If you are going to be interviewed for a new position as a pastor, you want this book because… who gets the job is not necessarily who can do the job best, but who knows best how to get the job. In Take the Call: Clergy Job Interview Guide, John Zehring applies his experience as a former college Director of Career Planning and Placement, his service as chair of Clergy Compensation Committees in two states, and his decades of pastoral experience in order to empower clergy in their interviews for new job opportunities. The book provides a checklist for what you should research about them, how to prepare and present yourself, potential questions you might ask them, and suggestions on how to negotiate a call (contract) that benefits both you and the church.
To consider a new position as a pastor, you will first need to get an interview. Whether you get an interview through your denomination’s processes or through knowing someone, officially or otherwise, everything you use to prepare yourself for job-hunting is aimed at successfully landing an interview for the position. You are not applying for a new position. You are applying for an interview. The goal of the interview is to get the offer for the position.
This book’s title – Take the Call – plays on two uses of the word call. First, you want to receive a phone call inviting you to an interview. Chances are high that the interview is so important to the life of the congregation that they are not going to email, snail-mail, or text you to arrange an interview. They are going to phone you (which also gives them a bit more data about what you are like in person). So, go for the call to get the interview. Second, the title plays on the theological sense of a calling… a Divine calling for you to become a congregation’s next pastor. The fact that you consider looking for another opportunity, which is healthy to do every once in a while, suggests that you may discover either a calling to a new position or a renewed calling to your current position. Either way, your search leads to a new path or a reaffirmation of your current ministry. So, Take the Call!