How do you become a pastor? Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We need to ask a different question first: Why do you want to go into the ministry?
Over the years there have been several young men who asked me my advice on becoming a pastor. I always tell them the same thing:
Don’t Become a Pastor Unless
You Can’t Not Be a Pastor
What do I mean by that?
I mean that if you can do something else, do it, rather than going into the pastorate. Why? Because without an overwhelming passion to become a pastor, you will not survive the first few years of ministry. See my other site for some examples of how hard ministry is: PastorBurnout.com .
Still want to become a pastor? Then read on.
Steps to Becoming a Pastor
So, you weren’t scared off by my warning above. You really want to become a pastor. If so, there are four steps you need to take. They may not be taken in the order that follows. But all of them need to be in place before you can consider yourself a pastor.
First there is the internal witness. That comes in the form of an unquenchable sense that God wants you to be a pastor. It shows itself by a passion to be a pastor: a passion that doesn’t go away after a few weeks. The second internal witness is that you have a passion for God’s Word. You can’t get enough of it. You crave studying it and sharing it with others. Third, you have to have a growing love for people – both the lost and the saved. A passion to preach is not enough. You have to have a developing love and compassion for people. There are thousands of great teachers and preachers. But there are far fewer people who also love people. Churches need teachers and preachers in Sunday School classes, to substitute for pastors when they are out of town. You don’t have to be a pastor to preach and teach. But if you want to be a pastor, you will also need to love people.
There are also external witnesses that can help confirm God’s call on your life. First, there is the witness of others. People who know you start telling you that you might want to become a pastor. They tell you things that show they respect your character. Your pastor or other church leaders take note of your gifts and skills. You can even talk to your pastor about your passion to become a pastor. Ask him if he sees that potential in your life. The second external witness is, if you are married, your spouse is completely sold out to the idea. It is impossible to be a pastor if your spouse isn’t fully in favor of it. Third, there are circumstances that confirm that you should be a pastor. Sometimes the circumstances are not very obvious. But the accumulation of different circumstances will point to God’s will: either becoming a pastor or remaining a lay person.
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As you can see, your choice to become a pastor is a lengthy one. But it is the process itself that will prove whether or not you should be a pastor. The process weans out those who aren’t committed or called. There’s no shame in deciding that you are not called by God: better to know that now then later.
What exactly does a pastor do?
You may be wondering what you will be doing as a pastor. As you become a pastor, take a look at this pastor job description .
How Do I Earn
$900 a Month
Working at Home?