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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Rescue the perishing
by: Anonymous

I'm a preacher and former pastor of 4 churches over the years. I remember just graduating from Bible college and being so excited for my first ministry. I can hear the same excitement in you. Answering the the question's about college. I personally went to Bible College and was grounded in doctrine, but i also believe in having a man of God who can teach about getting close to God and teach you about the spiritual warfare your about to embark on. A death needs to take place in your heart, to things and wants of this life. Die daily, this will take hours of prayer . Surrendering your family , your life, your control, a letting go if you will and letting God.

Secondly, I would abandon the phrase my church , my people , my ministry, as quickly as possible. Because and I'm sure you know, it's His church , His ministry, His people. This is important because because the Devil is watching and hearing everything we say or do and use it against us. There will be trials, heart ache and terrible storms...I'll never forget my first church split it broke my heart. I almost didn't survive it. Then there will be people you've grown to love , people you led to the Lord, discipled , who turn on you and it's rough.

I am now ministering to Hurt Pastors all across the country , I had a close preacher friend who was an amazing preacher , commit suicide and it's happening all over this country and on the mission field. The battle is the Lord's we are no match for the devil , we must fight on our knees.

Now concerning supporting your family , get a job and go to work and support your family, your local library has rooms for free that you can have bible studies in, Hold prayer meetings at your home , street preach, pass out tracks , witness, find someone worse off than you and help them, and by all means let the Lord build his house....

Well Amen brother , we need more young men in the battle . Hope this was a help.

Word of advice and encouragement.
by: Anonymous

I read through your posts and I hope I answer all aspects of your thoughts either directly or indirectly.

1) Education is not Unscriptural. Paul spent at least two years after being saved studying. He was versed in Judaism as well as educated by some of the best minds of the day. Moses spent 40 years in the desert working with sheep which has a lot of parallels to mankind. Even Jesus had to grow mentally. Education cannot and will not prepare you for ministry. It will give you tools and very useful tools, but your real education will happen in the ministry.

2) Ask yourself this question..."Is there anything else that I would like to do or try?" if yes, I would suggest stepping back and praying more. The pastorate is not easy, it is not always fun and it has a greater judgment on those who hold a teaching position.

3) I admire your bi-vocational desire. Just remember, the ministry has no time off switch(unless you have a support team and even then, there is no off switch). You are on call 24/7/365. Can you balance your work and ministry? Now, add a family possibly in the future with children and you are going to be very stretched. It can be done but it is a very fine line.

4) instead of starting your own ministry right off, what about join an established ministry? This will allow you to "Test Your Call" and see if the Spirit testifies to your desire. If it does, you have gained a major advantage as being taught and guided. If it doesn't, if you know you are not to continue, you won't hurt those who depend on your teaching.

Being as young as you are, I am so excited to see this potential door opening. If God has indeed called you, He will guide you and will establish you. Don't rush ahead of Him or follow behind. Walk side by side, hand in hand.

I hope this helps.

Call to be a pastor
by: Adrian

Hello, thank you all so much for replying to me. I really do appreciate it. To answer your question by the way, no, this is not a joke. I only want to make six figures because I imagine running your own ministry and renting a strip-mall will be quite expensive if you catch my drift. I don't exactly know how expensive, but I think it will be quite so. I definitely don't want to be a pastor for the money, that's not what I am all about. I am a person who doesn't care about money. I only use it because I need to. I want to be a pastor because I believe that's it's super important for every person to become saved since I'm a born-again Evangelical Christian and that's what I believe in. I was obviously not saved at one point in my life, but thanks to the Lord, I am now saved. Becoming saved by Lord Jesus Christ was an experience I would love for everyone to go through because it the time when one actually starts to develop a personal one-on-one relationship with God, and I wouldn't change that for anything or anyone. I want to run my own ministry, which means I want to rent a space eventually and host bible lectures there. I want to be ordained as a pastor before I do that at a Christian church that does that. I don't want to do all this without proper education either, I never said that either. What I stated was that I didn't feel bible college was the way to go for me. I want to be taught at a church and be ordained from one. I don't know how much money I need to live a modest life with a family since everything here in California is so expensive. I hear it's the state that has the highest rent costs in all of the U.S., but please don't quote me on that, I'm not one hundred percent sure either. I don't want to earn six figures to be rich, I don't have any interest in being "rich". I'm just considering how much paying rent, food, bills, strip-mall space, and maintaining a family would cost me. I just don't know how much money exactly that would be, but I have a gut feeling it will be a hefty cost. I've decided to pursue an education in business administration as a secular job, because I know I won't make a lot as a pastor. I have a bit of an interest in administration and plan to attend an online accredited college that's really chap in terms of tuition costs and pay out of pocket, because I don't want to drown in student loan debt. I don't know how much I will make with a job in BA that requires a bachelor's or master's degree in BA, but I hope it's enough for all the things I want to do. Please feel free to reply with your opinion. I want to make clear that I don't have any intentions of becoming rich. I just want to plan ahead and make sure I have enough money to do the things I stated above. Thanks for the advice and please, like I stated, feel free to reply with your thoughts. I greatly appreciate it, God bless you all.

Are you serious or this is a joke?
by: Anonymous

I'm not sure what exactly is happening in your life but based on what you said, doesn't seem to be a God's call, your are thinking (not listening) to become a full-time pastor making big money, with your own church plus no biblical education on top of it.

Pray more and more for God to open your mind and heart to understand that serving the Lord is not about money, actually, you won't make money, probably just what you need to live modesty.

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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