PSTI have a friend who is on a pastor search team ask me what I thought the qualities of a pastor should be. Below is my response to him.

“Greetings in Jesus’ strong and mighty name!

To answer your question, I would BEGIN by suggesting the following for qualities in a pastor (In order):

Godliness and Holiness. No other qualities are more important than these. Unless a man is godly and holy, he is incapable of fulfilling God’s call on his life in relation to God’s people.

A Strong Prayer Life. The only way God’s man can discern God’s will is if he is in regular and constant communication with God. Otherwise he will present the latest fad… what another church has done… the last book he’s read… or worse, his own thoughts about what should be done. This is where vision comes from… GOD. Any man’s vision that is not God’s vision is meaningless.

Proficient And Capable In Presenting Scripture. Preachers can be entertaining, but so can performers at Las Vegas. Preachers can be skillful with their speaking skills, but so are politicians. Preachers can tickle the ears of their hearers, but that does not mean they are faithfully proclaiming the Gospel. God calls men to preach for the purpose of glorifying Him and feeding His sheep. Toward that end a pastor’s effectiveness is most discernible regarding proclamation of the Gospel.

These three are THE most important… everything else is meaningless if the above are not in place AND obvious to all who are discerning. Other qualities such as leadership, administration, and the like may be present… but they cannot and must not supplant these three qualities. The less time they spend on these three matters, the less faithful he will be to God. He may please men (Church members), but he will not be pleasing God!

Consequently, consider the Scripture… (These apply to all staff in the Southern Baptist context!)

1 Tim 3:2 An overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4 He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, 5 for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? 6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. 7 Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.

Titus 1:7 An overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, 8 but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. 9 He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.

1 Peter 5:2 Shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; 3 not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock.

You may also want to read two posts from my old blog: Does Your Pastor Love You? and, Does Your Pastor Really Love You? Slightly similar, but they are different as you’ll find out.”