See the introduction to this series here.
Before actually diving into each of the specific qualifications for being a pastor, I want to do an overview of all the qualifications and make a few general observations. Here are the qualifications for a man to become a pastor, as laid out for us in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1.
Character Qualifications (positive)
- above reproach (x3)
- self-controlled (x2)
- hospitable (x2)
- a lover of good
Character Qualifications (negative)
- not a drunkard (x2)
- not violent (x2)
- not quarrelsome
- not a lover of money
- not arrogant
- not quick-tempered
- not greedy for gain
- husband of one wife (x2)
- children are believers
- children are not open to the charges of debauchery or insubordination
- manages his own household well
- with all dignity keeping his children submissive
- not a recent convert
- holds firm to the trustworthy Word
- able to teach
- able to give instruction in sound doctrine
- able to rebuke those who contradict sound doctrine
- well thought of by outsiders
Here’s the major observation that I had while looking at this list after I first organized it like this in my personal journal. God is much more concerned with who a pastor is than what a pastor does. There are 22 qualifications dealing with the pastor’s character and family compared to the astonishing fact that there are only 3 qualifications for a pastor’s skill set.
These qualifications are not things that a man drums up in himself upon becoming a pastor. These are characteristics that should be present in a man and then his church recognizes that he could be a man God is desiring to use in pastoral ministry. In both Scripture passages, Paul is telling Timothy and Titus how to recognize a potential leader.
In the next post I will begin working through each of the specific qualifications on the positive character list.