Do you have a love for starting or being part of a church? Maybe the Holy Spirit has been working on you for a while, you had a gap year ministry experience and are wondering what’s next, or you have an existing background in missions work.
If you’re asking yourself, “What kind of qualifications do I have to have to pursue this?” you’ve come to the right place.
If you’re considering pastoral ministry, here are some routes you can take.
The Bible does speak directly to a list of qualifications for someone who is going to lead a church and lead people spiritually. Modeled after Jesus, these qualifications outline the expectations of those in spiritual leadership.
The Character of Pastors
Jesus cares far more about our character than our demographics. Here are some of the biblical qualifications outlined for pastors and other spiritual leaders.
If married, a pastor must be loyal and devoted to their spouse, never engaging in adultery (Titus 1:6, 1 Tim 3:2). He or she is the husband of one wife or wife of one husband.
A pastor is a good steward (Titus 1:7). He cares to use God’s resources for advancement of the gospel, he is not wasteful or irresponsible.
A pastor is humble, willing to accept constructive feedback, and admit areas of growth. She cares to have accountability and admit her weaknesses (Titus 1:7)
A pastor is peaceful. He seeks to bring people to know Jesus through being a peacemaker in the community (Titus 1:7, 1 Tim 3:3)
A pastor is self-controlled in all areas of his life, including relationships, money, time, and more (Titus 1:8; 1 Tim 3:2).
A pastor must be respectable. While everyone may not like them, there should not be credible questions about their integrity or lifestyle (1 Tim 3:7). We talk about living a life above reproach. This person should, in general, be in good standing with the community and have a good reputation of loving people well.
A pastor is gentle – not angry or quick tempered. They model Jesus’ example of bringing people into community through gentleness and love (Titus 1:7; 1 Tim 3:3).
Communitas is an egalitarian organization, which means that we affirm that both men and women are called and equipped for pastoral ministry.
The Responsibilities of a Pastor
The duties and responsibilities of a pastor are many, but the Bible clearly lays out certain roles that a pastor must fill when leading a church.
- Preach the Word of God. Sharing the Gospel is core to being a pastor and is mandated in many places in Scripture. (Acts 10:42, 2 Tim 4:2)
- Shepherd and care for your congregation. Caring for and loving people is core to being a pastor, since pastors are called to love people like Christ loves people. (1 Peter 5:2-4)
- Correct and guide. Church leaders and pastors have a vested interest in protecting the reputation of the Gospel by guiding church members to live holy lives. (James 5:19-20, 1 Tim 5:1-2)
Can I Be a Female Pastor
With Communitas, yes. We have many women who serve as pastors with us. While there are many differing opinions on this issue, we don’t believe that Scripture precludes any women from becoming pastors, but instead gifts and affirms them in these callings.
Do I Need to Have a Seminary Degree to be a Church Planter?
While formal biblical training is a great place to be equipped and taught to lead, preach, and more, we do not require that all church planters with Communitas have seminary degrees. For all of history, God has used men and women with and without formal education to advance the gospel in local churches.
We don’t believe that seminary education is the only way to be people of sound doctrine and do fruitful mission’s work.
If you’re interested in planting a church or being part of an existing ministry project but don’t have a seminary education, don’t worry. We don’t want that to hold you back.
If you’re ready to get a roadmap of what pursuing this dream could look like, download our guide below. You don’t have to commit to anything, but it will give you an idea of what the process could look like.