Author Options:

How can I tell if a pastor is an actual pastor? Answered

I do lots of different volunteer work.  I've come across a cat that I think is running a sideways program.   He runs his church off of a .com instead of a .org ...... and there are other things.  My question is this:  What do I ask about his "padre license"? Didn't this guy go to school?
If I could be pointed in the correct direction to ask the correct questions, that would be great.


ask him to give you the super secret pastor-only handshake

No. You've got it all wrong!  The trick is to throw a bucket of water on him.  An evil impostor-pastor will melt in the presence of water, writhing and screaming in agony , just like the Wicked Witch of the West!   An ordinary pastor will just get wet, and also get mad at you... until you explain that you had to do that to make sure he was a real pastor.   A real pastor will of course be kind, and forgiving,  just like professional football coaches are,  erm... provided that you actually did win the big game.

Hope you got some answers.

Oh, I did. There where some great answers and I sent some patches. I just found this pretty funny :)

Please just point us to the website, it'll make things easier.


There is no "license" for pastor, minister or preacher in the US. Anyone can start a church and become the leader.

But there are official papers to file with the government if you want tax relief for that church.  You could check with the city about those papers.

In some states you have to "ordained" by a recognized church to perform weddings.

I wouldn't worry just because he is a .com.  Maybe the name he wanted to use was taken on .org.  The different designations have become blurred so they don't always mean what they used to.

By the way, I'm a "registered" minister.  I didn't go to college for it.  I got it at the Church Of the Universal Life (or something like that) on the internet.

The church of re-design........ Oh, that just sings!


6 years ago

My Wife's Father was a pastor ( passed now ) who attended a seminary
college in Chicago and received a degree that allowed him to work for
several churches. We got along well, he was also a scientist in plant biology.


Thanks. But how do I ask this fellow where he went to school? You say they attend a seminary college? Does the fool got papers?

Yes But, my wife tells me,
anyone can get pastor papers on the net these days :(

Pastor papers...... Oh that's funny. Have you read these answers? I'm going to have a hard time picking the "1"

It depends on what beliefs you have. It is up to you to know what your beliefs are and if a pastor or church is in line with what you believe. It is not the pastor's job to tell you what you believe, rather your job to find out what his beliefs are. I am non-denominational, so here is what my church has on their website about what we believe.

A. The Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, to be the inspired Word of God, without error in the original writings, the complete revelation of His will for the salvation of men, and the Divine and final authority for all Christian faith and life.

B. In one God, Creator of all things, infinitely perfect and eternally existing in three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

C. That Jesus Christ is true God and true man, having been conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He died on the cross a sacrifice for our sins according to the Scriptures. Further, He arose bodily from the dead, ascended into heaven, where at the right hand of the Majesty on High, He now is our High Priest and Advocate.

D. That the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ, and during this age to convict men, regenerate the believing sinner, indwell, guide, instruct, and empower the believer for godly living and service.

E. That man was created in the image of God but fell into sin and is therefore lost and only through regeneration by the Holy Spirit can salvation and spiritual life be obtained.

F. That the shed blood of Jesus Christ and His resurrection provide the only ground for justification and salvation for all who believe, and only such as receive Jesus Christ are born of the Holy Spirit, and thus become children of God.

G. That water baptism and the Lord’s Supper are ordinance to be observed by the Church during the present age. They are, however, not to be regarded as means of salvation.

H. That the true Church is composed of all such persons who through saving faith in Jesus Christ have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit and are united together in the Body of Christ of which He is the head.

I. That only those who are thus members of the true Church shall be eligible for membership in the local Church.

J. That Jesus Christ is the Lord and Head of the Church, and that every local Church has the right under Christ to decide and govern its own affairs.

K. In the personal and premillennial and imminent coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and that this “Blessed Hope” has a vital bearing on the personal life and service of the believer.

L. In the bodily resurrection of the dead; of the believer to everlasting blessedness and joy with the Lord; of the unbeliever to judgment and everlasting conscious punishment.

Don't worry about the .com most people put their website under .com even if it isn't an eCommerce site, since that is what most people are familiar with and will generally put in the search bar.

Have you simply tried googling him?

What church is he a pastor of? Methodist, Baptist etc? If he's a "mainstream" minister, he should have official training of some sort, be it in theological college, a seminary or he worked his way up the ranks of monkhood.

Some less mainstream churches actually disapprove of formal training to become a minister - you should be called by god - and so their preachers sometimes come directly from the congregation.

Does he have a dedicated church building, or does his congregation meet in a room in another building, or even in somebody's house?

What is his website? (PM me if you prefer)

Above all, though, you should be judging him on his actions, not on a piece of paper that may be many years out of date, and he may have gone through many shifts in faith since that time.

Sounds like his gig is home grown and way off the grid;I mean anyone with a big heart and a ton of good or (bad) intentions can start a church right?I hope he doesn't go Jim Jones.Rather then approach him directly take your suspicions to the Police,they have all the resources at hand to find out if he's the real deal


whats the pic for cuzz if your wondring if that real is not is from a REALLY FUNNY move