What Are the Job Duties of a Pastor?

While pastors are the leaders of a church, they have many other duties aside from giving sermons. Read on to learn more about the job responsibilities and skills needed to become a pastor. Schools offering Pastoral Ministry degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Job Responsibilities of a Pastor

As a pastor, you provide spiritual leadership to members of a church. Your duties include preparing weekly sermons, preaching and conducting worship services. It's your responsibility to interpret biblical scripture for the congregation. You also provide care and counseling to church members and assist them in crisis situations. In addition, working as a pastor may require you to officiate at special services, such as confirmations, baptisms, weddings and funerals.

You collaborate with choir leaders to integrate music into church services. Job hours are a bit irregular, because you must divide your time between conducting worship services, attending social events at the church and completing administrative duties. Additional job responsibilities may include:

  • Assisting in church financial matters
  • Overseeing management of all areas of the congregation's ministry
  • Supporting, overseeing and evaluating congregation staff
  • Holding regular staff meetings to coordinate ministries
  • Ensuring church facilities are functioning

Essential Professional Knowledge and Skills

To work as a pastor, you must have comprehensive knowledge of the Bible and a strong religious conviction. You also must be ordained by a church or accredited body. Beneficial skills may include:

  • Strong character
  • Impartiality
  • Public speaking
  • Compassion for struggles and concerns of others
  • Ability to communicate clearly

Education Requirements

Some churches may require you to have various qualifications, such as a bachelor's or even a master's degree in divinity, theology or religion. Typically, churches require pastors to have a graduate degree in divinity from an accredited seminary school. In undergraduate school, aspiring pastors often major in a related subject, such as religion or theology. Graduate programs are intended to give you a deeper critical education in theology and religious studies as well as train you in other aspects of being a pastor, such as preparing sermons and conducting worship services.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that employment growth for clergy will increase by 10% between 2012 and 2022. The average annual wage for clergy members was $47,880 in May 2012, as reported by the BLS.

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