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3 Things That Make a Truly GREAT Pastor

I get a sick feeling in my stomach sometimes when I talk to people who tell me their story about the pastor who hurt them so much they have turned away from God, the church or other Christians.

Who you choose as your pastor matters. No one is perfect — no pastor is without flaws. Trust me, I’m a pastor and I have many.

A “great” pastor does not mean someone who is a dynamic personality, an author or even a person who is known around the world, although many great pastors have these elements in their ministry.

To me, a great pastor is someone who genuinely loves God and people, and is committed to develop ministry to facilitate and develop that focus in a healthy environment.

Three Signs of a Healthy, “Safe” Pastor:

1. Authenticity, Integrity and Transparency are Crucial.

Is he honest about his weaknesses, struggles in life or his humanity? Does he demonstrate strength by trying to make himself look good and/or more spiritual than others? Or is there an authentic humility in his approach to faith? 

As a church congregation gets larger, it’s impossible for a pastor to give his time to every individual who wants it, but lack of availability should not bother you. Lack of authenticity should.

People with integrity have a clear way of demonstrating their faith by their actions. There is congruency between what they say and what they do. The fruit of the spirit is just as important as gifts of the spirit — if not more.

2. Accountability with Other Leaders.

Does he have other leaders in his life who will recommend him because of their relationship with him? Before you get involved in a church, check their website, or call and ask for references of other pastors or churches who would endorse the church you are considering. If the church you are considering can’t or won’t give out that information, then keep looking for another church.