So, you've been called to the ministry. "Calling" is the operative word, because pastoring a church is one of the biggest sacrifices that a person can make as a career choice. It's the kind of sacrifice that you make when you believe in something bigger than yourself and feel compelled to give your gift to the world. Take your time and go through the proper steps for getting into the ministry if you want to give your gift successfully.
1. Learn the word and the ministry inside and out with courses and understudy
Before you get into the ministry, make sure that it's for all the right reasons. There is a lot of acclaim and even wealth to be earned when you run a successful church. But the bottom line is that you're serving people first. The root word "pastor" literally translates to shepherd, so you need to take responsibility and ownership over the people who will trust your spiritual guidance.
To take on that responsibility, you have to be credible. Study your religion relentlessly, and challenge your assumptions and perceptions. Read various schools of thought and sign up for online courses in ministry development. The online courses will help solidify your faith, biblical knowledge, and ministerial leadership qualities so that you will be ready once the opportunity to run a church opens up for you.
2. Start as small as possible and put spiritual growth ahead of congregation growth
Nobody says that you have to start a megachurch on day one. In fact, buckle up and expect years of ministering to just a handful of people. One of the benefits of technology is that you never have to wait for your building to be packed to minister to the world. Livestream your services and post them all over the net so that you can get thousands of followers. When your focus is on spiritual growth and not just trying to pack out your building, you will hit the right notes and people will respond to your message. Focusing on spiritual growth first will eventually get you a large congregation.
3. Put together a board and run the church like a business
Too many good churches go under because they handle the spiritual side, but not the business side. Learning how to delegate will solve a lot of these mistakes. You probably have an accountant, community organizer, principal, graphic designer, and lawyer already in your congregation, or just a few links of separation away. Put together a board for the church and meet regularly so that the church is run like a tight ship.
File as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization so that your church receives the tax protections that it is entitled to. Keep superb records on every dime that goes in and comes out, and be transparent about this with your congregation. Believers will happily tithe at a church that lets them see where their money is going. Always make improvements and empower your congregation to be part of the process and in the loop.
These three tips can help you become the best minister you can be. Look into ministry development online courses to get started.