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Requirements for being a pastor

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges & Seminaries' started by uhdum, Jul 13, 2001.

  1. uhdum

    uhdum New Member

    Jul 12, 2001
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    Figured I'd start a new discussion...What is everyone's thoughts on the requirements for being a pastor. Maybe that's not worded very well since the Bible gives us the actual "requirements," but I wanted to know, for example, how much schooling everyone feels a pastor should have, etc. In other words, what do you look for in a pastor and how should churches base their decision (obviously upon God's Will but you know what i mean ;)?

  2. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob Administrator

    Jun 30, 2000
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    Start with the Bible "requirements", THEN add the "preferencea"

    Now the overseer must be:
    1. Above reproach
    2. One-woman man
    3. Temperate
    4. Self-controlled
    5. Respectable
    6. Hospitable
    7. Able to teach
    8. Not a drinker
    9. Non-violent
    10. Not quarrelsome
    11. Not a lover of money.
    12. Good manager of his own family well
    13. Not a recent convert
    14. Good reputation with unsaved
  3. TomVols

    TomVols New Member

    Oct 30, 2000
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    Beyond the Biblical requirements Dr. Bob has named, I'd look for the following:
    1.) Overwhelming sense of divine call. As Spurgeon says, if you can be just as happy being a banker, lawyer, or whatever, you probably aren't suited for the pastorate.
    2.) Unyielding passion for the glory of God. We need a recovery of God-centered ministry as opposed to human centered work.
    3.) A committment to knowing God devotionally as the source of power and strength for life and ministry.
    4.) An unswerving commitment to the exposition of the Word as the central focus of ministry. Too many pastors are just counselors who preach a little, home visitors who preach a little. We desperately need expositors who pastor, visit, counsel, etc.
    5.) A committment to having preparation for ministry either formally or informally and a lifelong desire to remain a learner.
    6.) A genuine love for people and a committment to work with people.
    7.) Genuine humility. Far too many pastors think the Greek word for pastor is peacock. :eek:
    8.) Spiritual leadership that shows forth a bold humility. Not a CEO, nor a doormat, the pastor is to be humble, yet courageous, in casting a vision and leading the flock towards that vision.

    Just observations from a pastor. [​IMG]

    [ July 14, 2001: Message edited by: TomVols ]
  4. Raulf7

    Raulf7 New Member

    Aug 11, 2001
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    Actually called by God and who has the gift of Pastor/Teacher from God.
  5. DocCas

    DocCas New Member

    Jul 24, 2000
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    A. The Pastor must meet and uphold all the Biblical qualifications of the office - I Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:6-9.

    1. Be of Good Behavior. 1 Tim. 3:2; Titus 1:8.
    2. Be in Control at Home. 1 Tim. 3:2; 4:5; Titus 1:6.
    3. Be Hospitable. 1 Tim. 3:2; Titus 1:8; 1 Peter 4:9.
    4. Be a Teacher. 1 Tim. 3:2; Titus 1:9.
    5. Be Committed to Holiness. 2 Cor. 7:1.
    6. Be Spiritually Minded, not Materially Minded. 1 John 2:15; 1 Tim. 3:3; Titus 1:7; 1 Peter 5:2; (read Matt. 6:19-34).
    7. Be a Man of Meekness. 1 Tim. 3:3-4; Titus 1:7-13.
    8. Be a Man of Maturity. 1 Tim. 3:6; 1 Peter 5:5.
    9. Be a Respected Citizen. 1 Tim. 3:7.

    B. The Pastor must be a man of prayer - Acts 6:4.

    C. The Pastor must be a man of the Word - Acts 6:4.

    D. The Pastor's ministry is to be one of leading, not driving the flock - I Peter 5:1-3.

    E. The Pastor must be willing to spend time with his people - Proverbs 27:17; Mark 3:14.

    F. The Pastor is to be constantly equipping the members for the work of the ministry. Members must be given training and encouragement to minister - Ephesians 4:11-12.

    G. The Pastor must be Called of God to the work of the Ministry. 1 Tim. 1:12.

    1. A Divine Summons. Gal. 1:15-16.
    2. A Selective Summons. Mark 3:13.
    3. A Personal Summons. Matt. 4:18-22.
    4. A Deliberate Response. Isa. 6:8.
    5. A Decisive Commitment. Matt. 4:19, 21; 9:9.

