- Lays his life down. Over and over in the Scriptures, when God places a man in leadership, the good leaders insist that God judge them rather than the people. They intercede with God on behalf of the people, and would rather endure God's judgment personally than see it fall on their people (see, for example, Moses, David, Jesus).
- Preaches the Word. This was Paul's word to Timothy: Do not preach your own words or in accordance with the prevailing winds, but in accord with the Word of God as you received it.
- Does the work of an evangelist. This was another word to Timothy, which I interpret to mean both sharing the gospel with others and teaching/equipping others to do the same.
- Is personally holy. This is, bottom line, what those lists of requirements for elder boil down to.
- Leads his own family well. Leading a family, especially one with small children, has proven remarkably suitable preparation for ministry (at least at times!).
- Does not "lord it over" the sheep. A pastor can't be a bully, but must lead with love.
- Is the servant of all. A good pastor serves all people, according to the gifts God has given him, to equip them to serve Christ and one another.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
The good shepherd
November 19th was my seventh anniversary of my life as a pastor. It's been a (mostly) great ride and fun time of serving the Lord. But in the month or so since then, I've had occasion to reflect a lot on what it is that separates good pastors from bad ones. Here's my list: