Archives for posts with tag: employment

As I mentioned in my last post, I am looking for a job in Boston. This is been a really long process and I have applied to literally hundreds of places. I have read countless job descriptions and requirement lists. For some reason, one that I looked at last week was the only one to stir up a desire to blog about.

In Boston there is a community on the south side of the city called Roxbury. Roxbury carries with it a reputation for being, well… frightening. When you ask anyone what neighborhoods you should avoid, Roxbury is always at the top of the list. I have never actually been to Roxbury so I can not comment personally about the community. I just know what I have heard.

I found a job running communications and social media for a group whose aim is the put down the “racist stereotypes” of the community of Roxbury and highlight the great historical and arts features of the community. That sounds great! I am all about putting down racism and promoting arts. Where do I sign up? I began writing a well-tailored cover letter for the position and checked back at the description page so that I could use particular phrasing to make myself sound perfect for the job. Then I noticed something…

Though the job requested that you have a B.A. And 2 years of experience with PR and social media it only paid $18,000 a year. You can’t even begin to live on that in Boston.

So, a job whose goal is to help show people that Roxbury is not an impoverished haven of crime is not willing to pay someone a living wage to do that job. If I took that job I would also have to sell drugs or rob convenience stores to provide for my family.

I know that the group probably can’t afford to pay more than that. I understand that. However, if you want someone to have a degree and experience, you have to start out by showing a little more employee value.

I have 2 points to make here…

1. Pay your employees well. Don’t hire people if you can’t pay them a living wage. If they have to divide their attention between your job and another job they can’t give you as much devotion as you would need them to.

2. If you want to create a certain image for your organization (non-profit, church, community, etc) don’t directly violate that image with the salary that you offer employees.

I just want to note that I have no intention of defaming the community of Roxbury. It isn’t their fault that this oversight was made. I have already been planning a trip down there to check out the community.

John chapter 10 finds Jesus telling stories… as per usual.

in verse 12 he says:

11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13 He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.

These verses are a perfect metaphor for Christian organizational structures.

The leaders that you put over your departments must not be simply “hired hands”. A “hired hand” is someone who works a job for the sole purpose of collecting a paycheck. They really couldn’t care less about the good of the organization… as long as they continue to collect their wage. These are the types of people who always complain about extra work, always help people begrudgingly, and are always looking for ways to advance their careers.

These people would make great factory employees and union members. Unfortunately for them, there is no Church Employee Local 504. Ministry is not the field that you get into if you want to build a career.

Just because someone has the best education and the best experience doesn’t mean that they should get the job you have available. Make sure that they are passionate about your church. Make sure they are passionate about the work of the Lord. You want someone who will stand strong alongside your church body when the wolves come for the sheep.

When I started my job as a Technical Director at my church, I was a “hired hand”. I enjoyed my work, but I wasn’t passionate about my church. I wasn’t passionate about my work. I griped a lot. I thought that I deserved far more (compensation, respect, attention, etc) than I actually did. By God’s grace I got over that… mostly.