6 Qualities A Congregation Should Want in Their Pastor | For The Church (2023)

It is not too much to say a congregation places a lot of expectations on their pastor. To give you an idea of some of the expectations churches have, I recently Googled: "congregation's expectation of a pastor." I found that most congregations expect their pastor tobe:

– A great preacher who accurately and dynamically proclaims God’s Word, while meeting their needs and inspiring them to live for Christ.

– A wise leader whostudies God’s Word diligently, spends hours each week in prayer, is involved in the community and denomination, while at the same time they are a faithful family man, someone who is always available for counseling, and home and hospital visits.

– A man who knows how to best meet the needs of every age group; is biblically faithful, yet never offends anyone by calling them to repent; and can rescue and revive a dying church without changing anything.

That list is just the tip of the iceberg of what congregations all across America expect of their pastor.But are these expectations realistic? Can a pastor really be all these things? Should he be all these things?More importantly:What does God’s Word tell a congregation they should expect of their pastor?

Paul in 1 Corinthians 4 lays out six qualities a congregation should expect of their pastor.

(1)A Pastor should be a servant of Christ

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Paul begins chapter 4 by saying, “This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ.” (1 Cor. 4:1a)

By using the word “servant” Paul tells us pastors are subordinates who are to cater to the needs of their boss; they are helpers, assistants, servants.

Who are pastors to primarily serve?

Paul tells us pastors are first and foremost to serve Christ.I think that is an important point because it means the pastor’s primary job is to carry out the will of Jesus and not the will of the church.That’s not to say a pastor shouldn’t serve his church.That is not it at all. Pastors should certainly serve their church.But as John MacArthur puts it, “When I serve Christ, I will best serve His people. When I serve His people, I may not serve Him.”

What MacArthur means is thatwhen we focus first on serving the needs of the church, we may give them what they want instead of what Jesus wants for them.While it might be easier for the pastor to give the church what they want, that is not always the biblical thing to do, nor is it always what’s best for the church.

(2) A Pastor should be a steward of God’s Word

Look at verse 1 again. Paul starts by saying, “This is how one should regard us, [first] as servants of Christ [to that he adds] and stewards of the mysteries of God.” (1 Cor. 4:1)

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The secondimage Paul paints for us is that of a household steward. A household steward is someone who manages and dispenses goods to the household at the request of the owner.

Pastors are household stewards because they have specifically been tasked to manage and dispense to the congregation “the mysteries of God” or God’s gospel.

Pastors are tosteward God’s gospel bymaking sure it is faithful taught in their church.As well as they are to dispense God’s gospel, His Word to His people.

Pastors are not to stand in the pulpit and dispense public opinion or philosophy; they aren’t there to give a political speech, an inspirational feel-good message, or even their own opinions about how this world should operate. Pastors are not to do any of those things.Instead they are to dispense God’s Word to God’s people.

It is for this reason that I primarily preach through books of the Bible.I believe that a diet of consistent consecutive exposition is what is best for the church because it best exposes them to God’s Word, instead of my opinions or my soap boxes.

Preaching then isn’t me telling you what I know, or what you want to hear.It is instead me exposing you to what God wants you to hear – His Word.

(3)A Pastor should be a faithful worker for God

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Looking again at 1 Corinthians 4, in verse 2 Paul says, “Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful.” (1 Cor. 4:2)

Someone who is faithful is someone who can be trusted to do what is asked of them.That’s what God wants and what a congregation should expect – pastorswho are faithful to proclaim God’s Word to His people week in and week out.

In order for a pastor to be a faithful steward of God’s Word, his greater allegiance has to be to God, not to the church.That’s because there will be times when God’s message is needed but is not popular.

(4)A Pastor should be content with what God has given him.

Pastors, and all Christians for that matter, should not allow what they don’t have or what they are experiencing to get them down.

While it is easy to say we should be content, it is not always easy to practice, especially given that Paul tells us we will: “hunger and thirst..[be] poorly dressed and buffeted and homeless…[we will be] reviled…persecuted…slandered” (1 Cor. 4:11-13).

Even though we will experience those things, we can be content knowing God is sovereign and that He has a plan for each and everyone of our lives.

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As well as contentment in the worst of situations comes by looking forward to Jesus’ return, knowing He will defeat our enemies one day. When that times comes, we will not only be vindicated for our beliefs, but we will also live in a perfect world with our Savior for all eternity.

(5)A Pastor should be one others can imitate

Paul tells theCorinthians they are to imitate him, tomimic him (1 Cor. 4:16). He doesn’t tell them that because he wants them to get on his nerves by playing an indefinite game of copy cat. He tells them to imitate him because he knows by them imitating his speech and actions, as well as his heart for God and others, they willbetter follow Christ. Just like Paul,pastors should be those others can imitate.