    H. The pastor must be ethical.

    Concerning what he called the outer life of the pastor, Hezekiah Harvey wrote in 1879: "The Scriptures require in the pastor a model life. He is to be "an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity" (1 Timothy 4:12). As the leader of the flock his outward life will be expected to evince a higher moral tone and furnish more marked exemplification of Christian principles than that of the private Christian, because his office constitutes him an example, and the prominence of his position renders defects in him especially conspicuous and hurtful. (1 Timothy 3:2: "a bishop, then must be blameless....")"

    For some time I have been increasingly troubled with the behavior of pastors. An absence of ethical standards is epidemic. Pastor's gossip and talk in an uninhibited fashion. They often do not present a professional image in their business affairs. This presentation is an effort to outline some of the ethical duties of a pastor.

    If the need for Pastoral Ethics is apparent toward the family of faith, it is eminently more vital toward those who are not saved.

    Colossians 4:5, 6 "Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man."

    Webster defines ethics as follows:

    1. The doctrines of morality or social manners; the science of moral philosophy, which teaches men their duty and the reasons of it.

    2. A system of moral principles; a system of rules for regulating the actions and manners of men in society.

    1. A pastor and his relationship to other pastors;

    a. He has a duty to be Loyal.

    1 Timothy 5:19 "Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses."
    I believe that pastors have an obligation not to receive an accusation where there is an absence of proof. It is not uncommon for a pastor to tell of the fall of another to those who do not need the information.

    b. He has a duty to be kind.
    Romans 12:10 "Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;"

    c. He has a duty to be prayerful.

    Colossians 1:9 "For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;"

    d. He has a duty to be responsive.

    Colossians 4:6 "Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man."

    1) Return phone calls in a timely fashion.

    2) Respond to mail in a timely fashion.

    2. A pastor and his relationship to members of other churches.

    a. He has a duty of be protective of the other church.

    1) What is your response to people who visit your church from another fundamental Baptist church in your area? It is my impression that many pastors behave almost "lustfully" toward other church members who visit. They zealously court their further attendance and even solicit their transfer of membership to their church.
    Many seem to feel that they can do a better job of ministering to the family than their own pastor has done (this is pure PRIDE!).
    Perhaps they feel that the visiting family is going to join somewhere, "so it might as well be here." Perhaps it is the tithe they covet!!!

    "We do not regard it to be soul-winning to steal members out of churches already established, and train them to utter our peculiar Shibboleth: we aim rather at bringing souls to Christ than at making converts to our synagogue. There are sheep-stealers abroad, concerning whom I will say nothing except that they are not "brethren", or at least, they do not act in a brotherly fashion. To their own Master they must stand or fall. We count it utter meanness to build up our own house with the ruins of our neighbours' mansions; we infinitely prefer to quarry for ourselves."

    b. He has a duty to be professional.

    1) Having fellowship with your friends when they preach for neighboring churches.

    2) Having fellowship with members when acting in the capacity of a guest.

    3. A pastor and his relationship to members of his own flock.

    a. He has a duty to be their shepherd.

    When Dr. George W. Truett was invited to be president of Baylor University, he declined with one of the most beautiful sentences I ever heard.

    He said, 'No, I cannot come, for I have sought and found the shepherd heart.'

    W. A. Criswell defines the ministry of shepherd in this outline fashion:
    1. The Pastor possesses the ministry of comfort.
    2. The Pastor possesses the ministry of encouragement.
    3. The Pastor possesses the ministry of joy.
    4. The Pastor possesses the ministry of feeding and nurturing.
    5. The Pastor possesses the ministry of loving commendation.

    b. He has a duty to be circumspect and discrete.

    "A ministers associations, or special intimacies should not be with bad or loose or irreligious men; the taint will necessarily tarnish and injure his own reputation, even if it does not corrupt his character. He is to be 'a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate' (Titus 1:8)."

    "The pastor's relations with the other sex should not only always be pure in fact, but should also be such as to avoid even the possibility of misconstruction. No point needs to be more carefully guarded, for even the suspicion orthought of wrong in this, however ill-grounded, is commonly fatal to usefulness, and often follows him through the remainder of life." (Harvey)

    c. He has a duty to be their confidant.

    Another very important area is confidentiality. No church member wants to hear his story in a sermon illustration, no matter how well concealed.

    No one will trust you if they cannot be certain that what you receive in confidence will remain confidential.

    4. A Pastor and his relationship to other professionals in his community.

    a. He has a duty to perform the role of a Professional.
    1. Punctuality.

