Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Requirements for a Pastor

With all the talk lately about the requirements for a Pastor, I thought people might be interested in why I believe that I can fill such a role. I decided to share the letter that I submitted when I requested my pastoral license through the American Baptist Churches of Michigan. This is also a good chance for you all to learn more about me on a personal level:

To the Deacons at Valley Farms Baptist Church,

Within the last few months, God has laid it heavily on my heart to further seek his will in my life. I believe that his will is for me to become a pastor and one day oversee my own congregation. I am writing this letter to formally request your sponsorship for a Pastoral License through the American Baptist Churches of Michigan.

In First Timothy, chapter three it reads; "the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God's church?) He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil's trap." These are the requirements laid out in God's word for a pastor within His Church. I believe I meet these requirements.

God has been preparing me for this responsibility for a very long time. He provided me with the means to find Christ at the age of thirteen, thus allowing me to grow as a Christian for 12 years. He introduced me to my wife, Tabatha while I was still in high school, allowing me to build a meaningful and long lasting marriage while I was still young. He has taught me to keep a calm, cool, and collected temperament, allowing me to maintain good relationships with friends and acquaintances. He has provided me with the spiritual gift of teaching, allowing me to prepare and deliver sermons and bible lessons. He has also provided me with a wonderful mentor who, through watching both his triumphs and his struggles, I have learned a great deal from.

I have begun seminary school through Andersonville Theological Institute and am on course for an associate’s degree in Biblical studies. Once completed, I plan to re-enroll and begin working towards a bachelors Degree in Biblical Theology. Through this experience, combined with my continued counsel with Pastor Dave, or whoever God places before me, I will continue to mold and shape the type of pastor I will be.
Obtaining my pastoral license will do more for me than simply give me a title. It will allow me to speak at other churches and possibly fill in on an interim basis. It will also allow me to perform other pastoral duties, such as weddings, funerals, baptisms, etc. All of these responsibilities will be opportunities for further growth spiritually, mentally and emotionally.

The Apostle Paul also wrote in First Timothy; "Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity." I have tried to make this my focus in life and have no intentions of faltering in this effort. If given this opportunity, I will strive for continued growth in my walk with Christ. I will keep my life focused on setting an example through all of the attributes listed by Paul. I realize that becoming a pastor is more than just receiving a title. It is accepting a responsibility and accepting the constant challenges that come along with that title. It requires a willingness to open yourself up to others as an approachable source for comfort and advice. It is a promise to God to always seek his will in your life, in others lives and in his church. These are responsibilities that I am willing and prepared to accept.

Therefore, given the reasons I have listed in this letter; I, Timothy Rees, ask the Deacons of Valley Farms Baptist Church for their support and their blessing, in becoming a licensed pastor within the American Baptist Churches of Michigan. Thank you for your time and your consideration. God bless.

In Christ,
Timothy Rees