Religious leadership is about more than employment. As a Pentecostal reverend, you are tasked with exemplifying spiritual beliefs and moral standards. Church leaders vow a commitment to the faith and roles of the ministry. The specific oath varies among the various Pentecostal subgroups, but the pledge of service is generally the same.
Becoming a Pentecostal reverend involves numerous steps, in addition to the oath of service. Church leaders must be granted credentials by a governing body and request recertification on a yearly basis. The process begins with an application, where you are asked to provide information about your spiritual journey, as well as your personal life. You also list your church leadership positions and provide references from within your church. Some Pentecostal subgroups, like the United Pentecostal Church International, require applicants to be mentored by elder members of the ministry. The oath of service is generally included within the application.
United Pentecostal Church
The UPCI publishes the "Ministry Assessment Path," which guides potential ministers through the credentialing process. The application contains a commitment statement, which you must sign before you are considered for service. Under the oath, you strive to reach your ministerial potential using prayer, Bible studies and fasting. You also commit to personal evangelism and growing the ministry as a whole. The pledge also includes an agreement to receive and provide mentoring among other ministers.
International Pentecostal Church of Christ
The International Pentecostal Church of Christ is another subgroup of the Pentecostal church. The IPCC has a detailed statement of faith, which church leaders must sign. The statement identifies the scriptural basis for the ministry's beliefs and covenants. There are also provisions about general church practices and a statement against racism. Applicants are asked to fully subscribe to the tenets of the document by signing the agreement. Though there is no verbal oath required for credentialing, the written agreement holds the same weight.
Assembly of God
The Assembly of God branch of the Pentecostal church is governed by a set of written bylaws. Under Article VII, Section 2, of the bylaws, a minister must be in "agreement with our doctrinal position as Contained in the Statement of Fundamental Truths." This statement is a list of 16 doctrines that all Assembly of God churches must follow and teach. Each of the tenants contain Bible verses in support of the individual statement. The church bylaws also require commitment to the ministry's fellowship. As a minister, you make an oath to follow these guidelines by signing a written agreement.
- International Pentecostal Church of Christ: Statement of Faith
- International Pentecostal Church of Christ: Membership Application
- The General Counsel of the Assemblies of God: Minutes of the 55th Session
- Enrichment Journal: Women in the Pentecostal Movement
- United Pentecostal Church International: Manual 2012
Erika Winston is a Washington, D.C.-based writer, with more than 15 years of writing experience. Her articles have appeared in such magazines as Imara, Corporate Colors E-zine and Enterprise Virginia. She holds a Juris Doctor degree from Regent University and a Masters in public policy from New England College.