Don’t become a pastor until….
…you’ve invited someone who doesn’t believe in Jesus to believe in Jesus. That’s what pastors are for. If you don’t do it in your daily life now, you’re not going to be better at it when some seminary or denomination says you’re ready to.
…you pray and worship when no one is listening.
…you can pray and worship without telling everyone you did.
…your knowledge of the Bible is as thorough as your questions about it. The questions shouldn’t come from what you don’t know; they should come from what you do know.
…you’ve given up the dream of getting rich. We print “In God We Trust” on the back of his leading competitor.
…you’ve given up the dream of being famous. There should be a pretty distinct difference between a sermon and a selfie.
…you’ve realized your wedding vows are more important than your ordination vows.
…you could competently do ministry without a formal theological education. And once you don’t need it – go get it.
…you’ve learned how and when to say “I could be wrong” and “I’m sorry.”
…you can name the places that you’re broken with no more shame than if you were describing what you like about a painting. Brokenness is something we need to accept about ourselves so that we can deal honestly with the problems it creates, rather than trying to hide it from everyone else until the problems become public.
…you have a stronger passion for releasing other people’s gifts than releasing your own.
…God’s call to ministry is louder than your desire to do ministry and other people’s affirmation of your ministry.
That said, I don’t know that I would have become a pastor 17 years ago if I was following my own list.