Pastor in training

What if you had a week to learn how to be a pastor? Doesn’t seem like quite enough time, does it? It’s not. Fortunately for me, a week of licensing school is only part of the journey. But for some of the folks here with me, they are already leading congregations, preaching weekly, and serving in most capacities as a full time pastor. So this week is especially important to them! Are you curious what they teach us in Local Pastor Licensing school?

Here is what I learned:
Most United Methodist churches are small. Like less than 200 small.
Most pastors have to be the preacher, accountant, janitor, teacher, encourager, and music director in their churches, because there is no one else.
Preaching is a learned art. I still have a lot to learn.
Marriage is a sacred act and it is my role to help couples understand this.
Pastoral care is about listening and helping people turn towards God in their time of need.
The one thing we all have in common is that we all need grace. All of us. Everyone.
Authenticity is something people want to see in their pastors. Complete exposure is not.
The sacraments (baptism and communion) are not of human choice, but of divine grace.
I will never take the clergy hat off. I will be a pastor in all settings, as it is a calling to a way of life, not a job.

Oh yea, we also learned how to perform a wedding ceremony, plan a worship service, conduct a funeral, baptize a baby and lead a church.