- 1 What are the Requirements for Pastor? Pastor Requirements
- 2 What is at risk in ignoring the requirements for pastor?
- 3 Reality Check on Pastor’s personal life
- 4 Aren’t you really getting personal with these?
- 5 Negatively, these Requirements KEEP OUT BAD PEOPLE!
- 6 What is our goal in putting in a GOOD MAN into the pastorate?
- 7 Our principle mission as Christians, as Churches
What are the Requirements for Pastor? Pastor Requirements
Topic: Pastor Requirements
By Pastor David Cox
Rather than specifically entering into a discussion on the requirements individually in this post I want to talk about them collectively at first. There is a great importance that God has placed on them. And if we do not grasp that importance, then we will go down a road that leads to great problems, maybe even spiritual destruction.
Besides that, those who make these decisions about the new pastor have the results and consequences of that decision on their hands for eternity. Many people just want anybody to take the position so that they don’t have to do anything else in that matter. God will greatly bless them and thank them for doing their job well. Or He will condemn and hold them accountable.
I would recommend that you read my tract on CH38 Recognizing a Good Pastor
What is at risk in ignoring the requirements for pastor?
First, what is at risk? Many churches know only too well the risk of ignoring God’s firm commandments on the requirements for a pastor. They have let one enter and take the helm of that ministry only to run it on the rocks. After the majority of the people leave, the money problems and debit begins, and then that brave, noble young man usually runs for the hills (goes to another church to do the same).
The only thing at risk is the entire ministry that God has placed at your hands. That’s all! Really, truthfully, the entire ministry and existence of the church is at risk. In a country setting where people don’t want to travel 1-2 hours each way to get to church or to go home, this is even more critical. Many people, especially the elderly and sick, are just not going to go to any church if that single lighthouse in a barren land goes away.
Next, there is a moral pattern that God is giving us in the requirements for pastor. Let me explain. This is not just the requirements for somebody to make decisions in the church. This is the image of Christ which each and every member should hold as their goal that they are striving to attain in their own lives. If they are looking for a pastor, they are looking for somebody that basically is living the Christian life like we all should.
Reality Check on Pastor’s personal life
Next let me give some explanations here. Nobody is perfect, and that includes pastors. Every pastor has some minor things where they are still working on their own lives, and they understand and recognize that. But the pastoral candidate that a candidate committee examines needs to be free from gross personality disorders. He needs to be a stable Christian for a long period of time (years not months).
He needs to talk about things without getting upset, bent out of shape, or getting mad or emotionally worked up. So there are some things we would let pass without problem, and there are some things which are deal breakers. Basically EVERY SINGLE REQUIREMENT FOR PASTOR IS A DEAL BREAKER if the candidate has problems with them. This is why it is so important that we study and understand these passages.
Let me repeat, these pastor requirements are what should be spiritual goals for every single Christian. If you see the guy or your present pastor, and you cannot honestly say that I actually strive to be like him in his emotional, relational, and spiritual life, then you should not sit under that pastor. Maybe give him a few months of trial if you are the only dissenting voice in a church on a guy, but if you do not want to be like him in the moral pattern of his life, get out of there, or if you are considering him, just say no.
Aren’t you really getting personal with these?
Exactly YES! This is about the inside of the man that shines through to exterior, that which dictates both his speech and actions. If you get a crazy guy at the helm of the ship, don’t be surprised when he leads everybody aboard onto the rocks of perdition. The Bible speaks of his relationship with his wife and with his children. This gets really difficult because although a pastor can clean up his own life and really strive towards that Christ pattern given to him in the Pastor Requirements, he cannot control his wife, and his children are always a problem.
But that is the point, he must be a spiritual example before everybody else, and his wife and family must be on board. While the children are in the house, they should comply with the restrictions. When they are adults, I do not think anybody would hold the pastor accountable for them.
Negatively, these Requirements KEEP OUT BAD PEOPLE!
We must understand that God is a genuis and knows what he is doing. He has placed these pastor requirements so that it will reveal and prohibit false prophets from entering into the ministry, and worse from taking the lead position of a church, so to be “at the helm” and “run things aground.” Let me use just one requirement, that of not being covetous. People who have their heart darkened by greed are often experts at hiding that greed from people in general. Some of the wealthiest people in the world (and the most greedy) give money to charity. The reason for that may be varied, but in general, nobody ignores their public perception, and people who sell things to the public want the public to see them in a good light.
The Microsoft Example
Bill Gates gave several billion dollars to charity. You find out their spiritual orientation and that says a lot about my opinion or disposition about the person. He gave those billions to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He gave all that money to himself! Yes a greedy man. By doing that he freed it to be spent on himself. So what does the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation principally do? (They do pay for wells to be drilled in third world countries and things like that, but that is not where most of the money goes.) The Foundation gives free software or reduced price software to schools. Oh, that is nice. I suppose he is paying for Apple software, right? Wrong. Microsoft software.
You see the trick here is that public school have little money for computers, and they need a lot. So the IT person in a public school district buys the same software and computers for all 20 so schools under him. They usually choose Apple because it is the software and hardware of higher end technical jobs, i.e. designers, architects, engineers, etc. So Microsoft gives away or makes very cheap their own software, and they get a foothold in these schools, and most students stay with what they know.
