

If you make it past the first hurdle, then you ask the tougher questions to discover if you could share a life together.

What questions, in no specific order, should you ask before you sign on the bottom line?

What is the start date? When can I get a key?
What is the pay? Will it be paid monthly? Fortnightly?
How are raises negotiated?
What are the expected hours of work each week?
Is housing included? How about a housing allowance?
Is further study a requirement? Is there a professional learning budget?
How are holidays acquired? Do they work on a calendar or financial year? 
Is there a youth ministry budget? Is it a separate line in the budget? How is it accessed? What was it spent on last year?
What office space is provided? Computer? Bookcase? 
Is your mobile phone bill, or at least a portion, paid by the church?
Why have people left the church lately?
On button issues, such as women in ministry or homosexuality, what is the standing of the senior minister, staff and wider congregation? Have they been an issue in the past or currently?
What are the days off for current staff? Are they contactable on their day/s off? Is this an expectation?
What, if any, role is expected of your spouse and family?
Financially, what shape is the budget in? Are there looming issues? Is sizable chunk of income dependant upon one thing or a few people?
Are there plans for future staff or property expansion?
Are there any traditions which you should be aware of?
What, if any, ecumenical activities exist? Are there any churches who don't "play with others?"

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