Are You Biblically Qualified to Plant a Church?

What does it take to be a pastor, a qualified man? Darrin Patrick walks us through the elder qualifications of 1 Timothy 3:1–7 in Church Planter and shows us what a Biblically qualified man looks like. Below is an adaptation of fifteen qualifications for pastoral ministry:

  1. ανεπιλεπτος, “Above Reproach” - “This term describes a man who is free from any serious character blights, is respected by those who know him, and is widely known to live a godly life.”
  2. μιᾶς γυναικὸς ἄνδρα, “Husband of One Wife” - “To be qualified, a man must be exclusively devoted to his wife, having a deep emotional, social, and sexual connection to her.”
  3. νηφαλέος, “Sober-minded” or Temperate - “A qualified pastor must be a man who is able to control his desires and emotions through submission to the power and authority of the Holy Spirit.”
  4. σώφρων, “Self-controlled” - “He must have a sound mind (he is able to focus and not be distracted easily). He has good judgement and common sense.”
  5. κόσμιος,”Respectable” - “This means to have a well-ordered life (a life that is not characterized by chaos).”
  6. φιλόξενος, “Hospitable” - “The word “hospitable” refers to the way the pastor and his family welcome those outside the faith. In other words, to be hospitable is to be a friend of sinners and thus to be like Jesus.”
  7. διδακτικός, “Able to Teach” - “A qualified pastor is able to take the Scripture and help people understand what it means in its original context and in its contemporary application.”
  8. “Not a Drunkard” - “This qualification seems to speak to the release valve of the pastor… speaking to addiction to substances generally and is not limited to wine.”
  9. πλήκτης, “Not Violent” - “Simply put, you can’t be a pastor if you are getting into fistfights with church members or lost people in your city.”
  10. ἐπιεικής, “Gentle” - “Gentleness in this context means to be lenient, willing to yield when yielding is possible. It describes a man who does not always have to have his own way.”
  11. ἄμαχος, “Not Quarrelsome” - “You can’t be a pastor if your ‘pastoral counseling’ produces more heat than light. In other words, you are not a qualified man if you turn most discussion into arguments.”
  12. “Not a Lover of Money” - “He must not desire money more than God…Pastors who love money will eventually put that love before the good of the church.”
  13. προΐστημι, “Managing His Own Household Well” - “This means to stand before, to rule, to be diligent (to be the spiritual leader in one’s family).
  14. νεόφυτος, “Not… a Recent Convert” - “This qualification has to do with the spiritual maturity of the pastor, specifically his longevity as a Christian.”
  15. μαρτυρίαν καλὴν, “Well Thought of by Outsiders” - “He must have a good reputation with those outside the church, one who knows unbelievers and is respected for his faith.”

You can find Darrin’s book here: