Many Christian believers struggle with the question of how to become a pastor. They believe they have received a charge from God to lead and shepherd His people, but they aren’t sure what to do next. The journey forward can be a struggle. But knowing what course to chart is helpful.
Here are a few things to consider when asking how to become a pastor:
The Role of the Pastor
The Apostle Paul writes to young Timothy, “It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do” (1 Tim. 3:1, NASB). Ever seen an octopus? That might be the ideal animal to describe a pastor! Why? Because there are so many things to do, roles to fulfill, jobs to accomplish, that it might help to have 8 arms!
The pastor is responsible for the weekly preaching of the Bible. Here, the pastor influences the greatest number of people. Therefore, preaching should be a high priority. But the pastor also is the leader of the church. The pastor needs to know how to lead the congregation in such a way that it glorifies God, reaches the lost, and edifies the believers…all at the same time. Don’t forget the pastor visits the sick, marries the lovestruck, buries the dead, assists with worship, plans for special occasions, and on and on.
Getting It All Done
If a pastor is responsible for so much, how does he know what to do? That’s where a pastoral ministry degree comes in handy. Many Bible colleges and seminaries offer practical training in becoming a pastor. There are foundational courses like Old and New Testament Survey, Doctrine, Evangelism, etc. But then there are more focused courses on leadership, preaching, and other necessary pastoral ministry courses.
Five courses that serve the pastor well include:
1. Pastoral Epistles
This course is a verse by verse study of 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus designed to increase interpretation skills, personal godliness, and biblical principles of local church leadership. As the Apostle Paul instructs two young pastoral candidates, his instructions and admonitions can be very helpful for any new pastor starting today.
2. Introduction to Ministry Leadership
This course is an analysis of the biblical and historical foundations of leadership with practical applications. Students will survey key biblical leaders as well as significant contributions by Christian leaders across history. The goal is to synthesize key principles for ministry leadership. As pastors seek to lead, this course helps them know how to do it well.
3. Leading Volunteers and Paid Staff
This course examines the uniqueness of working with a volunteer staff as well as managing paid staff positions. Students are challenged to lead ministries based on sound biblical, ethical, and legal standards in light of the current postmodern world.
4. Homiletics (Preaching)
This course instructs pastors how to preach effectively the Bible. Clear exposition of the Word of God is essential to a healthy congregation. Some people are born communicators. However, others are not. Either way, preaching is a skill to be honed. And given it is the predominant way pastors teach their congregations, pastors would do well to improve as much as they can.
5. Biblical Theology
Biblical theology traces the root story of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. This subject is important in preaching the theological point of a given text with a focus on the person and work of Jesus Christ. Emphasis is given to the New Testament’s use of the Old, typology, the metanarrative of Scripture, etc.
We’re Here to Help
Carolina College of Biblical Studies offers a minor in Pastoral Ministry. So if you’re asking how to become a pastor, then we’re here for you. The Minor in Pastoral Ministry is designed to provide practical experience in key roles as preacher, counselor, and leader in the local church. The ideal student is the one seeking to be a Senior Pastor, and it will be most ideal for someone who is currently involved in a ministry position that offers immediate implementation of the Minor’s objectives.
By the end of the minor, students will be able to…
- Develop a strong Bible interpretation and communication ministry in the local church;
- Understand the key issues involved in being and serving as pastor in the local church;
- Develop an understanding of church leadership and administration for use in the local church;
- Grow in one’s personal godliness as required for serving as a pastor of a local church.
- Develop a philosophy of working with volunteers, teams, and staff within the local church.
At CCBS, we want to develop strong servant leaders…including pastors. If you’re interested in a Biblical Studies degree and a minor in Pastoral Ministry, contact our Admissions Team. We’d love to get you connected.