You may want to read:
There are a zillion books written on pastoral ministry and what makes a great leader, so what I have to say is not the last word, best word, or the exhaustive word. But I trust it will help point churches in a helpful direction while saving a few of them from making horrible mistakes. Like marriage, it’s better not to take the plunge than to marry the wrong person or install the wrong guy. It’s easier to work through the disappointment by breaking it off than trying to remove a pastor and recover from him.
A familiar formula for becoming a pastor is “a burden equals a presumptive calling, ability, and position.” If you have a burden, the assumption is God’s call, and the person will receive the training and will step into their pastoral passion. Often, it’s more about a self-appointment than a decision born from a community of sound and reasonable people who know their Bibles and have the courage to do the hard thing.
When assessing a potential future pastor, you’re looking at five areas minimally. They are character, capacity, competency, courage, and compassion. I will give you a thumbnail sketch of these categories, hoping it will spur you to more discussions and assessments and perhaps find a good fit for your church. You may also take advantage of this graphic, hoping it will bring more clarity.
Rick launched the Life Over Coffee global training network in 2008 to bring hope and help for you and others by creating resources that spark conversations for transformation. His primary responsibilities are resource creation and leadership development, which he does through speaking, writing, podcasting, and educating.
In 1990 he earned a BA in Theology and, in 1991, a BS in Education. In 1993, he received his ordination into Christian ministry, and in 2000 he graduated with an MA in Counseling from The Master’s University. In 2006 he was recognized as a Fellow of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC).