How To Become A Pastor
A pastor is an ordained leader of a Protestant Christian organization. You will be performing religious ceremonies like weddings and baptisms and leading worship services. You will be studying and citing the Bible and giving guidance and comfort to your flock based on the teachings of Christ.
Being a pastor is unlike any other career. It is a vocation that requires you to really believe in the teachings of the denomination you want to lead. In addition, you will have to be a good and engaging speaker since you will be leading praise and worship services. You also need to be prepared to lead a life of simplicity which is a requirement of many religious organizations.
Why Become A Pastor
One good reason to become a pastor is the chance to guide people spiritually. In addition, it is also a vocation that gives the opportunity to help those who are at the lowest point in their lives. People often go to a pastor for advice and comfort when they feel hopeless. The sense of fulfillment of being able to help the desperate and weary is reason enough for some to go into this profession. In addition, a career as a pastor also puts one at the forefront of revival in depressed communities, helping the people there get back on their feet and experience life once again.
Pastor Work Environment
Pastors work fulltime in the religious organizations they lead. They head Sunday worship, Bible classes and other religious ceremonies in church but perform the administrative aspects of their work in their office. Travel may be needed when they conduct outreach programs in various communities or when they visit missionaries operating in other countries. Pastors need to be flexible as they might be called to respond to emergencies of members in the evenings or weekends. However, they can generally take a couple of days off a week.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not specifically state the salary of pastors but gives the mean annual wage of the clergy in its May 2013 Occupational Employment and Wages report. The agency said the clergy received $47,540. This is higher compared to the $33,520 received by other religious workers and the directors of religious activities and education who were paid $44,240. However, data from the National Association of Church Business Administration revealed that in 2012, the average annual salary of pastors was $28,000.
Pastor Career Outlook
In the ten-year period from 2010 to 2020, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected that the employment rate for clergy professions will grow by 18 percent. This is faster than the average for all job types.
The educational requirement for becoming a pastor actually varies on the religious group. There are some that require a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree. Pastors or ministers in the Christian faith often get a Master of Divinity degree at an accredited seminary. Aspiring pastors need to have a bachelor’s degree, letters of recommendation and a sponsor to enter a seminary. It can take four years for a fulltime student to graduate with this degree.