In order to be imitatable, we have to take following Jesus seriously. When Jesus called us to be His disciples, He didn’t just call us to believe in Him.He also called us to follow Him, to live as He lives, to allow Him to direct and guide our lives. So if we want others to imitate us, we must allow the One we are to imitate to guide and direct our lives.

(6)A Pastor should provide guidance and discipline, if necessary

Pastors are given as gifts of God to teach and lovingly guide their congregations in the truth of God’s Word with patience and long-suffering (Eph. 4:11-12). They are also given to rebuke and discipline those who are unwilling to repent (1 Cor. 4:18-21).

When I say pastors are to rebuke and discipline, I do not mean pastors have the right to be heavy handed or domineering.Pastors, even when they must rebuke or discipline, must do so with love, care, patient, and compassion, just as Christ does.

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So these are the qualities theBible tells congregations they should expect from their pastors. They should expect them to be menwho are faithful servants and stewards of the Word of God, who are content, imitatable, and ready to guide and discipline with love and patience, if necessary.

Are these the qualities you expect of your pastor?


What are the desirable qualities of a pastor? ›

Pastor | Pastoral Care | Missionary…
  • The leader has to have a healthy relationship with God. ...
  • The leader has to have love for the church. ...
  • The leader has to be a person of integrity. ...
  • The leader has to have social skills. ...
  • The leader has to know his / her calling.
Feb 1, 2022

What are the top things people look for in a church? ›

Other criteria people look for in choosing a church include its community outreach, demographic makeup (that the church includes people that are like them), location, vibrancy, quality of programming, theology and denominational affiliation, according to evangelical leaders.

What do you believe are important qualities of church leaders and pastors? ›

Such qualities include moral trustworthiness, social aptitude, empathy, pastoral care, and more. The Apostle Paul wrote several letters to Timothy defining his role as the leader of the church. In his teachings, Paul focused on the importance of following the word of God and being above reproach.

What are the four qualities of the church? ›

The words one, holy, catholic and apostolic are often called the four marks of the Church.

What is the most important role of a pastor? ›

With the primary job of a Pastor being to inform, lead and comfort a congregation, a Pastor must be emotionally educated and trained as much as the role requires being administratively trained and university-educated to lead a congregation.

What makes a good leader pastor? ›

Pastoral leadership qualities include being courageous and confident without letting his ego get in the way. Humility often makes a pastor more approachable, so staff and congregation members aren't intimidated about asking spiritual questions or seeking counsel, according to Church Leaders.

What makes a pastor a pastor? ›

A pastor is someone with the authority to lead religious services. Pastors lead church services and help others worship. Pastor is a religious title used mostly in Christian churches. The pastor is a leader within a church who has been ordained and therefore given the authority to conduct religious services.

What are 5 features of a church? ›

stained glass windows – often depicting biblical stories or religious teachings.
Catholic churches
  • the altar – a table where the bread and wine are blessed during the Eucharist.
  • the lectern – a stand where the Bible is read from.
  • the pulpit – where the priest delivers sermons.
  • a crucifix – a cross with Jesus on.

What is the most important feature in a church? ›

The altar is in the centre of the sanctuary , and is the focal point of Catholic churches. The altar is where the bread and wine are blessed to become the body and blood of Christ.

What is the most important thing in church? ›

And, the most crucial thing about a church isn't its buildings, its budget, its programs or even its “take” on finer points of doctrine. The most crucial thing about a community of faith is the people who have been and will be touched by the love and grace of Jesus Christ. People matter most of all.

What are the six qualifications for spiritual leadership? ›

Throughout my growth process, I've learned the main elements of this role are love, grace, mercy, sacrificial service, faithfulness, and humility. There are no shortcuts when it comes to these intangibles. These are the cut-and-dry requirements for the position.

What are five good qualities of a religious leader? ›

Skills and qualities
  • a genuine desire to help people.
  • the ability to relate to all kinds of people, in all circumstances, with compassion and sensitivity.
  • leadership skills.
  • the ability to inspire others.
  • moral and emotional strength.
  • to be patient, trustworthy and discreet.

What are the three most important qualities of a great leader? ›

If you want to become an effective and inspiring head of your team, focus on honing these three essential leadership qualities.
  • Communication. ...
  • A positive attitude. ...
  • The ability to delegate.

What are the 6 precepts of the Church? ›

According to this writer the Commandments of the Church are: To hear Mass on Sundays and Holy Days; to fast during Lent, on prescribed vigils, and the ember-days; to abstain from meat on Fridays and Saturdays; to go to confession once a year; to receive Holy Communion at Easter; to pay tithes; and finally not to ...

