057 - What Qualifies a Pastor To Be a Pastor - Leaders.Church


057 – What Qualifies a Pastor To Be a Pastor

What’s in this Episode?

Have you ever questioned your call to ministry? I mean, you wonder, are you really doing what you’re supposed to be doing? Or maybe you’re not in full time ministry yet and you’re asking, am I really qualified to be a pastor? Well, in this episode, we’re going to talk about specific qualifications it takes to be a pastor.

Dick Hardy 0:21
You know, back in the day, I had the privilege of serving in a para-church ministry that was called cross trainers. It was a ministry to men and I served there for about three years. And it really was a wonderful time in my life during the height of the men’s movement that really had come on the scene. And I remember a point in time, where up to that point in all my years serving in the local church, and then in the para-church ministry, I had not been a credentialed minister. So I was a church administrator. So I was on the business side of doing the church. But I remember, I remember the spot I was at in a gathering of the guys and I said to myself, you know what, Dick, you’re not a pastor, quote, Pastor. But you know, you kind of look like a pastor, and you walk like a pastor and you talk like a pastor. And I was probably about 40 or 41 years old, just a bit older than this guy. And I said, everybody sees me that way, but I’m not officially a pastor. That started my journey to becoming officially a pastor. Seeking credentials inside the fellowship I’m a part of, and from that point on, over a matter of two or three years, I actually became an ordained minister of this particular fellowship. Now, did that change the way I was connecting with people? No! None of that, but it took me on this journey from not being a pastor but serving in ministry, to becoming a pastor. And people asked the question, well, what qualifies you to be a pastor? Well, of course I use this very… that was very, you know, non scientific to say you walk like one, you talk like one, you look like one, people think of you as one, why not become one? And so that really was a very simplified version of it, but we want to talk about some things today. Just rattle off a few things that really qualify a person to be a pastor.

Jonathan Hardy 2:31
Yeah, and I would mention here, if you’re a pastor listening to this, you say, well, I’m you know, I’m already a pastor. Yeah. You know, we’re really talking about two different groups today. We’re talking to pastors. And then we’re also talking to people who are listening to the show today, who are not pastors yet. You’re thinking about becoming one.

Dick Hardy 2:47
Where I was back then.

Jonathan Hardy 2:48
Yeah. And maybe you’re involved in ministry, but you’re thinking okay, well, maybe the Lord might be speaking to me here about this. And, so when it comes to what qualifies a pastor to be a pastor, for those of you listening who are pastors, you know, oftentimes we’ve seen it because we’ve worked with tons and tons of pastors, there’s a questioning of, am I doing the right thing? Am I actually in the right place in life right now? Should working full time, vocationally, serving a church, preaching, all these things? Is that what God really wants for me? And so maybe through this episode today, actually, it might help solidify where you are in your place of life. And then of course, like I said, for those who are thinking about becoming a pastor, you know, this will be helpful. Now, at the outset, obviously, from a qualification standpoint, we look to the Bible, right? I mean, that is our guide for life, and that is the guide for the church. And so we know that scripture gives very clear guidelines, you know, in Titus and Timothy about the pastoral role, and so we start with that. Today our discussion is more broad view. We’re not diving deep into the scriptural passages. You can do that. But we want to just give some kind of general guidelines that are based on the scriptural principles that we need to have. And the way we need to be living our lives to live out this ministry calling/

Dick Hardy 4:15

Qualifier #1: Be Full On Committed to the Lord

Jonathan Hardy 4:15
First one is simply this: to be full on committed to the Lord. Now, this is obvious, right? I mean, we know that we need to be full on committed to the Lord 100%. And so this is the beginning. We can’t be a pastor and shepherding other people, if we’re not full on living the life that we’re supposed to be living. So really, that’s kind of the first thing.

Qualifier #2: Have a Sense of Calling and Purpose for Ministry

Jonathan Hardy 4:36
And then right on the heels of that is having this sense of calling and purpose for ministry. God gives all of us different gifts and talents and abilities, and he wants to use every single person who is a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. Use those gifts and talents for His glory, to serve the local church to serve the body to serve one another. And so all of us in a sense, have a calling, so to speak, to ministry because the moment we’re called to Christ, we’re called to serve and love one another, take care of each other. At the same time, there’s people who are gifted in certain ways, and some have that pastoral, that shepherding, or maybe they’re gifted as a teacher, whatever. And so, having that sense from the Lord, is that you? Is that something that God has gifted you with, to be able to use to serve in the ministry. So that’s the second thing.

Qualifier #3: Be Diligent in the Study of the Word

Dick Hardy 5:28
Exactly! Third one is to be diligent in the study of the word. There must be a passion for scripture. You know, how smart and creative you are, isn’t going to carry the day. Yeah. Now God has given you intelligence, he’s given you creativity, but there has to be a passion for scripture. Pastors who are passionate from the scripture in communicating the scripture doesn’t mean you’re the biggest and baddest preacher who ever came down the pike, but it does mean you have a passion for scripture and you want to be able to communicate it to the body. There must be a development of discipline in your study, as you continue to seek and find new things in Scripture. And I would say that a pastor needs to be distinguishing between relevance and truth. I remember talking to a, probably one of the smartest IQ guys I’ve ever met in my life. And he was a professor at a university and he says, so how do you in your teaching students of Scripture, how do you distinguish between truth and relevance? He says relevance, that means nothing to me, because it’s the truth of the Word. The truth of the Word transcends cultures, and all the shifting relevance. I get it in our effort to be true to the word, but you need to be focused on the word.

