A pastor is a spiritual leader of a group of people or congregation. He furthers the work of the church while leading others into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. A pastor can practice within a specific concentration, such as working with children, overseeing a ministry or serving as a senior pastor. He follows the particular demands of his denomination or church tradition requires, including those of character, experience, and educational requirements. Pastors can be full-time, part-time, bi-vocational or a volunteer.
A pastor is expected to provide more than spiritual leadership; writing and giving sermons. Following are some of the pastor’s duties:
Oversee church committees, missions, and missionaries.
Perform baptisms, weddings, and funerals.
Provide marital, grief and psychological counseling.
Plan community outreach activities.
Conduct or arrange for Sunday school classes.
Conduct or arrange for adult religious instruction
Seek out new members for the congregation
Be available evenings and weekends as needed
Assisting in church financial matters
Overseeing management of all areas of the congregation's ministry
Supporting, overseeing and evaluating congregation staff
Holding regular staff meetings to coordinate ministries
Ensuring church facilities are functioning
Gives full support biblically to the Undesignated Budget of the church.
Adheres to the Church Bylaws and Policies and Procedures adopted by the church.
Maintains a vital and wholesome personal relationship with the Lord through daily Bible study and prayer.
People perform best invocations that they are passionate about. Becoming a pastor means that you have absolute confidence in your faith and are ready to share it with the world. Becoming a pastor can be a lengthy and strenuous process. Seek spiritual guidance before making your decision. Always ask yourself the hard questions and never settle for complacency. Make sure that you have chosen the right path and dedicate yourself wholeheartedly.
A career as a pastor begins with a 4-year degree. Be active in campus ministry. Colleges and universities may feature a campus ministry where students can worship and express their faith. Leading Bible study groups or helping within the community may be beneficial both spiritually and for graduate programs.
Pastors may begin their career as associate pastors. They'll work under the supervision of a senior pastor at the church. While associate pastors may lead spiritual groups and be available for counseling during the week, they may conduct readings during services and perform sermons periodically.
After the completion of a bachelor's degree, pastoral students typically begin their graduate coursework at a seminary or School of Divinity. While all pastors study the Christian faith, additional courses based on the denomination of study may be offered. Most seminaries offer an apprenticeship-like program included in the master's program that allows pastoral students to observe and practice their developing skills with an ordained pastor.
Depending on pastors' goals or the needs of a denomination, pastors may spend only a short time serving one congregation or serve one for many years. Typically, pastors are notified of job openings through postings from the denominational governing organization.
Popular majors for students who wish to pursue a career in religious leadership include Bible or pastoral studies, theology and ministry. Some programs offer bachelor's degrees in specific ministerial areas, such as pastoral studies. Courses in the program cover topics in the Old and New Testament, theology, ethics, pastoral studies, and sociology.
The Nature and Method of Theology
The Foundation of Theology
Articulate and defend the essential theological doctrines
Compare and contrast the Christian worldview
Integrate theological doctrines with contemporary issues
A Definition of Spiritual Leadership
Licensing & Ordination
The Spiritual Disciplines
Construct a personal philosophy for ministry
Articulate a basic understanding of the nature of ministry
Integrate biblical and philosophical foundations with the practices of ministry
Jesus (and the Gospels)
Mark’s Story of Jesus
Jerusalem and Rome
Read biblical texts closely and critically
Identify the distinctive literary and theological themes
Comprehend the aims and strategies of Jesus’ renewal movement
Aspiring pastors may follow a degree plan for a Master of Divinity (M.Div.). The M.Div is an academic, professional degree that combines the study of a number of disciplines important for a pastor to learn. The M.Div. the program lasts 3 to 4 years depending on the number of courses taken each semester. Courses are strictly focused on religious practices, Bible study, and congregational leadership.
Introduction to the Greek Language
Introduction to the Canon of Scripture
Introduction to the Hebrew Language
Locate key terms necessary for biblical studies
Identify and define facts about the revelation of the Scriptures
Learn some basic facts about Greek grammar
Intro to Koine Greek
The Greek Verb and Participle
Intro to Hebrew
To recount a basic history of Classical Hebrew and Koine Greek
To recognize and pronounce biblical Hebrew and Greek words
A basic knowledge of English grammar as preparation for understanding biblical Greek and Hebrew
Integration Model for Counseling
Pastor as Minor Poet
Strategic Pastoral Counseling Resources
Learn general counseling principles
Practice basic counseling skills
Explore personal life issues that may influence counselor effectiveness