Therefore Microsoft does not give away anything. Bill Gates gets a personal benefit for giving to charity on his taxes, then he uses that charitable money via the Foundation to buy at full price software for these schools. That props up Microsoft’s bottom line while giving personal benefit back to Bill Gates come tax time.
People do what they are
The point of all of this is that there is a constant thinking process going on in the mind of the personal trying to reap personal benefit with each and every turn of events in the theater that he works in. This kind of pastor is a terrible choice. The pastor requirements will keep that kind of person out of the leadership of a church. The Bible denounces it. If you are on a candidate committee or pulpit supply committee deciding who will be the next pastor of your church, you must be firmly decided on this issue. You must be convinced that nothing is gained by putting a bad person in the pastor’s position. Putting all the niceities aside, it is a problem that getting extremely difficult to later remove him. Nothing gained, and a lot can be lost.
The key to keeping a bad person out is simply the pastor requirements.
What is our goal in putting in a GOOD MAN into the pastorate?
The church as an entity should be accomplishing the will of God. This “will of God” is very clear. As a church we are to stand faithfully for the truth (doctrines) given to us by Jesus and the rest of the Bible’s authors. We must contend for the faith once delivered to the saints (Jude 1:3) We defend this principle doctrinal truth or position. On the one hand, it is good to have a pastor which is not contentious (See my tract on this CH30 The Man of God must not be Contentious.) A person who picks a fight is just not a godly man, and we are not to be like that.
At the same time, a minister that will not stand up for the truth and fight for the truth is not worthy of the name “a man of God”. A pastor that fulfmust biblical pastor requirements will push the doctrines, position, work, and will of God forward. If he is just a “nice guy,” but does fulfill the imperatives God sets for the people of God to accomplish, he won’t be acceptable before God. What happens then? That church, with those set of people and the resources that they can muster, waste their energy on what is not our principle mission. He will divert their life and power and pour it down a drain. Personally I have seen this happen so many times that it sickens me.
Diversion of Resources is the same as doing the wrong thing, or nothing
Is it right that God’s resources (the people of God) focus principally on animal rights, pollution, saving the physical world, and other stupid ideas? Why are we putting our precious little resources behind leaders who don’t have a clue about the work of God? It is because Satan has strategies that work for him. One is to use persecution. But persecution backfires on him, because from the blood of every martyr, a 100 more will rise up.
But the stupidity of every church will contaminate 10 more. He simply pushes God’s work over to one side, maybe a few people do it, or maybe the church does it marginally. But he presents some other new and great mission for the church, and unfortunately that works and no martyrs!
The Church Christian School Example
Many a Christian school under a local church has stolen the energies, resources, and people. The school becomes the main thing instead of the church’s mission of winning souls and standing doctrinally for God, defending God’s truth.
What happens is that the church dwindles, and at first the church keeps the school afloat. But in the end, the school is the only thing alive there, and if it were not their requirement to have Christian teachers and administrators, they would shut down the church as a bother. This is extremely bad in that people do not understand their spiritual obligations.
TEACHERS AND SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS HAVE THE OBLIGATION TO GO OUT WITNESSING AND TO PRAY! These people get off from supporting the local church because “they are already involved”. Since when? As a pastor, I stand and preach sometimes 5 times in a week. So I don’t have to come to prayer meeting or go out on Saturday visitation? How does this work? There are a dozen people in a church with school getting a pay check from that united ministry, but instead of 12 going out on Saturday visitation, only the pastor goes? The other church staff also teach so they are tired and cannot go?
The focus needs to be understand by everybody. EVERY SINGLE CHRISTIAN NEEDS TO FULFILL THE REQUIEREMENTS AND OBLIGATIONS THAT GOD LAYS ON THEM! Nobody is exempt except those who are disqualified for a bad testimony. Moreover people with poor testimony should not be on the church or school payroll in the first place.
Failure on the mission is failure no matter if you do some other “good” thing
If the church dies or fails in its primary mission, nothing else matters. We have failed miserably. We need to erase the chalkboard and start over from scratch, rejecting everything that we thought and did before. We need to go to the Bible, find the Bible command (mission). We need to only do what God gives us command and example to do. Any other “good ideas” on how to do the work of God are no good if they are scripturally backed from direct command.
Our principle mission as Christians, as Churches
Our mission is to get people saved, and discipled in a local church. The local church is key in this. The environment and atmosphere in that local church IS ONE OF A FAMILY! If it is not, then that is a strike against it. Soulwinning or evangelism has to be the occupation of every Christian unilaterally. Nobody should be exempt. Maybe people with extremely poor testimonies shouldn’t be so visible in anything the church does, but everybody should participate somehow.
Moreover personal holiness is on an equal par with soulwinning. This comes through Bible study, prayer, and meditation on our life and God’s Word. We shouldn’t attend churches who shortchange their members by only focusing on soulwinning to the exclusion of other commandments. We can only have power in soulwinning if we are constantly growing personally, and have a strong healthy prayer life.
The only good pastor is a pastor who well understands the church’s mission. He must forcefully seek to fulfill it with his whole life. God helps us by giving us Pastor Requirements that guide our decision. Many times, God judges a local church with poor leadership. This is a reflection of the poor spirituality and little understanding of the people in that church. This cannot be excused because the people are poor Christians. But a good pastor will greatly help them in their spiritual lives and to get under the blessing of God.