These days there are so many self proclaimed pastors. Some of them are briefcase ones. These are the ones busy preaching in the streets, buses as well as market places. JAMES CHIMPWEYA talked to the newly ordained pastor Towera Masiku, of Word Alive International Ministries, to find out what it takes for one to be a pastor.
Can you tell us when does one become a pastor?
This question varies from church to church. From the church I serve, one has to go into pastoral service after serving the church for some years and have the doctrine of the church. You have to be trained in pastoral stewardship through the churchâ€™s leadership.
What are the qualities of a pastor?
These qualities are Biblical and can be found in 1Tim3, where qualities of a good leader are outlined. Some of which are that the person desiring the office of a bishop should be of good sound, able to take care of his house, and of not having too much wine, among others. If one does not qualify the outlined qualities they should not be a pastor.
What are the duties of an ordained Pastor?
Ordained pastors are supposed to conduct Holy Communions, funeral ceremonies, officiating holy marriages, and baptising people who have believed the gospel among many other duties.
What topics are usually covered in pastoral trainings?
In the training we cover Christian rights through Ministerial Codes and Ethics. Pastors have to respect and observe the rights of the members of their church members over and above. Before one is to undergo pastoral training, he/she has to be an intern pastor. Through that process one learns a lot and is recognised by the church leadership. Some of the topics include Church governance: on how he/she can govern the church financially, manage the human resource, and capacity building, among others.
How long is the training?
It varies from church to church, but in our church, we are trained for a period of four years. During these years we work as internship pastors until we are ordained. Some graduate with diplomas, certificates, and even doctorates. We are trained by our well qualified church leadership.
Why do you think you pastors need to be trained?
We have to be trained so that we build a strong church foundation. The church must have strong leadership, hence the four year training. This leadership position cannot just be given to anyone without fully equipping them. They must have the confidence of the church executive before they are accepted into the pastoral training. They must know the dos and donâ€™ts of the church – in other words the doctrine of the church. During the training we have practical experience so that the leadership has confidence in us and our abilities.