I want to serve God.
We want to help you to gain clarity in order to get closer to your career aspiration. As an academy for pastoral leaders, it is important to us that you find your right place.
Just look around. On this page, we also introduce you to a new profession in the church work sector every month. Have fun browsing.
Table of content
Pastor, Missionary, Priest – simply explained
What Does a Pastor Actually Earn?
What Does a Pastor do?
Where do I Get Training?
Who is Suitable?
Pastor, Counselor, or Missionary?
A pastor or shepherd is the one leading a local church. A pastor has to organize his congregation, preach sermons, counsel people with needs, pray for the sick, and raise leaders.
A counselor is someone people seek when they need advice. This can be an individual, a couple, or a group. He or she has to listen in order to understand the specific situation their client might have to help them with clarity, spiritual advice, or prayer.
A missionary is like a pastor and is someone who brings God’s Word to people, trains leaders, and or helps to build a community. The difference is that he or she is usually dealing with another culture or ethnic group. The challenge is to understand what the people you want to minister really think and feel.
The term “pastor,” “priest,” or “minister” are definitions by which different denominations describe their spiritual leaders. The term “pastor” refers to the Latin word “shepherd,” describing the task of herding a flock. It is most often used in the evangelical world. The “priest” refers to the office of someone connecting people with God by being a connector. Often, the Catholic church refers to its leaders as priests. A priest is normally not married. A “minister” is a general term translating to “servant.” He or she can work as a teacher, bishop, counselor, pastor, or choir leader.
How Much Does a Pastor, Counselor, or Missionary Earn?
The average salary for priests is $53,000 per year. The top 10% earn more than $85,000 per year and the bottom 10% earn $26,000 or less per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2020.
In an evangelical church, one can expect a pastor to earn between $35,000 and $45,000 annually. But if you pastor a large congregation it can be substantially more.
Missionaries typically get paid by a missions organization. They receive the funding from a group of supporters or by a sending church. The income varies a lot according to where your destination is. Your lifestyle has to somehow fit into the community you serve. In addition, you have costs for furlough, healthcare at home, and other insurance. Expect an annual salary between $15,000 and $25,000. Consider that the cost of living in the country you are planning to serve in is usually much different than in your home country.
Counselors make an average salary between $35,000 to $50,000 depending on what field they are working in.
If you have more questions about this topic, refer to your respective church.
What Does a Pastoral Leader Do?
- Preaches and teaches.
- Leads and builds group/teams.
- Offers support through listening and prayer.
- Organizes events.
- Oversees finances and resource management.
Pastoral leaders influence others.
Paul of Tarsus
Paul was one of the first pastors in a multicultural society. He has helped shape Christianity to its present form. He moved through the Mediterranean area and planted churches. He was later arrested and brought to Rome because of his faith.
Hildegard of Bingen
This abbess dealt with the cosmos, ethics, music, and medicine from the perspective of faith. Her visions and reports are still known today. She traveled through Europe on her horse to encourage the people and admonish the powerful.
We know him as the great Reformer of the church. His foundations were “sola scriptura” (Scripture alone), “sola gratia” (by grace alone), and “sola fide” (by faith alone). With this, he made the established Catholic Church his enemy. His legacy has shaped modern Christianity.
Martin Luther King Jr.
MLK was not only a civil rights activist in the U.S., but also a pastor. His famous speech which included the phrase, “I have a dream,” still resonates today. His goal was equality for the black population and the abolition of racial segregation.
College, Seminary, or Bible School?
In addition, statistics show that, on average, more than half of pastoral leaders feel that their training did not prepare them well for their professional life. This makes the decision to choose the right school or university for you all the more important.
Serve God in Different Ways
At THS, we equip you with the most common skills that you will need to fulfill your calling.
Pastor & Pfarrer
Am I Suited?
If you would like to see whether or not you would be suitable for admittance into our program, take the THS Suitability Test below which we have crafted specially for you.