What are the three C's of the Church? ›

One way to summarize that is: Communion, Compassion, and Connection – 'the 3 C's. ' Another way to say it is simply this: Love, Love, Love! These 3 words are the foundation of our journey.

What are the 6 models of the church? ›

These six models are: community of disciples, • herald of the Gospel, • community of grace, • institution, • basic sacrament, and • servant.

What a pastor must not do? ›

In addition to the obvious no-no's, such as profanity, heresy, racism, sexism, and the like, no pastor should ever be heard to utter any of the following from the pulpit.

What are the 7 functions of pastoral care? ›

The Church in Acts displayed Leadership, Prayer, Worship, Discipleship, Evangelism, Fellowship, and Ministry. These Seven Functions are keys to a local church being Biblically healthy and growing. Churches that focus on these areas have greater impact on their community and world.

How should the church take care of the pastor? ›

Consider six simple ways church members can care for their pastoral staff:
  1. Pray for him. This seems rather obvious, but how often do you pray for your pastor? ...
  2. Follow his leadership. ...
  3. Support the ministry. ...
  4. Express appreciation. ...
  5. Give him time away. ...
  6. Care for him financially. ...
  7. How are you caring for your pastor?
Oct 19, 2016

What is the biblical definition of a pastor? ›

The word "pastor" derives from the Latin noun pastor which means "shepherd" and is derived from the verb pascere – "to lead to pasture, set to grazing, cause to eat". The term "pastor" also relates to the role of elder within the New Testament, and is synonymous with the biblical understanding of minister.

What are the qualities of a spiritual leader? ›

Spiritual leadership is a type of leadership characterized by defending integrity, goodness, teamwork, knowing, wholeness, and interconnectedness (Aydin and Ceylan, 2009).

What are the four roles of a pastor? ›

Pastors have four roles in the church: shepherd, teacher, leader, and servant. They are responsible for guiding and teaching the congregation, leading them in worship, and serving as a role model for the community. Pastors are also responsible for maintaining church unity and helping members grow in their faith.

What is a positive contribution of a pastor? ›

They help build healthy teams. That means that these pastors commit time to enlist and equip leaders (e.g., small group leaders), who then help spread the positive attitude. They befriend church members. They not only shepherd their congregation; they actually like being with them.

What is a female pastor called? ›

pastoress (plural pastoresses) A female pastor (person who tends to a flock) quotations ▼ A female pastor (minister or priest of a Christian church)

What kind of personality does a pastor have? ›

The average Pastor tends to be loyal, supportive, and helpful. They can be a stabilizing force in a group and will likely invest lots of time building relationships with their peers. They will probably work best in a serene work environment, avoiding chaos and sudden change.

What is the code of ethics for pastors? ›

Be honest, not exaggerating or overpromising; peace-loving, not contentious; patient, not volatile; diligent, not slothful. Avoid and, when necessary, report conflicts of interest and seek counsel.

What are the keys of the Church? ›

The keys of heaven or keys of Saint Peter are seen as a symbol of papal authority and are seen on papal coats of arms (those of individual popes) and those of the Holy See and Vatican City State: "Behold he [Peter] received the keys of the kingdom of heaven, the power of binding and loosing is committed to him, the ...

What makes the Church one? ›

The Church is one because of its “soul”: “It is the Holy Spirit, dwelling in those who believe and pervading and ruling over the entire Church, who brings about that wonderful communion of the faithful and joins them together so intimately in Christ that he is the principle of the Church's unity” (261).

What are the three main functions of the church? ›

The formative social functions of the church are three: first, the recognition of the divine ideal of human life, individual and social, for itself and all men; second, the initiation of movements and agencies for its realization in the world; third, the trans- mission of the Spirit's power for the social regeneration.

What are your expectations of church? ›

What should your expectations be for the church? As part of the greater body of Christ, through your church you should expect to be challenged by the Word of God in all areas of belief and behavior as a follower of Jesus. The church is all about disseminating the Word of God in such a way that it impacts your life.

What are the 12 spiritual qualities? ›

The Catholic Church follows the Latin Vulgate version of Galatians in recognizing twelve attributes of the Fruit: charity (caritas), joy (gaudium), peace (pax), patience (patientia), benignity (benignitas), goodness (bonitas), longanimity (longanimitas), mildness (mansuetudo), faith (fides), modesty (modestia), ...

What are the six key traits of successful leaders? ›

What Are 6 Traits of a Great Leader?
  • Acting with Vision. A great leader can see the future and has a clear vision for where they want to take their business. ...
  • Taking Risks. ...
  • Effectively Solving Problems. ...
  • Having Accountability. ...
  • Creating a Positive Culture. ...
  • Building Strong Relationships.

