Disclaimer: You may sense a tad bit of frustration in this post. I hope that is not the case, but there are times that I feel frustrated and the topic I am discussing is one of those times.
In my search to find the right pastoral position, I have noticed two things. I do not believe that these are the norm, but these two experiences are things that I have had happen to me more than once.
First, almost every job posting that I come across is looking for an individual with a minimum of three years experience. This is understandable, but that makes it very difficult for someone who is fresh out of college or seminary to be considered for the position. If a church is looking for someone with experience, that means that the only ones who will be considered are individuals who already have pastoral positions, not those of us who are on the outside looking in.
Second, it would seem that a few pastors out there are unwilling to help others find a way "in". Again, I do not think this is the norm, but it has happened to me more times than I would like. I applied to a few positions and was turned down for an interview. After receiving the email informing me of their decision, I replied back thanking them for looking at my resume. I then asked what qualities they were looking for in a candidate, did my resume convey that I had any of those qualities, and what could I do to help make myself appear as a strong candidate. As of this morning, I have not received an answer from either pastor that I contacted. I completely understand that pastors are busy. That is the nature of the ministry that God has called them to. I just find it unfortunate that they are unable to find a few minutes to help someone as he is pursuing God's call on his life.
As I stated, there is a tad bit of frustration in this post. I am not frustrated with God and the length of time that this journey has taken (although there are times). I felt the need to share this so that in case a pastor happens to read this (fingers crossed), they will work harder to help folks like me in the future.