The Shocking Truth About Job Descriptions

I have a question for you. When was the last time you looked at the job description for your ministry position?

Last week? Last month? Last year?

I would venture to guess that most of us rarely look at our job description. Why?

Because most job descriptions are not helpful!

Most job descriptions are used in the hiring process and rarely looked at again. Why is that?

  1. They aren’t accurate descriptions of the work that is really supposed to be done.
  2. They are generic and unmotivating.

I believe that job descriptions can be helpful to those of us in full time ministry. We simply must change our mindset about them and put into place the following recommendations.

1. Update your job description yearly.This is best done during the performance evaluation process. Re-capping the year is the perfect time to make adjustments. The following are questions to ask when reviewing and updating your job description. However, when you ask the questions, make sure you base the answers in the reality of the ministry position and not on what you think the job description should say.

  • What is not on the job description that is an important part of the job?
  • What is on the job description that needs to be removed because it is not important or is not being done?
  • What new ministry goals are being put into place this next year that would require an addition to the job description?

2. Add KRA’s (Key Results Area) to the job description. KRA’s allow us to measure our progress in ministry. They also help us be very specific about what work needs to be done in this position. The more specific we can be in our job descriptions, the more realistic and motivating the job description is. Most job descriptions are generic and unmotivating. Adding the KRA’s allow the job description to be relevant and up-to-date.

I’m still working on doing this for my own job description. Since I’m going through performance evaluation season right now, now’s my time to make the necessary changes so that my work matches my job description.

One last note, if and when the time comes for you or someone on your team to move away from their current position in ministry, the up-to-date job description will allow the next person that steps into the role to have a really good understanding of what is expected of them.

Question: When was the last time you looked at your job description?

John Rinaldo

As the Business Manager at St. Catherine Catholic Church in Morgan Hill, CA, Dr. John Rinaldo serves as the administrator over operations and finances for the parish in support of all parish ministries. Previously, John served as the Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of San Jose, empowering parish communities to minister to the needs of youth and young adults. John is also an adjunct professor at Santa Clara University teaching pastoral ministry courses to graduate students.


John Rinaldo


As the Business Manager at St. Catherine Catholic Church in Morgan Hill, CA, Dr. John Rinaldo serves as the administrator over operations and finances for the parish in support of all parish ministries. Previously, John served as the Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of San Jose, empowering parish communities to minister to the needs of youth and young adults. John is also an adjunct professor at Santa Clara University teaching pastoral ministry courses to graduate students.



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