Are you Senior Pastor material? What about that candidate you are thinking of hiring… He’s a great guy but does he have what it takes to successfully lead your church? There is a way to raise your confidence!

best qualities in a senior pastor

A Question Worth Answering

You have an idea—maybe even a confidence—of what a good pastor looks like. Most people in ministry do. But your ideas likely look a little different from others who have equal claim to confidence. 

A few years ago, a group I was working with wanted to know what qualities to look for in the senior pastors they were hiring. They felt like they knew intuitively what they were looking for—what qualities would make a senior pastor effective in their role—but they hadn’t clearly pinpointed what those qualities were. And as the group worked together, they realized they weren’t necessarily all working off of the same mental template. They each had somewhat different ideas of what an ideal senior pastor looked like. 

The task they assigned to me then was to identify specific competencies that make for a truly effective senior pastor. As I work with hundreds of denominations, I was interested in finding the qualities that worked in any context, the basics needed to lead a church of any denomination, size, or culture. There was need for a senior pastor profile that applied to the Church.

A Valid and Reliable Solution

I partnered with Dr. Charles Ridley, as I have often done before for projects requiring more rigorous research. Dr. Ridley is a licensed psychologist and professor of counseling psychology at Texas A&M University, who specializes in applying sound social science principles to individual and organizational functioning. 

Together, we isolated twelve essential competencies of a senior pastor, with specific descriptors for each. Below are the twelve basic competencies.  

The Senior Pastor Profile

These twelve qualities provide a benchmark for evaluating and selecting senior pastor candidates, to identify growth points for current senior pastors, or to incorporate into leadership training initiatives. 

  1. Personal spirituality
  2. Establishing personal credibility 
  3. Building body cohesiveness 
  4. Facilitating healthy change 
  5. Visionizing 
  6. Unity of vision in marriage 
  7. Reaching unchurched people 
  8. Disciplemaking 
  9. Shepherding 
  10. Empowering 
  11. Leading and Managing 
  12. Fostering Spiritual transformation 

Want to learn more about these qualities, why they matter, and how to grow in them? Keep an eye out for Logan Leadership blogs over the next couple of months as we highlight each quality.

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You now have a list of what a Senior Pastor needs to be competent in. How can you identify where your candidate—or maybe even you—rate in those competencies? 

Not all assessments are the same. At best, most online assessments and even in-person job interviews identify best intentions. A behavioral assessment identifies patterns of behavior that accurately predict how successfully a person will perform in specific competence areas. A quality behavioral assessment will also pinpoint areas for development.

Not all assessors are the same. Logan Leadership assessors complete rigorous and hands-on training so as to provide you with the most valid and reliable prediction of success. In addition to the Senior Pastor Profile, we have developed profiles for Church Planters, Christian Mentors, and Cross-Cultural Leaders. 

If you want to get the right person in the right job, CONTACT US today. …

Photo by Mitchell Leach on Unsplash