What are some of the qualities of a pastor according to the Bible?
The pastoral epistles written by the apostle Paul are a big help here. He describes the qualifications for overseers (pastors) and deacons. First Timothy 3:1-7 gives some of these qualifications.
Some of the qualifications he lists are:
- Above reproach
- Husband of one wife
- Able to teach
- Not a drunkard
- Not violent
- Not quarrelsome
- Not a lover of money
- Manage his household well
- Having dignity
- Submissive children
- Not a recent convert (Mature in the faith)
- Well thought of by outsiders
These are not only professional traits but also personal ones. Often times, a pastor as a public figure may be open to scrutiny in his personal life. The family and outsiders must both see a life that is not only publicly authentic but also privately genuine.
A pastor is not an occupation. It is a calling, and a pastor is no different in his office, pulpit, or home. He is the same everywhere, just as every Christian should be. He is mature in the faith, understanding doctrine, and able to teach.
No pastor is perfect. We are all human. We make mistakes. And we also have moments where God uses us in the most powerful way. We suffer trials like anyone else. And we see victories in our lives and in the lives of others.
Pastoring isn’t only about conduct. It’s about the heart and soul of the pastor. Pastors are shepherds, and they protect, teach, guide, and serve the flock. To become a pastor is to submit oneself to a lifetime of service in God’s kingdom and church. A pastor submits first to God and then to his calling. It requires the heart of a servant first. Everything else follows.