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Jobs for Ex-Pastors

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Pastors who have left the ministry are in a challenging position because they may be viewed negatively in the business world as a result of negative stereotypes of pastors. Recruiters may not know what to do with them. But ex-pastors have many valuable transferable skills that knowledgeable recruiters are seeking.

Focus on Skills

When transferring from any profession to a vastly different one, look at skills you have rather than job functions you performed. If you have leadership skills and directed a staff that is a transferable skill, as is administrating a budget, dealing with people, counseling people, planning events or projects and public speaking. The key is to take a realistic look at your personal skill set and present it properly. A skills-based resume (sometimes called a functional resume) focusing on what you did rather than your job title may work better than using the typical chronological resume.

Focus on Character

In addition to skills used, when looking to transfer to another profession you can also focus on character traits and abilities you have, such as honesty, compassion, listening ability, encouragement and teaching ability.

Jobs Related to Pastoring

A variety of positions are closely related to being a pastor but not necessarily that of a full-time pastor. For instance you might become an interim pastor or youth minister; work for a mission, social service agency or with troubled youths; or become a chaplain at a jail, youth detention center, nursing home or hospital. Hospitals and nursing homes also have positions such as grief counselors.

Specific Jobs Other Pastors Have Held

The House Church Resource website has compiled a list of jobs known to be held by former pastors, including positions in sales, maintenance/building, real estate and Christian organizations such as publishing houses and teaching. The key is to find a position where your passion meets your abilities and you can also provide for your family. Think outside the box and look for new ways to use the skills, talents and abilities you have. But you also have to present them in a way so that recruiters will recognize the value you can provide to their organization.


Tim McMahon began publishing the "Moore Inflation Predictor" and "Financial Trend Forecaster" newsletter in 1995 and has published it every month since. He is also the editor of and the author of "Healthy Tongue Secrets," a book on dealing with problems like thrush and geographic tongue. He holds a Bachelor of Science in engineering management from Clarkson University.

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