What are the 6 ways to grow your leadership abilities? ›

How to Improve Leadership Skills?
  • Select one from the different types of leadership you want to follow.
  • Start reading.
  • Join a good leadership development program.
  • Gain mastery over soft skills.
  • Set clear goals and track progress.
  • Take responsibility and volunteer.
  • Network with leaders and find a mentor.
Mar 30, 2022

What are the 5 responsibilities of the leaders of the church? ›

Here are a few duties that every good pastor must fulfill:
  • Lead a regular worship service.
  • Serve at church events such as weddings, baptisms, and funerals.
  • Offer personal ministry to church members.
  • Communicate the church's message to the community through words and actions.

What are some qualities of good leaders? ›

Good leaders possess self-awareness, garner credibility, focus on relationship-building, have a bias for action, exhibit humility, empower others, stay authentic, present themselves as constant and consistent, become role models and are fully present.

What are the 3 C's of effective leadership? ›

My training and experiences in the Army provided valuable insights into the principles and guidance into the makings of a true leader, none more impressive than the three Cs: competence, commitment and character. It may seem self-evident, but leaders must be competent — that's a non-negotiable.

What are four 4 key qualities of an effective leader? ›

Effective leaders are competent, skilled, secure, and considerate. These leaders find time for everyone; they are genuine and authentic in their communications and actions.

What personality types are pastors? ›

The average Pastor tends to be loyal, supportive, and helpful. They can be a stabilizing force in a group and will likely invest lots of time building relationships with their peers. They will probably work best in a serene work environment, avoiding chaos and sudden change.

What are the qualities of good spiritual leader? ›

In addition, spiritual leaders are characterized as having integrity, honesty, altruism and genuine care for others (Fry, 2003; Reave, 2005). Those characteristics are typically embedded in spiritual leaders who are preoccupied with followers' development.

How should a pastor lead his church? ›

9 Ways a Pastor Can Lead Their Church to Be More Evangelistic
  1. Pray that the church will become more evangelistic. ...
  2. Pray for opportunities to share the gospel. ...
  3. Become accountable to someone else for sharing the gospel. ...
  4. Start new groups. ...
  5. Preach the gospel. ...
  6. Celebrate new believers. ...
  7. Get the gospel in all the ministries.
Nov 24, 2015

What is expected of a pastor? ›

Your duties include preparing weekly sermons, preaching and conducting worship services. It's your responsibility to interpret biblical scripture for the congregation. You also provide care and counseling to church members and assist them in crisis situations.

What pastor should avoid? ›

In addition to the obvious no-no's, such as profanity, heresy, racism, sexism, and the like, no pastor should ever be heard to utter any of the following from the pulpit. 1.

Do and don'ts in the church? ›

Don't eat or drink in the sanctuary.
Church Dos & Donts
  • Do cut off your cell phone prior to entering the sanctuary.
  • Do share your hymnal, Bible.
  • Do greet fellow worshippers in Christian Love.
  • Do acknowledge your gratitude for any courteous act or expression.
  • Do refrain from chatting, distracting behavior, note- passing.

What is the code of conduct for preachers? ›

Be honest, not exaggerating or overpromising; peace-loving, not contentious; patient, not volatile; diligent, not slothful. Avoid and, when necessary, report conflicts of interest and seek counsel. in personal care.

How do I become a powerful pastor? ›

20 Tips on Improving Your Preaching
  1. Sit under great preaching. I firmly believe that preaching is more caught than taught. ...
  2. Take Notes from Great Preaching. ...
  3. Listen to Great Preaching. ...
  4. Read Great Preaching. ...
  5. Learn from Many Great Preachers. ...
  6. Preach Yourself. ...
  7. Preach Often. ...
  8. Preach in Different Settings.
May 12, 2020

What are the 4 main personalities? ›

A study published in Nature Human Behaviour reveals that there are four personality types — average, reserved, role-model and self-centered — and these findings might change the thinking about personality in general.

What are the 4 main personality types? ›

A large new study published in Nature Human Behavior, however, provides evidence for the existence of at least four personality types: average, reserved, self-centered and role model.

What are the 7 different personality types? ›

Personality Types and Description
  • Planner. You strongly believe in a structured approach and in mapping things out. ...
  • Explorer. You find inspiration in discovery, and the thrill of new experiences. ...
  • Sage. ...
  • Hero. ...
  • Collaborator. ...
  • Innovator. ...
  • Outlaw.


1. What to Look for in a Pastor (Selected Scriptures)
(Grace to You)
2. Leaders in the Local Church
(Alistair Begg)
3. Six Signs Of A Spirit Filled Life
(Vlad Savchuk)
4. 3 Qualities You Need Before Marriage
5. What a Church Leader Must Be (part 2) (1 Timothy 3:4-7)
(Temple Church)
6. Serious Worship and Self-Examination (Ephesians 4:17-24)
(Grace to You)
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