This week alone, I’ve had two potential clients ask me if I am a “real pastor.” I get it. With so many wedding officiants out there calling themselves reverend, minister, priest, and pastor it’s hard to know who is the real deal and who bought their title online.
Before we go any further, yes, I am a real pastor. I have a bachelor’s degree in Religion and years of experience. Check out my church! Then, scroll down to read why I think couples should always hire a “real pastor” to officiate their wedding ceremony.
When I first started officiating weddings, I was working as a chaplain for a non-profit organization. That’s why a lot of my reviews refer to me as “Chaplain Chris”. If you’re not sure what a chaplain is, as I stated in my “What is a chaplain?” blog a while back, a Chaplain is a clergyperson much like a pastor or priest that serves in a secular (nonreligious) organization or facility.
BEEN THERE, DONE THAT
After I moved on from that organization, I continued to officiate weddings. As my credentials with the non-profit expired, I used an online ordination just in case. The choices in titles were astounding. Though I didn’t use them, the Universal Life Church has an impressive list of titles to choose from. Take a look:
So, yes, I am a real pastor, and in my opinion, you should always hire a “real pastor” to be your wedding officiant. Why?
REASONS TO HIRE A “REAL PASTOR” TO OFFICIATE YOUR WEDDING
- Pastors will treat your wedding with respect.
Because we understand the importance and gravity of marriage, pastors will treat your ceremony with the reverence it deserves. Whether you want a religious ceremony or no religion at all, a pastor will appreciate the commitment you’re making and the importance of the day.
- Pastors are comfortable in front of a crowd.
We speak in front of large groups regularly… and we like it. We’re public speakers and storytellers by nature, and we know how to engage an audience.
- Pastors are accustomed to getting to know people well.
Through counseling, small groups, church potlucks, hospital visits, and one-on-one discipleship, pastors get to know their people well so we will get to know you too.
- (Good) Pastors are nonjudgmental.
Pastors see people at their best and their worst, so pastors are nonjudgmental. Remember, we are sinners too.
- Pastors are good writers.
Pastors write and prepare sermons all the time, so writing your custom ceremony comes naturally to most.
- Pastors are funny.
Well, some are. Most think they are.
- By hiring a pastor, you help a church.
Contrary to what you see on TV, most pastors are not loaded. While you see megachurch pastors in their mansions on TV or on social media, most churches in America have less than 100 people! Source
- When hiring a pastor, the fee is (often) a tax-deductible donation.
Performing weddings is a duty of the church. Therefore, if the church owns or operates the business, whatever fee you pay can be a tax-deductible donation to the church. I’m not a tax professional so verify everything I have said with someone who is, but payments for my services go through my church and therefore is tax-deductible.
And there you have it. Before you send me angry emails, I know that there are a number of awesome wedding officiants out there that are not real pastors. However, there are a number of terrible officiants out there, with and without fake titles, just waiting to ruin your big day. Don’t fall for a bad comedian or out of work actor calling himself a pastor.
If you’re looking for a real pastor to officiate your wedding, contact me now to check availability.