The Strategic Advantage We Have in Recruiting to Full Time Ministry – Meaningful Work

June 17, 2015 — 3 Comments

Becoming a sending movementThis is part of a series on Sending

Click to read the Intro and for a list of Cru’s Top Sending Campuses (with links to each post)

We have a strategic advantage in recruiting to work with us in full time ministry.

We have what Millennials want – meaningful work

“If you want to inspire the next generation of workers–and attract them to your company–new research shows that nothing works like a rock-solid mission statement.” – Zoe Henry

72 percent of Millennials are eager to join a non-profit organization because they want their work to matter (source: 2013 Millennial Impact Research Report). 6 out of 10 said that a sense of purpose is part of the reason they chose to work for their current employer. (source: Deloitte survey)


“Young people are asking what their purpose is now, and they’re determined to find the opportunities, organizations, and companies that share their purpose. A recent study by Net Impact showed that the millennial generation expects to make a difference in the world through their work, and more than half of millennials would take a 15% pay cut to do work for an organization that matches their values.

We aren’t the “me me me generation.” We’re a group of determined individuals who refuse to settle because we know how great our impact can be when we find work we truly care about.” – Adam Poswolsky in his book “The Quarter-Life Breakthrough”

What do Millennials want from a company?

  • Meaningful work – for a cause they are passionate about
  • To work around people they like
  • Opportunity for growth
  • To be a vital part of a team

Fast Company “suggests that companies focus on the non-monetary forms of compensation that they can offer, like a sense of purpose, opportunities for growth, and a quality work culture. Job descriptions should take pains to highlight these benefits as well. Instead of focusing purely on the nuts and bolts of a position’s requirement, they can attract socially minded candidates by pointing out the company’s larger social impact and its unique opportunities for growth.”

What do Millennials want from their lives? A recent survey revealed that being wealthy is at THE BOTTOM of their life aspiration list. More important?

  • spending time with family
  • growing and learning new things
  • working for the betterment of society
  • having many good friends

We need the best and brightest to solve the world’s toughest problems.

Good insight from the Insider’s Guide to Finding Meaningful Work and Attracting Top Talent:

Understanding what it would take to encourage more top talent to commit themselves to impact careers is taking on greater importance and urgency as we need the best and the brightest working to solve the world’s toughest problems.

Despite Millennials’ keen interest in meaningful work, many are not choosing to pursue impact careers.

A recent survey conducted in the US indicated that only 18% of college graduates intend to enter the non-profit or teaching fields. If Millennials are to fill the growing number of employment opportunities in the impact sector, more needs to be done to convert their interest into action. Promoting the impact sector as a viable career option will involve dispelling sector stereotypes by providing better information on impact career opportunities. [This is especially crucial in helping parents see College Ministry as a viable career]

For new grads especially, compensation is taking on greater importance as student debt increases. A job with a salary that allows the employee to pay down their student loans is critical for many people, and the absence of such a salary may dissuade top talent from choosing an impact career.

With Jesus’ last words he laid at our feet the world’s most important and toughest problem: bring the hope of the Gospel to every corner of the world. We need the best and the brightest graduates to be working to solve the world’s toughest problem.

We need the campus’s brightest minds tackling the challenge of the Great Commission.

I think we can learn from John Deere – watch how they’re seeking to connect to Millennials who want meaningful work:

“Here you can continuously advance your career while advancing the technologies that will build a better world.”
“Any company can give you a mission statement. Here, we give you an honest to goodness mission.”
“You’ve always dreamt of changing the world… Here. It’s no dream.”
“Here the world’s brightest minds are tackling the world’s biggest challenges.”

Any company can give you a mission statement. Join us if you actually want a mission.

Come reach the students who will change the world.

“The University is the clear cut fulcrum with which to move the world…More potently than by any other means, change the university and you change the world.” – Dr. Charles Malik, former Sec. General of the United Nations


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  • Good thoughts. I agree. I’ve been hanging out with a lot of recent grads in the marketplace, so I’ve been thinking a lot about vocation and faith. My only concern with this conversation is that I’ve experienced full-time ministry being subtly portrayed as the being the only meaningful work…which in turns creates a bit of shame if that person wants to use their engineering degree of law degree in the marketplace. I have lots of other thoughts about the way we talk about work. The books “Visions of Vocation” and “Kingdom Callings” rocked my world.

    • only should be italicized. 🙂

    • timcasteel

      Yeah – would love to hear your thoughts on how to strike that balance. Perhaps you should blog more 🙂
      I think we can definitely pursue students to do full time ministry without creating a varsity/JV mentality where ministry is always the more spiritual choice. It’s doable.
      Part of the answer is in what we do with students after we’ve challenged them to full time ministry and they’ve chosen to go into the work world. Do we ditch them or continue to invest heavily in them to help them ramp up to graduation as truly “sent ones.”