What are 10 qualities every pastor needs to possess?

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.

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So here are 10 qualities I look for that I feel are not necessarily deal breakers, but nonetheless are very important for pastoral ministry and fall within the frame work 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.

Posted in The Pastor's Soul, Training for Ministry
4 comments on “What are 10 qualities every pastor needs to possess?
  1. Rk says:

    A prayerful spirit?

    • Brian Croft says:

      Certainly. There are several things that I would say are very obvious, prayer being one of them. Maybe that one is bad to assume because it is so important. The list is to address those things that are not as commonly assumed needs to be possessed by a pastor. Nevertheless, good thought.

  2. chiefofsinners says:


    Of course, as Rk noted, your list could be expanded – I don’t think you meant it to be exhaustive or arranged in order of importance.

    Therefore, your list as presented, is spot on.

    In my assessment and experience the Reformed community (in particular and especially) is in desperate need of such shepherds.

    On the increasingly rare occasion when a man is possessed of the qualities you list the problem too often becomes a comprising of theological precision.

    The pastor / shepherd’s exacting head must needs be wed to a flaming heart.

    Even the hint of a dichotomy between the two must not be permitted.

    Pray and labor for just such a posture.
    Myself and others unknown to you will be doing so on your behalf.

    In the Beloved

  3. chiefofsinners says:

    That would be a “compromising” of theological precision.

    My spelling left something to be desired regarding precision.

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  1. […] Croft is Senior Pastor of Auburndale Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky. This article is from his blog, Practical Shepherding, and is used with […]

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