Signs You Should Turn Down the Job Offer


It’s all too easy to get caught up in the excitement of receiving an offer. Your rose-colored glasses can easily mislead you. 

After helping hundreds of churches find their key staff and build their teams, we’ve seen some clear patterns when it comes to accepting the wrong position. Below are four “flags” to look for; some are “red flags” and some are “yellow.” But all are worth paying attention to before you sign on the dotted line. So pause before you accept that offer, and carefully consider these reasons to not take the job.

That’s not where God is actively calling you

No matter how much you need a job, or how anxious you are to work in ministry, do NOT take a job at a church just to put the search to an end. Too many candidates get nervous about needing to make a change, start working, or get a job right out of seminary, that they haven’t developed the strength to say no to an offer yet.

Buy yourself some time as you discern God’s call on your life in the here and now. If this isn’t the right job, then take a job at Starbucks. Apply at Apple. Find something to provide for you and your family and buy some time in your job search until you can discern where God is calling you. 

It will put you underwater financially

A person who doesn’t provide for their family is worse than an unbeliever (1 Timothy 5:8). 

Nobody goes into ministry for the money. Nearly every pastor could make more money if they were in the marketplace. 

However, just because you have gone into ministry does not mean you should have to be paid unfairly. It’s unwise to take a job that will create a downward spiral of debt and stress in your life and your household. You have to steward what the Lord has given you. Before taking the job, honestly assess where it will put you and your family financially.

It costs you your family

It’s often said that the number one end-of-life regret people have is working too much at the expense of their family and friendships. Of all places, church staff members should never have to pick between hard work and family, but unfortunately, sometimes that is not the case. 

Before you accept a job, try to gauge the work/life balance of the people you would be working for and with. Look for a workplace that expects hard work and values family, that understands the importance of leaving early for a T-ball game on occasion, and that provides a generous vacation benefit. 

You are taking the job for what it could become

Many people take jobs when employers promise them higher pay in the future, promotions, the possibility of succession, etc. But promises are never guaranteed. If you’re not content with the way the job is at the present – position, pay, responsibilities, etc. – then don’t take it for what it might become. 

These were just four of the 10 reasons why not to take a church job detailed in our download which is available to you. Visit the download on our website to learn about the remaining 6 reasons and for more insight on these four.

Watching out for these warning signs will help temper the excitement of a job offer with the wisdom that’s necessary for making a good choice. And great careers are marked by a collection of good choices in job stops. 


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