I recently read an article that I agree with wholeheartedly - Why We Must Emphasize A Pastor’s Character Over His Skill. I have excerpted some of it below. Because I agree with the author so much, I am practically wringing my hands over how a pastor
nominating committee is supposed to determine a pastor’s character in the brief interviews they conduct and videos they watch. I’ll answer my own question - Is it possible to determine someone’s character from a video? I don’t even think its possible through conversations with a potential pastor. Character is demonstrated over time, over years. I think the obvious answer to determining a pastor’s character is: use reference checks aggressively. Unfortunately, this part of a search process is often a perfunctory, “check the box,” exercise. I’ll spend more time on this in future blogs. For now, here is a little of what the article says about the importance of a pastor’s character.
The New Testament clearly, repeatedly, and unapologetically lays out the qualifications of a pastor. What is so remarkable yet so often overlooked is this: Pastors are called and qualified to their ministry not first through their raw talent, their finely-honed skill, or their great accomplishments, but through their godly character. Of all the many qualifications laid out in the New Testament, there is just one related to skill and one related to experience. The rest of the nearly 20 qualifications are based on character. What fits a man to ministry is not first accomplishment or capability but character.
We cannot emphasize this too strongly or too often. I really mean that: We cannot overemphasize the primacy of character. A great many of the problems we see in the local and global church today are caused by the failure to heed this simple principle.