It takes more than a calling to become a pastor. That’s because there’s much more to the job than simply delivering regular sermons. Pastors provide counseling, work on administrative and management tasks, offer personalized guidance, plus create and run ministries. The above is just the tip of the iceberg. Many pastors are degreed professionals charged with managing multi-million dollar congregations.
To get the right job, you must prove you are a fit. That starts with your pastor’s resume. Below we’ve provided some resume tips, and a pastor resume example.
Focus On Results
Although you should go over the most relevant daily tasks you perform, don’t get bogged down in that. Instead, keep your focus on your accomplishments. Essentially, what results have you delivered in any particular role that you’ve had?
Here’s an example. Rather than stating that you engaged in ministerial outreach through various channels, you could state that you managed a ministerial outreach program that resulted in a 15% increase in church membership registration.
Brevity is a Blessing
Your congregation appreciates it when you don’t let the Sunday sermon run too long. Church hiring committees also appreciate it when you don’t let your resume go longer than one page.
Be concise. Wordiness is more likely to frustrate than impress. Remember that you also have your cover letter to add additional information. Of course, you should also leave something extra for the interview too.
Wherever you can use numbers or other data to quantify the claims you make. This helps to add context to the points in your resume and makes your statements more credible.
For example, you’ll make more of an impact when you mention that you helped raise $100K for the church building fund at your previous job than you would if you simply said you helped with building fundraising.
Write With Leadership Language
Ultimately, being a pastor is a leadership position. Whether you are being hired to lead a megachurch, helm a small congregation, or take on a role such as youth pastor, your duties will be managerial in nature. Someone reading your resume should be able to envision you in a leadership role.
You have to paint the right picture. That means choosing your words carefully. Avoid passive verbs and weak language.
Consider using power words that communicate competence, confidence, and authority. Here are some examples:
Sprinkle these power words throughout your resume to show your leadership skills.
Double Check Your Work
Accuracy and attention to detail are key parts of this work. It’s also important to show that you care enough about the opportunity to deliver a resume that has been properly edited. Take time to check for and repair any spelling or grammar mistakes. If possible, have someone you trust read it over to ensure that it communicates the way you want it to.
Pastor Resume Sample (Word version)
Here is a brief sample resume. It exemplifies some techniques that will make your resume stand out.
Download resume example (.docx)
Pastor Resume Example (text version)
Passionate, dynamic pastor with more than five years of experience in the areas of ministry, community outreach, and church administration. Skilled at working with diverse congregations, budgeting, and managing programs to benefit both the church body and the community.
- Church Operations
- Ministry Development
- Counseling And Mentoring
- Community Outreach
- Financial Management
Westside Unitarian Universalist Church
Community Outreach Pastor
Nov. 2018 – Present
Led the church’s outreach ministry, created with the purpose of fostering an obligation of community service and giving among the congregation, and providing the local community with needed resources.
- Created and led community outreach programs including – Crisis nursery, after-school drop-off program, community garden, and job training initiative.
- Worked with senior leadership to ensure that programs aligned with overall church objectives.
- Trained and mentored youth leaders and volunteers.
- Engaged directly with local government, private charities, and social service agencies to coordinate outreach efforts.
- Ensured that all outreach programs operated within their given budget.
- Created and administered a fundraising initiative that increased the outreach budget by 50%
First Unitarian Universalist Church
Associate Youth Pastor
Oct. 2016 – Nov. 2018
Assisted with youth ministry efforts. Created a family outreach program and annual fun fair that increased church engagement by 10%. Worked with families and church leadership to fix ongoing issues with the effectiveness and management of youth programming within the church.
- Assisted families in finding community support as needed.
- Coached and mentored youth program participants.
- Coordinated with local organizations to secure necessary supplies, facility rentals, and donations to ensure successful program operations.
- Ensured that all participants had adequate transportation and other resources to ensure full and active participation.
- Created, found funding for, and operated a church tutoring center.
Master of Divinity
Fargo, North Dakota
President of the Association Of Unitarian Universalist Ministerial Students
Bachelor of Arts
Student Government, Rotary Club Volunteer, Community Service Club Volunteer
Final Thoughts: Get Help As Needed
There are so many tools to help you create a resume that is well-written, attractive, and easy to read. Consider using a resume template as a guide to building the document that best represents you!