Creative Church Jobs?

I have worked in creative ministry for a long time. I have previously been on staff at four different mega churches ranging from 6k-30k members, and I have also worked as a freelancer/contractor partnering with various ministries throughout the years. Are you a creative passionate about ministry? Do you use your art as a bridge to connect culture with the church? 

Are you considering applying at that one church or megachurch you follow on social media? 

Well… Here are my top 7 things to look for when applying and looking for a creative church job. These are things I have personally learned over the years. This is all major advice I wish I would of received before diving into the deep end of the church pool.

I know, this sounds super cliche and redundant. But I can't stress this enough, be sure you have a ministry call in your life, even as a creative, because the math will never make sense. Make sure you have a good foundation, a strong back bone, trust me, you will need it.

Find out what made the church successful in the first place, is it a megachurch? Why is it a megachurch in the first place? Was it built by a previous pastor? What is the church known for? Is it the current Pastors communication skills? Controversy? Love and community? The Holy Spirit? Politics? (yikes!) You'd be surprised what at a simple google search can do.

When negotiating a salary, be realistic, after all it is ministry. Make sure to ask questions and do your research beforehand. Watch out for churches that will make you sign contracts saying you cannot take on outside contract work for extra income. Unfortunately, I have met many (including myself) that took on an unrealistic low pay.

Make sure the church is interested in you and your art and they are not just trying to fill in a role. Sadly many churches and megachurches can operate more like giant corporations and will treat you like one as well.

If you are a minority, make sure you are not being hired to be the token. Many churches simply seek out the nearest minority to be able to call themselves “multi-cultural”. Yet have no desire to engage let alone learn anything about you or your culture. There is a huge difference between being celebrated and being tolerated.

Red flags are red flags! Don't ignore them, in fact, runaway as soon as you can! If the Pastor is taking trips to Disney World every week meanwhile you are being offered a below average salary then don't expect it to ever get better, it will only get worse (yes I saw this happen). Nepotism is real in the church world, if the 18-year-old pastor's son is getting paid enough to be driving a brand-new Range Rover to church only to fold baptism towels, (yes, I also saw this) then do like Joseph and FLEE!

Remember that one thing called “sabbath” that was inscribed in the tablets as commandments by God himself? Yeah, well for a lot of churches it only applies for the lead Pastor and his elected few. So, depending on which creative role you take on, make sure the church or megachurch has a sabbath culture, otherwise you will be worked until you are tired and burnt out only to be replaced by the next willing vulnerable young soul.


A couple of things worth mentioning.
This is strictly advice for people that would consider themselves professional and not for people interested in learning a trade, that would be an internship, which is an entirely different topic for an entirely different day.

Also, the reality is most churches that can afford a creative staff member are churches that are rather large and busy. So you really can't expect the church to spiritually feed you as a staff member. Make a plan and go find the spiritual refills yourself. Whether through small groups or even at an entirely different church. Yes, some churches are so big that you are not even required to be a member at that church. Insane? Perhaps, but it's the reality for churches in the USA.

Last but most certainly not least. ALWAYS STAY HUMBLE, ALWAYS BE COACHABLE. Believe big dreams, pray the impossible over your art. Now get out there and create something dope for the kingdom.

Thoughts? Questions? Let me know in the comments below.

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