Help with process to becoming a pastor

by Adrian
(Los Angeles, California, United States)

Hi, my name is Adrian and am currently 18 years old. I’ve been called to become a full-time pastor by the Lord a little after I was saved in the summer of 2015. I was saved at 15 years old and have been called to become a full-time pastor ever since then. I am now finishing my senior year of high school and graduate this upcoming June of 2018. I want to start my very own ministry and have my very own congregation. I’ve been told that bible college is unscriptural since one shouldn’t have to pay money to be taught the bible or how to be a pastor. Because of this, I have discarded bible college as an option. I was told that I should be trained in a local church by a pastor and eventually sent off to start my own ministry once that pastor feels I’m ready to do so. I agreed to this idea as I thought it was a good idea as well. However, my dilemma is this, how am I suppose to get the money to rent a space to start my ministry, sustain my future family and I economically, and rent or pay off a house? I’ve been thinking about going the bi-vocational route and studying a career that pays 6 digits annually. However, I feel that I would be losing track of my main goal, which is to be a full-time pastor. I also want to be able to have time for people at all times and being engaged into a career won’t allow me to do that. This is because I’d be devoting my time to my career. How should I go about this situation? I know there are some that make a living from their very own ministry, but this is something extremely difficult to accomplish so I’ve heard from many pastors. What should I do to have enough money to sustain my future family and I economically, maintain my future ministry, and rent or pay off a house? Should I go the bi-vocational route and maybe major in something that pays 6 figures annually and be a pastor on my days off? I just don’t know what to do. Please help pastors. I need mentoring now. I’ve spoken to a local church pastor and he told me that it was a very complex topic since every pastor has a different background and situation. He told me he’s going the bi-vocational route. Any help will be much appreciated. God bless you all in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Some Things to (Re)consider
by: Anonymous

Before all else, read the Word and pray with patience and diligence for God's guidance. Furthermore, I would highly encourage you to put seminary education back on the table. Please consider this reality check in response to your avoidance of Biblical education. If you read from an English Bible, you are reading a translation. Whether you read KJV, NIV, ESV, etc., that Bible was translated from Hebrew and Greek by probably a team of people with doctorate degrees from notable seminaries. Therefore if you go to a store and buy an English Bible, you are paying to be taught the Bible, because someone was paid to translate it for you. I am not sure how your advisors have concluded that Biblical education is "unscriptural," but I would probably respectfully disagree with their Biblical interpretation. I would highly encourage you to visit somewhere like Biola Univ and talk to one of their Bible professors to get a different perspective. Personally, your goal to make six digits is seems much more unscriptural than a Biblical education. Not to mention, finding career that makes six digits and allows you time to lead a successful ministry seems nearly impossible. You have to consider to start your own ministry means community outreach, weekly sermon prep, budgeting, incorporation, committee meetings, delegation, policies, procedures, etc. I don't mean to be harsh. I just wish someone had pointed out all the red flags before I became a full-time pastor.

Here are my suggested practical steps:
1) start your secular career,
2) become very involved in a church that is similar to what you see yourself leading one day,
3) even if you don't pay for it, receive some form of reputable education or mentoring on sound Bible teaching and ministry leadership,
4) then decide your next next step on becoming a pastor.

Seek earnestly the will of the LORD in prayer and the reading of the Word. God Bless you!

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