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Marks of a Good Pastor – Part I

From The Heart

Publish date: 04/21/2013

But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.  John 10:2 AMP

They will never [on any account] follow a stranger, but will run away from him because they do not know the voice of strangers or recognize their call. John 10:5 AMP

Jesus is THE Good Shepherd, but He calls certain of His children, as leaders, to feed and care for His sheep. There are certain qualities that He looks for in a shepherd/pastor/minister.

1.     A pastor/minister must be personally acquainted with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit

a.    He must not be a stranger to God or to Gospel experiences. He must be born again.

2 Corinthians 5:17 AMP - Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!

John 3:5 AMP - Jesus answered, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, unless a man is born of water and [even] the Spirit, he cannot [ever] enter the kingdom of God.

b.    He must be filled with and controlled by the Holy Spirit.

Galatians 5:16-26 AMP - But I say, walk and live [habitually] in the [Holy] Spirit [responsive to and controlled and guided by the Spirit]; then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh (of human nature without God). 17 For the desires of the flesh are opposed to the [Holy] Spirit, and the [desires of the] Spirit are opposed to the flesh (godless human nature); for these are antagonistic to each other [continually withstanding and in conflict with each other], so that you are not free but are prevented from doing what you desire to do. 18 But if you are guided (led) by the [Holy] Spirit, you are not subject to the Law. 19 Now the doings (practices) of the flesh are clear (obvious): they are immorality, impurity, indecency, 20 Idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger (ill temper), selfishness, divisions (dissensions), party spirit (factions, sects with peculiar opinions, heresies), 21 Envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you beforehand, just as I did previously, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness, 23 Gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence). Against such things there is no law [that can bring a charge]. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus (the Messiah) have crucified the flesh (the godless human nature) with its passions and appetites and desires. 25 If we live by the [Holy] Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. [If by the Holy Spirit we have our life in God, let us go forward walking in line, our conduct controlled by the Spirit.] 26 Let us not become vainglorious and self-conceited, competitive and challenging and provoking and irritating to one another, envying and being jealous of one another.

The Holy Spirit is not just for performing miracles in public – He is in your life to regulate your own life. Many people want the Holy Spirit, for show, in church, but we all need the Holy Spirit every day in our personal lives. We need to spend time with the Holy Spirit so that we can really come to know Him and to know His voice. We need to allow Him to do a work on the inside of us. He can only do through us that which He has done TO us and IN us!

2.    A pastor/minister must have a divine call. You can’t just decide to be a minister – God has to call you.

a.    You can’t call yourself and, if you are called, you can’t run the other way. You must obey God.

b.    You cannot enter into ministry out of the love of money; personal ambition; desire for respect, honor, or attention; self-interest; or love of ease – but only because of the call of God and the desire to please Him.    

John 10:1-2 AMP - I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, he who does not enter by the door into the sheepfold, but climbs up some other way (elsewhere, from some other quarter) is a thief and a robber.  2 But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.

Acts 13:2-3 AMP - While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, Separate now for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them. 3 Then after fasting and praying, they put their hands on them and sent them away.

1 Corinthians 12:28 NKJV - And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues.

Ephesians 4:11 NKJV - And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers

Romans 11:29 AMP - For God's gifts and His call are irrevocable. [He never withdraws them when once they are given, and He does not change His mind about those to whom He gives His grace or to whom He sends His call.]