The Ultimate Guide to a
CAREER in Christian LEADERSHIP

Presented by: OnlineChristianColleges.com

Children Globe What does "Christian leadership" even mean? Find out in this ultimate guide to careers as a Christian leader, which explains the opportunities available both inside and outside of the church.

Are you wondering if a career in this "industry" is right for you? Chapter two may help you decide, as it lists many of the attributes of successful servant leaders. If you're still on the fence, chapter three will help you weigh the pros and cons of devoting your life to God and serving others. If you are early on in the process and need information about education options, this guide also has chapters about types of degree programs (chapter four), the difference between on-campus and online education (chapter five), and continuing education options (chapter nine).

Chapters six and seven cover the various types of careers in Christian leadership and what the future outlook is for Christian professionals. If you are already a minister, chaplain, youth worker, Christian counselor, educator, or any other type of Christian leader, you may benefit from the list of professional organizations offered in chapter eight. And to top it all off, chapter ten provides a comprehensive list of resources for Christian leaders, from special job sites to helpful reading materials.

Christian Leadership
Christian leaders are people who have a strong faith in God and possess strong leadership skills. Many become leaders in the church by taking on an integral role in guiding the direction of the congregation. This could mean becoming a minister or pastor, but it could mean taking on other roles in the church as well, or even working outside the church altogether. For example, some people become youth group directors or work in the administration. No matter what role you end up in, Christian leaders must be passionate about cultivating thriving religious communities. Take a look at the links below to learn more about the definition of Christian leadership.  

Christian Leadership
To be a Christian leader, the most important factor you have to consider is your commitment to God and the church. Christian leaders must take on a variety of roles, from being stewards of finances to overseeing other employees' responsibilities. You will likely make a good Christian leader if you are customer-focused, able to put employees first, are approachable, are willing to take advice from others, and are willing to deliver praise regularly. More than anything, Christian leaders need to remember that they are working in the service of God and have been placed in a position of leadership in order to lead others to Him and do His will. The resources below provide more information about what it takes to be a Christian leader.

Pros and Cons
A lot of Christian leaders will be quick to list the benefits of a career in complete service to the church and to God. This is because typically, only people fully devoted to their faith who want to spend all their time in service will even consider a life in Christian leadership. These people often feel the pros of working in a job that they love. There are other benefits as well. For example, ordained ministers can sometimes get breaks on their taxes! However, getting involved in Christian leadership, particularly by becoming a pastor or chaplain, opens people up to criticism by those who think they're "doing it wrong." Another downside is that, unless administering to very large congregations, many Christian leaders don't make a lot of money. See below for more details about the benefits and negatives of the profession.

Degree Programs
Christian leadership educational programs are available in many different forms. You can get an associate's, bachelor's, or master's degree, take a few brief courses and earn a certificate, or even go to school online. Some programs also allow students to choose a concentration in addition to their "Christian Leadership" major; these could include business, counseling, music, worship, the Bible, or something else. Certificate programs might instruct students in particular areas, such as nonprofit work, or could simply serve as a supplement to traditional schooling. Take a look at the resources below to find out more and see some examples of potential degree programs.

e-Learning
Both online and on-campus programs offer classes in the Bible, theology, apologetics, pastoral care, evangelism, history, ethics, church and the ministry, and revival, among others. There's not necessarily one right answer to the question "Which type of program is better?" Students and professionals should assess their needs, from what kind of time limitations they have to what they hope to glean from a degree. It will also make a difference what your future aspirations are. For example, if you want to become a teacher at a seminary or other theological school, you may need a PhD. You'll find the links below helpful for comparing different types of program options.

Types of Careers
Careers in Christian leadership exist in many different industries. There are obvious examples, like working as a minister, spearheading a youth group, or teaching Sunday school. However, there are opportunities that exist outside the immediate vicinity of the church, as well. For example, you could work at a religious school and help develop ideas of servant leadership among youth and young adults. Other potential careers for Christian leaders are mission mobilizer, camp director, missions executive, Christian homeschooling tutor, or director of a humanitarian relief program. Check out the links below for an all-inclusive look at different Christian leadership careers.

Future Outlook
The overall job outlook for church workers and clergymen and women has been good for the past decade or so. Vacancies in many positions have risen, which should make it easier for new graduates to find jobs, although they may find themselves overworked as long as shortages exist. There is expected to be increased demand in the coming years, with over 700,000 new jobs created between 2010 and 2018. The exact outlook for Christian leaders will depend on the specific profession they are in; while careers in the clergy are expected to grow by about 18%, those for Christian counselors will grow by about double that rate. See below for more resources about what you can expect from Christian leadership in the future.

Professional Organizations
One of the benefits of working for a religious organization is there are myriad professional opportunities, from conferences to networking events to special memberships, that offer a host of benefits. While there are a number of organizations specifically for Christian leaders, there are also general religious institutions that are great places for anyone professionally involved with the church to learn more about the fellowship and how to get people involved. Many Christian leaders appreciate the networking and unity offered in such local or national organizations that extend beyond the reach of any one church. Take a look at some examples of professional organizations for Christians below.

Continuing Education
Like so many professions today, it's often not enough to be a Christian leader with a standard posts-econdary education. In order to stay up-to-date on what it takes to lead a congregation effectively, many pastors, directors, administrators, board members, and other church group officials seek out additional ways to further their education. This could include, for example, attending conferences and training seminars to learn more about how to be a Christian leader. Even reading books on servant leadership can be a great way for church workers to advance their education. See the resources below to get started on advancing your education today.

Resources
Christian leaders are very vocal on the web, which is great news for anyone hoping to pursue a career in or surrounding the church. Any search of Amazon or Barnes & Noble will reveal a plethora of books on the subject, and there are several blogs devoted to the topic as well (see "Top 20 Blogs Every Christian Leader Should Read" below). It's also fairly easy to find employment opportunities online. In addition to websites like Monster and Indeed, there are search engines specifically for those looking for careers in the church. Reading through the links below is a great way to get started or learn more about a career in Christian leadership.

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