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Some thoughts on the character of a desirable pastor.

 

He may be 17 to 70, white, black, yellow or red, of any nationality provided he speaks clear English well, he may be single or married, with or without children, although much is in favour of the latter.

 

First he must have a clear grasp of what he understands the Bible to teach and be able to impart and inspire that grasp of truth in others. He should be willing to listen and understand other points of view, but inflexibly and fiercely loyal to Scripture's authority wherever it leads, even to prison or to death. He must be familiar with and wholly concur with our church confession, without any reservation, and be able swiftly to defend it and simply to explain it.

 

He must be full of the Holy Spirit, and set a fervent example of worship and prayer.

 

He must have a primary and distinctive concern for the evangelism of children. If he has his children, their behaviour at church is an acid test of his own at home.

 

He should be willing to compromise readily on lesser matters, like the colour of the walls, or the timing of a meeting, and ready to forge a path through personal differences, but be utterly unswerving when controversy touches on issues of Truth, even if he must stand alone in the church, in a fraternal, or a conference.

 

He should have a special burden for the outsider, the first time visitor, the young believer or seeker, the returned backslider - even to the extent that sometimes he is prepared to ignore the older and more influential members of the flock to tend to these other needs.

 

He loves to preach Jesus Christ and His truth clearly, and can so systematically and apply practically the passages he unfolds. He must be able to persuade unbelievers.

 

He needs to be hospitable, humble, courteous, patient, slow to anger and quick to forgive. He needs to have been tested and proven faithful in severe adverse circumstances.

 

He must be strict and pure in his dealings with women, in speech and in act.

 

He is not to be vulnerable to, or prone to flattery, and needs a light hold on earthly possessions, and have a strong hatred of sin, being always watchful first over his own heart.

 

Above all, he needs a white hot devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ, and His labours now, and a transparent passion to put Him first and last in his own life and that of the church.

 

It is relatively easy to prove that all these requirements are the Lord's, and not a matter of personal taste or choice.

 

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