Thursday, November 15, 2007

What to Look for in a Pastor

A survey conducted in Scotland revealed that the following are the qualities considered to be of prime importance in a pastor:

1. Leadership skills
2. Developing Abilities
3. Recognising Abilities
4. Knowledge of denominational principles
5. Good communicator
6. People focused
7. Knowledge of church structure
8. Practical work experience
9. Management skills
10. Active participant in the community

I do not suppose an American list would be much different.  But what kind of requirements does God have for men who would serve the church as a bishop/elder/pastor (in my understanding and study, different terms that refer to the same office, highlighting different aspects of it)?  One thing that strikes me as odd in this list is that one can be and do all the things in it and have a rotten character.

Thabiti Anyabwile has completed a study of this question in a series called "Finding Reliable Men."  It is based on 1 Timothy 3:1-7 – an inspired list of qualifications – and can be accessed by the links below.   It is time that churches started looking for and training up men who meet God's standards, rather than looking for CEOs and civic leaders.  I highly recommend this series: 1) for pastors - keep fighting the good fight and stay pure; 2) for aspiring pastors - this is a high calling; and 3) for church members - God calls us all to cultivate the same qualities with the exception of "able to teach" and we should not lower the standard for those who we call as pastors.  These are the qualities we ought to focus on seeing in future elders and candidates for pastoral positions.

Introduction: Finding Reliable Men
Above Reproach
One-Woman Man
Temperate, Self-Controlled, Respectable
Able to Teach
Sober, Gentle, Peacemaking
Not Lovers of Money
Leaders at Home
Mature and Humble
Finding Reliable Men: Well Thought of by Outsiders

(HT:  Mike Gilbart-Smith)

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