Tip: How to Send a #Rejection Letter to a Prospective #Church Position Hire

We recently had to sift through over 100 applicants for a full time Technical Arts Director position created at Topeka Bible Church. It wasn’t easy to be in touch with that many people.  Even more difficult was to gently and honestly communicate we weren’t going to puruse something with all of the candidates.

There’s nothing worse than a “rejection” letter. The worst thing to do would be to simply ignore the candidates (something I found surprising to hear was happening to many of these candidates who were seeking employment at a number of churches).

There is a positive and “un-cold” way to word a “rejection” letter. I read about a story were someone received a rejection letter, only to be called by the same company for a future interview.  The reason this person accepted to interview for this future position was because the company 1) sent a letter in the first place and 2) included an encouraging poem that would motivate them.  After hearing that story, here’s the letter we finally ended up with.  Regrettably, only the last 50 applicants got the letter with the encouraging scripture.  (Makes me want to go back in encourage those I missed.)

The letter stated the following:

Dear [applicant’s name],
Thank you for giving us the opportunity to review your resume for the [position] at [church name].  Narrowing our search has been a more challenging process than we originally thought due to the number of applicants [# of applicants].
Your resume demonstrates experience and skill, however we are seeking a candidate who more closely meets the specific requirements of this position.  At this time, our plan is to pursue other candidates.  We will, however, keep your resume on file for six months.
Be encouraged.  God’s kingdom would greatly benefit from how He has wired you.  God assures, “…I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:11-13 NIV)  Our prayer for you is to rest in these words, that God knows your future — and it’s a good one if you remain in Him.
[Your Name]
[Church Name]
[Search Committee Name]

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