What Makes a Pastor

There are many attributes that should mark a biblical pastor. There are things that should be true of your pastor. Sadly, I do not know that many churches these days have this all figured out.

Years ago, I looked on line for a new pastoral position (Long story, Maybe I’ll tell you someday). As I looked, I found something disturbing. Churches listing for a new pastor listed what they wanted. They sought men who are leaders, organizers, driven, visionaries. They advertised for the men who would take their church to the next level or who would specialize in engaging the lost.

What was so often missing, however, was anything to do with the actual calling of a pastor. No, I’m not meaning a spiritual inner calling; I’m talking about the things that God has listed in his word that pastors are called to do and to be. I probably saw one church in ten, maybe twenty, looking for a man who would care for the church, who would be diligent in prayer, who would preach the word faithfully. Oh, many churches looked for a man who would be a good communicator, they wanted engaging and relevant sermons, but almost none listed a desire for a man who had a passion to feed the people of God with the clear, glorious, deep, unadulterated word of God.

Think of what Paul said about himself when he thought about preaching the word.

1 Corinthians 9:16- For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!

Paul said that he could not stand it if he did not preach the gospel. Something about bringing the inspired word of God to the people around him drove Paul. He pronounced woe on himself if he failed to preach. And, no, this passage is not merely referring to evangelism. Paul is clearly speaking of faithful biblical teaching of believers too.

I do not have any problem with a pastor being a good organizer or communicator. I’m fine with a man who is good at developing systems. But let us not be so foolish as to miss that a passion for proclaiming the word of God to the people of God is a clear necessity for a man to be a good and godly pastor. If a man has no fire in his bones for bringing the word of God to the flock, something is very wrong.

If you have a man who loves his systems and loves his organizational charts and is great at planning programs but does not love—I mean deep down in his bones love—the preaching of the word, pray hard. Pray either that God will bring that man spiritual healing and personal revival, or pray that God will give that man an understanding that he is in the wrong line of work. And if your church will tolerate a successful business man who does not love the word of God and who does not love proclaiming the word of God for the glory of God, for the benefit of the people of God, and then for the lost to hear afterward, be concerned. Your church might have a lay elder or two who still does not love preaching, and that makes sense. These guys are stepping out way past their comfort zones to do something many of them have not formally trained to do. But when your church is looking for the pastor who will regularly be preaching the word, may they not settle for anyone who does not love the proclamation of the word.

1 thought on “What Makes a Pastor”

  1. As I read this blog my mind runs to Galatians 4:19 “My children, with whom I am again in labor until Christ is formed in you…” As a pastor Paul labored in preaching the word for the believer’s progressive sanctification. As
    Our Lord said in “Sanctify them in the truth, your word is truth.” Yes, this is sadly missing in churches today.


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