What role should a pastor play within his church to identify and train future pastors

The vision to establish the process to test, train, affirm, and send those called into gospel ministry within your local church starts with you.  It takes a pastor to recognize a pastor.  In the same way you look with a keen eye for the discouraged hurting sheep in your flock, look for those that seem to be gifted as a shepherd.  Look past the apparent immaturities and discern those who may have a special gift from God to teach his word and care for his people.  In the absence of a formal process, take these individuals to the hospital with you.  Let them tag along when you go visit the shut-ins.  When you feel it is time, let them teach a small group Bible study where you can observe them in that role. 

Begin teaching your congregation about their role in this process.  Fellow laborers of the gospel, this process begins with us.  You will not include this task into your already busy life of ministry if you do not see the need for it and that God has appointed us the vision casters of this responsibility in our churches.

Posted in Training for Ministry
7 comments on “What role should a pastor play within his church to identify and train future pastors
  1. A. Amos Love says:

    Just wondering…

    Can only a pastor recognize a pastor?

    How does someone really know if someone is a real pastor?

    Is there anything in the Bible about how to recognize a pastor?

    Are there any pastors in the Bible we can learn from or about?

    Are there any qualifications in the Bible for a pastor?

    • Brian Croft says:

      Great questions. The short answer is the Bible is clear on the qualifications of a pastor. Read 1 Timothy 3:1-7, Titus 1:5-9, and 1 Peter 5:1-4. An elder, overseer, and pastor are the same office in the New Testament. Identifying a pastor should begin with another pastor, but then should move into an affirmation from the members of a local church who test an individual seeking pastoral ministry with these qualifications within the life of the church. All your questions are answered in greater detail in my new book: Test, Train, Affirm and Send into the Ministry.

  2. Great thoughts Brian…I certainly learned from your article. But all the areas of ministry you mentioned are sort of in non-multiplication category, important but not all that there is. How about taking that prospective pastor along on some intentional, specific, evangelism opportunities…how about taking prospective pastors on a global mission…something really challenging, edgy, dangerous, very uncomfortable…

    • Brian Croft says:

      Great point and I fully agree. There are many areas and categories (including those you listed) that could be added to the short and non-exhaustive list I mentioned in the post that will help train and reveal whether a man is gifted for this fine work.

  3. Brian Croft says:

    I would agree that many different kinds of churches understand the role of a pastor/elder. Biblically speaking, however, there are 2 greek words that are used interchangeably all throughout the NT that translate the 4 english words: pastor, overseer, bishop, and elder. They are all referring to this office of the pastor/elder who is called to preach God’s Word and shepherd God’s people within the local church. The book of Acts and the letters of the apostles communicate most clearly how the NT church is to function in this way. How that fleshes out in the individual churches will look differently, but this seems to be the biblical model.

  4. A. Amos Love says:


    Noticed on your “About” page this book…

    Visit the sick: Ministering God’s grace in times of illness

    Thought this site might be a benefit to you.

    “God’s Words of Comfort & Healing”


    Lot’s of 8 x 10 wall posters in Color, and Black + white.

    Scriptures to place on hospital room and sick room walls.

    3 1/2 hours of Audio. Free download to iTunes.

    Just scriptures about; prayer, healing, faith, the word of God.
    Ten topics in all.

    Be blessed as you visit the sick.

  5. Scott Ferguson says:

    Our church has just begun a formal program to identify and train future church leaders: pastors, deacons, elders, teachers (Sunday School, bible study, etc.), small group leaders, etc. based on the excellent work of Ministry Training Strategy (http://www.mts.com.au/) and materials from their publishing arm Matthias Media (http://www.matthiasmedia.com.au/). Highly recommended to start by reading “The Trellis and The Vine.” We’re now working our way through “Passing the Baton.”

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  1. […] Pastor Brian Croft has launched a new blog: Practical Shepherding. One of his passions is helping pastors to train future pastors. Read about What Role a Pastor Should Play in Training Future Pastors. […]

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