As we examine the ingredients to Church revitalization, I believe that it all starts in the PULPIT. Truly, everything rises and falls on leadership!
With that in mind (and with apologies to Stephen Covey), I give you what I call the “Seven traits of highly effective pastors”.
A highly effective pastor:
#1 – Is CALLED (2 Peter 2:10) – Not called to a career for financial gain, not called by their mother or called by men, but every effective pastor will be able to hearken back to a clear call to the ministry from God Himself.
#2 – Is COMMITTED (Galatians 6:9) – An effective pastor will not run at the first sign of trouble. If they are sure that God has called them to their pastorate, they will weather the storms, battle through discouragement, and keep pressing on. (TEST – Think of five successful pastors right now – How many of them have been in the same Church for 10, 15, even 20 year or more?)
#3 – Is CONTROLLED (Ephesians 5:18) – Not by their circumstances, not by praise, plaudits or paycheck, not by a church bully or board, but first and foremost by the precious Holy Spirit!
#4 – Is CREATIVE (Isaiah 43:19) – “We’ve always done it this way” will not be the motto of the effective pastor. They will not be afraid to get a vision for the church, communicate that vision to their board and congregation, then use new and innovative means to accomplish what God wants to do in HIS church!
#5 – Is CONFIDENT (Acts 5:29) – If the pastor truly is called by God and truly being led by the Holy Spirit, they will not be deterred or dismayed by the occasional critic – They will stay the course, knowing God’s approval is what matters in the long run.
#6 – Is a COMMUNICATOR (2 Timothy 1:11) – A highly effective pastor will be a passionate and effective communicator of the Word of God to their congregation.
#7 – Is COMPASSIONATE (Jude 1:22) – While firmly, boldly, and unashamedly proclaiming the truth of God’s Word, the effective pastor will also do so lovingly, compassionately, with a tear in their eye and a lump in their throat. A good congregation will be able to handle getting their toes stepped on by their shepherd if the shepherd has clearly shown them that he sincerely and truly loves and cares for them.