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10 Characteristics I Look for in an Aspiring Pastor

Scripture must first be our guide when evaluating a young man’s desire for pastoral ministry (1 Tim. 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9; 1 Pet. 5:1-4). This blueprint needs to then be evaluated by the young man’s desire for the work (internal calling), and then by the pastors and congregation of his local church (external calling). Although those Scripture qualities are helpful, they are not exhaustive.

So, here are 10 other characteristics I look for that I feel are not necessarily deal breakers, but nonetheless very important for pastoral ministry and fall within the framework of the fruit of the spirit in a Christian’s life:

  • A deep love and burden for people and souls

  • A clear, personal love for Jesus

  • A warmth in personality that people respond to well

  • A unique ability to understand and explain God’s Word

  • An ability to emotionally engage people both public and private

  • A clear communicator

  • An authentic, honest awareness of his heart and personal brokenness

  • A humble, teachable spirit

  • A clear possession of wisdom and discernment into life and struggles

  • A strong ability to empathize to a hurting person 

Pastors, look for these in the future pastors in your church and consider your own character in light of these qualities.  

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braincroft@churchleaders.com'
Brian Croft is senior pastor of Auburndale Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky. He is also the author of "Visit the Sick: Ministering God’s Grace in Times of Illness (foreword by Mark Dever) and "Test, Train, Affirm, and Send Into Ministry: Recovering the Local Church’s Responsibility to the External Call" (foreword by R. Albert Mohler Jr.). Brian blogs regularly at Practical Shepherding.