After decades of helping churches, ministries, and pastors, it finally happened. I was just ordained as a Pastor by my local church. “Why?” you might ask? Well, many local churches are understanding the need for a full-time communication leader, but other churches are seeing this leadership role as a ministry role, and therefore, needs a pastor in charge of it.
Having just walked with an ordination council and been presented to my church for ordination, I want to point out 5 qualifications I believe are necessary for this “new” role:
1. Called to Full-time Ministry. Ordination means to be “set apart”. An ordained Pastor needs to sense a specific calling from God to dedicate their life to a ministry. Although I believe all christians are called to following Christ and living a set-apart life (unto holiness); ordination comes with a solemn commissioning to doing this at the highest level: leading other believers in ministry and evangelism. As a full-time minister, they come alongside other pastors and encourage all ministry in the local church and for the greater Kingdom.
2. Spiritually Mature. In order to be in a ministerial leadership role, it doesn’t mean perfection. That would disqualify all of us! In fact, without God’s abundant grace, NONE of us could do ministry. Instead, we must be committed to sin less (rather than being sinless), being sensitive to the work of grace in our lives, and seek to learn, grow, and practice the principles of the Bible. This person who’s spiritually mature will standout in a group as someone worthy of leading on spiritual matters.
3. Above Reproach. According to the books of Titus and 1 Timothy, this is the overarching summary of an ordained pastor. Again, not perfection, but when it comes to their marriage, family, stewardship, disposition, generosity, and spirituality, they are a cut-above. Set apart. They must live up to the high expectations of a ministry leader that are scattered throughout all of Scripture. Being above reproach needs to be our constant goal.
4. Dedicated to Effective, God-Honoring Communication. Because communication is their ministry focus, it must be more than a fleeting experiment or stepping stone to something else. They need to enjoy everything about communication. They are fascinated with the ways to reach people with the Gospel and Ministry, how to engage them to action, and love practicing it. Since effective, God-honoring communication is reaching an audience with the Gospel; they must have the heart of an evangelist. Along with the other requirements of a great communicator: organization, process, strategy, and aesthetic.
5. An Example. Being a Pastor is putting yourself on display and saying “as I follow Christ, I’m praying you’ll follow after me”. This is the ultimate test of someone who seeks ordination to be any pastor. It should be humbling and give great pause.
I’m praying for the hundreds of Communication Pastors around the world who are committed to this challenging work. Our ministry is much larger than any one person can do! But together, with the many other Pastors and parishioners, we’re called to make disciples. God chooses to use us. I know, it’s craz