What are the qualifications for a pastor? Well, first of all, a pastor must be a man. Right before God gives the requirements in 1 Timothy 3:1-7, the Spirit says, “I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.”
The list of qualifications that follows describes a godly man. “An overseer must be above reproach,” meaning that he must walk in holiness and without blame. “The husband of one wife,” or a one-woman man.
He must be “sober-minded.” Another word for this is “temperate,” or not given over to wild ideas. He must be “self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach,” which is the one skill that a pastor must exhibit. Titus 1:9 says, “He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and rebuke those who contradict it.”
He must not be a “drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money,” lest he compromise the truth for selfish gain. “He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church?”
“He must not be a recent convert,” but he must prove his worth over time. “He must be well thought of by outsiders,” for how will he effectively share the message of the gospel if he doesn’t love his neighbor?
Now these are character qualities we should all aspire to. The pastor is to be an example for the whole church of a mature Christian, when we understand the text.