Don’t do it.
Don’t do it if you want to be liked. Your desire for the approval of man will eventually clash with your call to say and do what God says. There is a good chance that your heart will be won over by the approval of man rather than the grace of God. And you, your family and your church will suffer. So find something else to do if you value pleasing people more than you do obeying God.
Don’t do it if you’ve got it all together. Maybe you’re a super talented speaker. And you have a photographic memory that allows you to spend half as much time as other pastors preparing messages. That’s good. But it can be bad. It’s bad when you convince yourself that you’ve got it together to the point that you don’t need Jesus. As a result, all you’ll ever give people is more of yourself. They don’t need that. They need Jesus. And so do you. But if you can’t see that, please, find something else to do.
Don’t do it if you’re just looking for a job. There’s a difference between a calling and a job. A job is something that you quit when it starts to get on your nerves or in the way of your real dreams. A job is something you do just because you need the money. People with a calling need money too. But there’s more to what they do. They do it because of love and obedience. A person with a career is more likely to make a stand, even if he’s by himself. Someone with a job will say whatever people tell him to say, perform a wedding ceremony for whoever wants to get married and jump through all of the hoops he’s told to jump through. Until a better job comes along. So if you’re just looking for a paycheck, find something else to do.
If you don’t love people, don’t be a pastor. And I mean all people. Not just the young, hip, trendy crowd. If you don’t love people, you’ll treat them as the cheap labor working to build your kingdom. The church is not your kingdom. If you forget that, you can be certain that God will remind you, usually in an embarrassing way. So if you’re more of a slave master than a shepherd, find something else to do.
And finally, if you don’t have a problem asking people to buy you a multimillion dollar custom made private jet, please don’t be a pastor. Start a business. Become a professional wrestler. Go into politics where you can use government agencies to force people to buy you a new airplane. Do whatever you want. Just don’t be a pastor.
Being a pastor is no more or less spiritual than any other job. But it is rewarding. So please, before you get too far into it, consider what kind of a reward you’re seeking.
If it’s the kind of reward that has the Creator of the universe telling you, “Well done,” at the end of your life then, by all means, press on.
If you’re looking for those rewards that inflate your ego and build you’re kingdom, you can find those in pastoral ministry too. But they don’t last. And when they end, it’s never pretty.
Just don’t do it.