Qualifier #4: Be Faithful in Prayer

Dick Hardy 7:01
Number four is to be faithful in prayer. This is not a trite statement. A pastor who is in deep in prayer will see much greater things happening in the future. Praying pastors versus non praying pastors. I wanna tell you, if I’m going to church, I want to go to church with a praying pastor. I’m telling you, God’s giving you gifts, but your gifts and talents are only going to go so far. And if you really want to see God do something amazing, you’ve got to be faithful in prayer. What’s the fifth one Jonathan?

Qualifier #5: Be Wiling to Grow As a Leader

Jonathan Hardy 7:35
Yeah. Fifth one is to be willing to grow as a leader. You know, you as a pastor have to make sure you’re staying fresh, and you’re staying mentally alert. In fact, in Episode Three of the Church Tips show, we talk about seven ways for a pastor to stay mentally fresh. I encourage you to check that out, if you haven’t, but as you’re growing as a leader, one of the ways you need to be growing as a leader is keeping yourself fresh, keeping yourself… just feeding yourself regularly and listening to the Church Tips podcast is a great way to do that. And you know, where you’re looking yourself in the mirror and you’re saying, okay, hey, you know, I Jonathan am looking at myself in the mirror. How am I growing? What do I need to keep doing to keep growing so that I’m growing as a leader. In fact, I’d even encourage you to check out the Five Day Leadership Challenge. That’s something that Dick and I put together. It’s a five day, 15 minute a day, 15 minutes per day challenge where we give a video challenge each day to really help invest in you and help you grow as leader, because remember growing churches are led by growing pastors, and so we have to constantly be growing. And so what’s number six?

Qualifier #6: Be Willing To Lead and Disciple Others

Dick Hardy 8:40
The next one is to be willing to lead and disciple others. Here’s the drill. If you try to do this thing on your own, you’re only gonna go so far. You’re good, you’re talented, you’ve got skills, but you can only go so far. And the Scripture is replete with admonition for us to equip the saints for the work of the ministry. In one of the future episodes, we’re going to talk about doers and leaders and equippers and multipliers and all that goes along with that. And that’s going to help you multiply your effectiveness if you’re willing to lead and disciple others. And the last one?

Qualifier #7: Be Confident and Humble

Jonathan Hardy 9:14
The last one is to be confident, and humble. And so, you know, when you look at churches, and you look at pastors, obviously you want to have a confidence. And so if you lack that confidence, or you’re questioning things, there’s some aspect where you just have to, you have to be confident. And I mean…

Dick Hardy 9:30
And ask the Lord for help with that!

Jonathan Hardy 9:33
Yeah, I mean, there’s no doubt in my mind that there was maybe a lack of confidence in Joshua in the Old Testament, and yet the Lord kept speaking to him and encouraging him. And God used him in incredible ways. And God wants to use every pastor today in incredible ways. So and yet at the same time, be humble. Because we don’t have it all figured out. And we, you know, we can’t walk into it.

Dick Hardy 9:56
We don’t?

Jonathan Hardy 9:56
Well, maybe you do. But I know I don’t.

Dick Hardy 10:00
No, I know we’re in this together, man.

Jonathan Hardy 10:04
So, have that confidence and yet live with humility. That’s very, very important. So hey, Dick, why don’t you give us a recap on these?


Dick Hardy 10:11
Okay, so we’ve got seven things. Be full on committed to the Lord. Number two, sense a calling to ministry. Number three, be diligent in study of the word. Number four, be faithful in prayer. Number five, be willing to grow as a leader. And then number six, be willing to lead and disciple others. And then number seven, to be confident and humble. So when you do these seven things, you’re going to see yourself well on your way to being qualified as a pastor, fully under the leading of the Lord.

Jonathan Hardy 10:42
Yeah, that’s right. Well, hey, we want to make sure to encourage you to subscribe to this show today. So if you have not yet subscribed, we just are so thankful that you’re a part and listening today. And you can subscribe on whatever podcast platform you’re listening to. As well as on YouTube. You can subscribe there as well. And in fact, we’d love to have you rate and review to, if you would, we have a recent review from Mark that said, “love it. These guys have probably forgotten more about how to do church than most of us will ever know”

Dick Hardy 11:10
Oh, he’s given us credit there!

Jonathan Hardy 11:13
“more importantly, they love pastors and the local church, do yourself a favor and make this podcast a part of your regular routine.” Hey, that’s very kind Mark, thank you for that comment. And we’d love to share your comment as well. So feel free to give us a review. We’d love to hear your feedback. And we’re just thankful that you are with us today. We pray that you have a great day today, and we’ll look forward to talking soon. Take care.

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