In-Demand Pastors

clergy in Rio de JaneiroMany of my colleagues and hundreds of recent seminary graduates are seeking calls in church settings right now.  Those of us in Christian traditions without bishops interview for clergy positions much like other vocations interview for secular positions.

Why is it that some professional ministers have many opportunities and others do not?  Why are some pastors more “desirable” than others?

Here’s a very non-scientific list of characteristics that make for great (and in-demand) 21st Century Pastors:

  1. Teachability.  They read, attend lectures, seek mentors, and maintain curiosity even (and especially) decades after ordination.
  2. Community Organizing Chops.  They not only have a concern for neighborhood issues, but they know how to organize ministry to address those issues.
  3. A Missional Perspective.  They know how to connect with neighbors who are not part of the church.
  4. Skills in Church Transformation.  They know at least a little about shifting a 1950s church into a 21st Century congregation.
  5. Bravery.  They have the courage to try and fail, to challenge the status quo, and to stand up to bullies.
  6. Collegiality.  They partner with clergy colleagues, community leaders, and politicians for the sake of enhancing their congregation’s impact.
  7. Willingness to relinquish control.   They equip leaders and then let them lead.  They don’t have to be the king/queen of all things.
  8. Visionary.  They see what could be.

What would you add?

Image Source here.


4 responses to “In-Demand Pastors

  1. Listen Well: They don’t come across as knowing it all and aren’t always in the teaching/preaching mode.


  2. Jan, I think this could be very helpful in guiding/evaluating candidates for ministry. I keep thinking of those folks who are very smart, but are otherwise not so well suited for the work, and how do we guide them in helpful ways. Thanks!


  3. Ability to reflect, integrate, discard/adjust move on. And to not take it personally, whatever “it” is.


  4. Pingback: This Week’s Links « Timothy Siburg

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.