The most common Scripture reference to help determine a minister’s qualifications for pastor is found in 1 Tim 3:1-7.
Here it is:
“Faithful is this word: If anyone aspires to the position of a bishop, he desires a good work. 2 It is necessary, therefore, for a bishop to be irreproachable, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, well-behaved, hospitable, skillful at teaching; 3 not given to wine, not a bully, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not loving money; 4 one ruling his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence; 5 (for if one does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?); 6 not a new convert, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil. 7 Moreover he must have a good testimony among those outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.”
Here’s the 16 points that Paul uses to be a good yardstick in finding a qualified pastor:
1. Irreproachabe (blameless)
2. One woman man
5. Well behaved
7. Good Teacher
8. Not a drinker
9. Not a bully
10. Not greedy for money
12. Doesn’t quarrel
13. Doesn’t love money
14. Keeps his house in order
15. Not a new convert
16. Has a good testimony in town.
I would take number 16 to mean, people who knew the potential pastor before Jesus Christ changed his life.
And I was thinking, has there EVER been a person who has ever set foot on God’s green earth, who can claim that these 16 things describes them before they were a Christian?
What happens if a person wasn’t a good teacher before Christ saved them?
How about the person who had a bad habit of loving money a little bit too much, before Christ saved them?
How about the person who was a bully all of their lives, because they were insecure, because their father hated them when they were growing up, and didn’t love them?
How about the person who was divorced before they ever gave a rip about the commands of God?
Ah…now we’re talkin!
The moral of the story is this: Certainly these prerequisites apply to a person AFTER their conversion, otherwise NO ONE would be qualified to shepherd the flock of God.
“And such were some of you.” (1 Cor 6:11)