    2. Seriousness.
    3. Competence.
    4. A Business like manner.

    "In conversation he should be genial, courteous, affable, avoiding that tone and manner of condescension which carries in it an implied sense of superiority, and exhibiting that breadth of intelligence and culture which will secure respect for his views in general society. Slang phrases, vulgar anecdotes, boisterous discussions, idle gossip, and scandal...ill become a pastor, and will in the end seriously militate against his usefulness. ...Attractive social qualities, such as enable the pastor to exercise a leading and governing power in society, are to be the most earnestly sought; their effect on pastoral usefulness can hardly be overstated." (Harvey)

    5. A Pastor and his relationship to the unsaved in his community.

    a. He has a duty to be honest. 1 Thessalonians 4:12, "That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing."

    b. He has a duty to be compassionate. Matthew 9:36 "But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd."

    Question: Can a pastor who has fallen into the sin of adultery be restored?

    To Fellowship, yes. 1 John 1:9

    To Leadership, no. 1 Tim. 3:2,7 -cf- Prov.6:32-33

    In summary, the pastor's work is as follows: Pray, Prepare, Preach, Protect, Preserve, and Perfect the Flock. The pastor's final task will be to Present the church, the Bride of Christ, faultless, a chaste virgin, to the Bridegroom, the Lord Jesus Christ, at the Marriage Feast of the Lamb.
  6. Ernie Brazee

    Ernie Brazee <img src ="/ernie.JPG">

    Aug 17, 2001
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    In response to Bro Cassidy's post, it seems many pastors have forgotten the ethics part. Not only for themselves but also in teaching ethics to their people.

    Ernie Brazee
  7. Raulf7

    Raulf7 New Member

    Aug 11, 2001
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    Ethics is easy = don't sin
  8. superdave

    superdave New Member

    Jun 30, 2000
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    Would you fine people use the above guidelines (Which are very good by the way) to choose a senior pastor only? Or would you also follow the same criteria for assistant/youth/music/etc? Is there a difference in the "requirements" and those who say a teaching "gift" is necessary, explain what is meant by that exactly.
  9. DocCas

    DocCas New Member

    Jul 24, 2000
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    I believe all of the pastoral staff share in the pastoral office and thus must all meet the same requirements.

    As to a specific gift, I believe all pastors must have the gift of pastor/teacher, but bear in mind that gift will manifest itself very differently in different men. Some will be able pulpiteers, others will be able classroom instructors, others will be able pastoral counsellors, others will have a special love for youth, others for senior saints. Some will have an ability to built the church numerically while others have a the ability to build the church spiritually. All are manifestiations of the same gift as it works itself through different men. [​IMG]

    [ August 31, 2001: Message edited by: Thomas Cassidy ]
  10. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry <b>Moderator</b>
    Site Supporter

    May 4, 2001
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    In answer to Superdave's question, I agree in principle with Thomas's answer. I would simply add that quite often youth pastor, assistant, etc. is an "entry level" position, though I use that word very carefully. Though they should possess the same character qualities and basic abilities, effective teaching and preaching usually grows with experience. Leadership ability grows with experience. We should allow time for men to get this experience. It is good for younger men to have a mentor in the ministry who can help them grow into effective ministry.
  11. TomVols

    TomVols New Member

    Oct 30, 2000
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    Amen to both Dr. Cassidy and Pastor Larry. I especially agree with the aspect of having a mentor. We need that so much today. My mentor is in glory now, but he taught me by example. I praise God for the other mentors God has brought into my life. We pastors need to mentor our people more.
  12. Revelator

    Revelator New Member

    Oct 22, 2001
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    The requirements of a pastor.......hmmmmmmm.
    A pastor has to be God called. Strong in the in WORD and especially able to deal with stress. Schooling has nothing to do with being a pasor. While seminary may help a pastor is essentially God-called, so in effect God can take a cursing fisherman like Simon Peter and make him a MAN OF GOD. I am sure Peter didn't go to a seminary he just learned through God. Of course a pastor today can't litterall physically walk with Jesus like Peter did, but spiritually we can and we should. A pastor without Christ as guidance is death. No matter how much schooling one has he has to be God called.
    He has to be a HE and not a She. I don't go for this woman preacher stuff. Paul tells Timothy a preacher must be the husband of one wife. A husband not a wife. The only way a woman could be a prastor is if she was gay and that is strictly against God's law too.( I won't get into that)
    He has to be humble and under the subjection of the spirit. Without a clear sense of the spirit a pastor has nothing. Since it is the spirit that dels with a pastor and not himself.

    He has to be strong in adversity, wise so he can deal with it. Scripturally wise.

    There is much more but I am having difficulty thinking of them all. :D

    God bless