A Pentecostal pastor delivers a biblical sermon.
A Pentecostal pastor delivers a biblical sermon.

The Pentecostal movement is the fastest-growing segment within Christianity today. With more than 700 denominations and thousands of independent churches represented in the movement, it would be impossible to provide detailed instructions on how to become a Pentecostal minister that would fulfill the requirements for everyone who feels called to the ministry in the Pentecostal movement. These instructions represent the most-common processes within Pentecostal churches. The leadership of your denomination or church will have more detailed information specific to the ordination process which the Pentecostal organization you identify with uses.

Testimony and Preparation

Testify of your salvation. Pentecostal churches require that their ministers have been 'born again.' Some Pentecostals believe that anyone who has accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior is saved. Other Pentecostals, especially Oneness Pentecostals, believe that you must also be baptized in Jesus' name and speak in tongues.

Seek the baptism in the Holy Spirit if you have not already received it. Many Pentecostal denominations, including the Assemblies of God and the United Pentecostal Church, International, insist that all ministerial candidates receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit with the initial physical evidence of speaking in tongues before they will be considered for ministerial credentials. Some Pentecostal denominations will offer credentials to candidates who have not received the baptism in the Holy Spirit as long as they believe in it and are actively seeking it.

Live a godly lifestyle. Different Pentecostal denominations and churches have differing standards for their members and ministers. You will want to be aware of and adhere to biblical teachings on how Christians are to conduct themselves. You will also want to be aware of and adhere to any behavioral or cultural standards your church espouses. Pentecostal ministers are expected to live as examples to the congregations they lead by living holy lifestyles.

Make others aware of your calling. Most Pentecostals believe that you must be specially called by God into the ministry. The exact nature of this calling isn't generally defined, but ministerial candidates will generally be expected to explain why they believe God is calling them into the ministry. Discuss your calling with your pastor or church elders. Not only can they give you practical direction regarding the process of becoming a minister, but they can help disciple you, addressing any areas of your life which may need growth and change before you embark into the ministry.

Volunteer in your church or denomination's ministries. Many Pentecostal organizations require that ministerial candidates demonstrate their calling by being involved in volunteer ministry opportunities before allowing them to be involved in vocational ministry. Most Pentecostal churches offer many opportunities for those who feel called into the ministry to serve. This helps the church and gives the prospective minister valuable ministry experience at the same time.

Licensing Process

Fulfill your church's educational requirements. The requirements for entry level ministry credentials varies among Pentecostal denominations. These may include Bible college studies, correspondence courses, an internship with a seasoned minister, or any combination of these.

Interview with your denominational or church leadership. Most Pentecostal churches will require you to undergo an interview before granting ministerial credentials. For independent Pentecostal churches, this may be as informal as discussing your calling with your pastor or the church board. For larger Pentecostal denominations, this will generally involve an actual interview before a credentialing committee of seasoned ministers.

Apply for ministerial positions. Once you have received ministerial credentials, you can apply for positions. Depending on your church's structure and governance, this may involve applying directly to the churches which are seeking a minister, or it may involve seeking an appointment from your church or denomination's leadership. Your church or denomination's bylaws should make clear how ministers are to go about seeking ministerial positions within the denomination.