Will You Ace the Interview and Get the Job?
Just like in our pursuit of work, our resume for the Kingdom needs to be the best that we can make it.
This week at work, for the first time in a while, I had the opportunity to interview a person for a retail merchandise allocation position in my department. (I work for a teen clothing retailer.) It’s been a few years since I’ve been on this side of the table, being the one asking the questions and determining whether this particular candidate was “worthy” enough to move on to the next step in the process. I, like everyone else here who’s had a job, have had to go through the process as well. I find it awful. I don’t know how good an interviewee I am. I tend to babble and so far, it’s only worked out twice in about 15 times for me. But there’s always time to practice, I guess. And it’s not just how well you interview, it’s what’s on your resume that counts.
A big question is: Are the skills and experiences you are putting on the resume essential for the job you are looking for? I once had someone interviewing who put they were the captain of their college soccer team on their resume. Interesting, yes. Impressive, yes. Going to help you allocate teen clothing to store locations? Not so much.
Just like in our pursuit of work, our resume for the Kingdom needs to be the best that we can make it. It obviously will not be perfect, but we need to show that we have the tools and the drive and the qualities that God is looking for in a faithful servant. We must strive to put those skills and tasks we believe Jesus would have on his resume, on ours.
There are different style setups for resumes: Chronological, Functional, Combined, to name a few. No matter the style, you should choose to include something about your Core Competencies, Education, Accomplishments and Career Objective. The content may be different for everyone, based on their overall life in the Truth. There may be more exhortations in your back pocket, or you may have read all the books by Bro. Roberts and Dr. Thomas. How about perfect attendance at Meeting? Or that you served in many offices to run the business of the ecclesia? Nonetheless, there are lots of standards we need to follow and qualities we need to possess to round out our resumes.
Core Competencies and Education
Number one on the list…belief and baptism! John 3:3 states, “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (NKJV) For us, this forms one of the foundations of our belief system and one of those extremely important signs of obedience to God’s will that we all should have. But that is just the base of the pyramid because you have to build upon it to flesh out the resume. You can’t just list one thing on your resume and expect to be accepted. So, what other assets do we need?
For our education, we have the best seminar of all: daily Bible readings. Proverbs 7:1 declares “My son, keep my words, and treasure my commands within you.” If we continuously study and refine our knowledge of God’s word, we can hope that we will be known to Him as people who are always trying to learn and do what is the best in His eyes. It can be extremely difficult to understand all of the Bible and there are always passages that might be interpreted differently, even by various Christadelphians…but then I believe that part of what God wants from us in reading His word is to stoke up questions and discussions between His followers. If we actively read and discuss His word, then we keep our minds focused on Him. In Colossians 3:16 we read: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom.”
Some of the discussions should also focus on preaching the word to others–both those who do not yet know the Truth and those who have strayed from the Truth. James 5:19-20 says,
And in Mathew 28:19-20 we are to:
We’re definitely instructed to go out into the world to spread God’s word. Will you be able to put these accomplishments on your resume?–“Helped bring X number of people into the truth.” or “Helped a lost sister or brother come back into the fold.”
Another passage from Mathew 25:35-40:
There are so many expressions of this principle we can apply. Will you be able to say on your resume you gave a panhandler, a dollar or spare change? Did you donate your unwanted clothing to a homeless shelter instead of throwing it out or trying to sell it? Did you collect goods for the local food pantry? Did you contribute to the CBMA? These actions, done quietly and privately, are not at all ones we can brag about, but are indicative of our love for our fellow man.
After you hand in your resume, you’ll have to go through the interview process. That’s when you answer questions based on your resume. What will you say when asked about your record? Romans 14:12 will apply. “So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.” Thus, the resume is just a foothold to get us to the next part, the interview. There are many qualities that employers look for, but what is our Father looking for in us?
Colossians 3:12 gives us an answer. “Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering.” These are some of the qualities we will need to present. Take longsuffering, for instance. It’s an attribute you would need to possess if you were asked in your Kingdom interview, “So tell me of a time when you had a disagreement with another brother or sister and how you worked it out with them.” Wouldn’t it be nice to have an anecdote to show you followed Paul’s lead or the process outlined in Matthew 18 and displayed your patience and longsuffering?
Your weaknesses? Your strengths?
Another interview question you may get is: “What are your weaknesses?” We all know we are imperfect and fall short in many aspects of our life. Sometimes we may have a crisis of faith, but that’s the moment we can think of Jesus’ words in Mathew 5:3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.” Jesus knows even those with faith sometimes have periods when things may not be going well. It’s human nature to ponder, “Why would God put me through these trials?” But then it’s the ability to power through quandaries and attempting not to stray too far from the word of God, that’s important. That’s when you take your weaknesses and learn from them to turn them into strengths.
When it comes to our strengths, we should be doing our best to emulate Jesus and portray all of the traits he did in his short time on earth. There are so many examples in the Bible of the characteristics of Jesus…to boil it down to the basics, some are Love, Forgiveness, Humility, Compassion, Gentleness, Self-Control, Patience, Obedience, Honesty, Fairness, Courage, Friendship, Gratitude, Generosity, Wisdom….the list could go on….but if you think of every good trait, they all resided in Jesus and we must continue to reach for the unattainable goal to be like him.
There are 53 Commandments of Christ in Robert Roberts’ compilation. Some deal with what we do, some with who we are. These two aspects, the balance of “works” and “faith” are like the “experience” and “qualifications” sections of a resume. The list is man-made, but all the commandments come from our Lord. If you can follow 53, then you can follow the many more that are in the Bible. It’s important because, at your stand at the judgment seat, how many of the commandments of Jesus will be on your resume? How many of the characteristics of Christ will you be able to say you have mastered when the interviewer questions you? And that interviewer will be Christ. The answers you give will determine whether or not you’ll have a place in the Kingdom. And that’s your ultimate Career Objective: the desire to continue to serve Him in the Kingdom more than anything else.
What’s on your resume?
Jonathan Schwieger, Jr.