Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Hey Fletch … I am becoming more and more interested in becoming a pastor. I am not sure what the best route would be. What do you advise?

DRF—This is an exciting time in your life. Let me give a few thoughts about becoming a pastor.

The first thing is to get deeply involved in your local church right now. Teach where you can. Visit the sick in the hospital and those in nursing homes. You are probably doing this already, so keep at it. Do ministry in your church. What you want to see is how God is using you and your gifts. See if the challenge of pastoral ministry is what you want for a vocation.

You may find that you want to keep a job in business and do ministry in the off hours. We all have so much “free time” in which we can invest in others. If most people cut down on their television time, and spent it in serving others, the world would be a much healthier place!

While doing ministry in your church, if you find that God continues to lead you to vocational ministry, then I recommend getting some pastoral education. You can go online or go to a bricks and mortar seminary. I don’t know what theological education is available in Scandinavia. I went to Dallas Seminary and they have solid online degree programs: “You don’t have to uproot to attend seminary. DTS has fully online programs designed to immerse you in the Gospel story in all 66 books of the Bible and prepare you to serve wherever God calls you.” Many other schools have wonderful online and on-site programs. If you decide to get more education, continue to serve in a local church while doing the ‘book learning.’

Talk to your pastor about your thoughts. Get advice from other pastors as well. Ask for honest feedback about your prospects in vocational ministry. There are so many challenges in being a pastor. You will want to know for sure that God has called you—that calling will be essential in the hard days of ministry.