If God is calling you to become a pastor, but you do not see seminary as the best path for you, then you may want to consider becoming a local pastor. When appointed, a local pastor performs the usual duties of a pastor, including:
- Preaching and teaching.
- Leading in worship and liturgy.
- Receiving new members.
- Performing the sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion in their appointment setting.
- Performing the services of marriage (where state laws allow), burial and confirmation.
A local pastor answers God’s call to serve the mission of Jesus Christ typically by serving a local congregation in The United Methodist Church. They need not make themselves available as itinerant ministers and are not ordained or elected into full membership of the annual conference. Additionally, a local pastor’s authority is only within their appointment setting and does not extend beyond it. Local pastors serve under the authority of a license for pastoral ministry after completing the steps outlined in ¶ 315 of The Book of Discipline (2016) and meeting any annual conference requirements.