So, you want to be a Minister?
Or, you want to be a Pastor, Children’s Minister, Associate Pastor, Youth Minister, Music Minister, Missions Minister…the titles go on endlessly.
I’m going to assume that you believed that you are Called of God to do so.
I guess we can talk about that later if you want. But, for the moment let us assume that it’s so.
So, what now?
We’re a little bit different down here. But, not by much.
You’re probably going to need an education. In particular, it will probably be expected that you have a Seminary Degree.
Can you say, M.Div.?
Of course, there are exceptions. However, if you want to be paid a livable wage; then you’ll probably need the Masters of Divinity.
That means you’ll need a college education.
Don’t worry, just about anything will work. You see, Seminary is structured to accept and train people from any higher educational background. But, you need some sort of BA/BS degree to get in. Good news is, you can have a degree in whatever you want! Bad news, it is a gate you have to pass through to get there.
Please understand, seminaries are one of the traditional “professional” schools out there. Just like Law School and Medical School, it is supposed to teach you to do a job.
That job is of course, to minister in a church.
Sure, there are other flavors of what ministry looks like. Seminaries have adapted through the years to offer courses for these flavors of ministries….such as Missions, Chaplaincy, Communication, Counseling, etc.
But, the core mission is still there. To prepare ministers for ministry in the local church.
Whether or not seminary actually does that is up for debate.
For me, I received a lot of biblical training. I can draft up an exegesis with the best of them!
However, Seminary didn’t teach me how to pastor a church. It didn’t teach me how to sit with a family while they are hearing the words that their child is dead. Seminary didn’t teach me how to deal with small church volunteers that think they run the place. Seminary didn’t teach me how to be responsible for everything, but have power over nothing. It didn’t teach me how to stay connected with the Lord; that was just an expectation.
I will give them this, they did warn against the aridity of the soul. It’s that dryness that comes when your spirituality becomes professionalized. They just didn’t give me any thing to hold onto when the desert wind blew across my soul.
Be ready to become a student of Lifelong Learning. You’ll need it. There is a lot you’re not going to learn until you actually get on the job.
Welcome to the Ministry.
More to come…