From Pastor to Attorney: Is it a Huge Change?


              For the first decade of my professional life, I made my living as an attorney. I practiced in California, Texas, and Colorado.

            Throughout that decade, I remained actively involved in ministry. My life as an attorney was never far from my life with fellow believers – my office cabinets are still filled with client files from those years, most of whom I either met at or through my community of faith.

            For the second decade of my professional life, I made my living as a minister. I served as a foreign missionary in Mexico, a Preaching Minister in Houston, Texas, and as a Preaching Minister in Richmond, Virginia.

            Throughout that decade, I remained actively involved with people’s legal needs. My life as a minister was never far from life steeped in legal issues – prisons visited, wills written, divorces facilitated.

            In my mind, there is not a large chasm between the practice of law and the role of a minister. Here are the similarities as I see them:

  •       Both professions seek to help people and to protect people.
  •       Both professions seek justice, fairness, goodness, and redemption for people.
  •       Both professions require critical thinking, clear writing, and persuasive speaking skills.
  •       Both require creativity.
  •       Both are deeply satisfying ways to make a living.

            About a year ago my wife and I decided to leave ministry and to go back to practicing law as a means of earning a living. As expected, many people were surprised at the switch. “Wow! From Pastor to Attorney. Now that is a huge change!”

            We have made the switch so many times we simply smile at the response. The truth is, we are more engaged in the life of our faith community now than when we were the full time minster and his family. And many of my legal clients share my faith and are thrilled to find an experienced attorney to help them in their time of need.

            From Pastor to Attorney – it really is not that big of a change.

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