hen we think of things that a pastor has to have to be successful and effective in ministry, we are often tempted to list things like equipment, finances, and certain staff members. While all of these things are very important they are meaningless unless a pastor has three critical elements in his heart.
A pastor first and foremost must have love. Not love of the limelight, not love of preaching, not love of being seen, not love of having a title but he must have a genuine love of God.
Further, he can’t only have love for God. No, to be a real pastor he must deeply love people too. He may be an extrovert or an introvert but regardless of his disposition he must truly love people and want to help them with everything he has.
Loving God and others is a great thing but it must be the type of love that generates true passion in the heart of the pastor.
The truth is that people will never follow a passionless leader and they shouldn’t be asked to do so. A pastor isn’t a leader until he allows the love of the pastor’s heart to consume him and ignite the passion of a leader within him.
All that love and passion will go to waste unless there is some vision to focus it. Love and passion are tremendously powerful things but Godly vision is what harnesses that power and uses it as fuel to actually impact the world.
Great love and passion alone will only amount to frustration if there is no vision to propel. It’s like revving an engine that’s not in gear. Love and passion must engage vision for the real and fruitful works of God to happen. Great pity should be extended to the pastor that has no real vision as well as to the church that is under his care.
I list this as a .5 because I’m not sure it’s absolutely critical but it certainly is an important key. I guess you can pastor a church without having joy but joy is a gift from God that makes everything flow together better. It’s like the oil in an engine. It reduces friction and covers every element.
Joy easily covers over a multitude of issues and smooths over minor irritants that would otherwise distract the pastor and those that serve with him. Things just seem to fit and work together with far less effort when true joy is present in the pastor.