32 Titus: 33 An elder must be blameless, faithful

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Separate from salvation, the Apostle Paul, in his letters to Timothy and Titus,
gave additional qualifications for one to serve as a pastor. A pastor is called after the
church has examined him or her per the qualifications listed in the Bible (Assemblies of
God, 2016; Church of God, 2014; Southern Baptist Convention, 2000; Wesleyan Church,
2016). The biblical qualifications for a pastor can be categorized among four areas:
actions, ethics, teaching/preaching ability, and management ability.

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Actions. The Apostle Paul defined the actions that should accompany a pastor
when he listed the qualifications for that office in 1 Timothy 3:1–7:

Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble
task. Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate,
self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness,
not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his
own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a
manner worthy of full respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own
family, how can he take care of God’s church?) He must not be a recent convert,
or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. He
must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into
disgrace and into the devil’s trap.” (New International Version)

Paul also instructed Timothy on the things that exemplify the life of a good pastor.
Beginning in 1 Timothy 4:11 and continuing through 6:2, Paul gave Timothy twelve
things that he should “command and teach.” The apostle Paul repeated the qualifications
of a pastor in his letter to Titus:

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An elder must be blameless, faithful to his wife, a man whose children believe
and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. Since an overseer
manages God’s household, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-
tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain.
Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled,
upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as
it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute
those who oppose it. (Tit. 1:6–9)

Being above approach includes avoiding certain negative actions. Towner (2006) wrote
that the actions of a pastor should “be able to withstand assaults from opponents inside or
outside the church” (p. 250).

Ethics. A pastor should do what is considered appropriate in his or her culture
(Towner, 2006). Ethics is the study of what is considered right in one’s culture and
tradition (Rhode, 2006). Hanson (2006) defined ethical leadership: “Leading an
organization or people to accomplish an explicitly moral purpose, usually involving
transformation” (p. 292).

Brown et al. (2014) identified ethical character as “the foundation of a person’s
identity and should not be misinterpreted as a characteristic, such as personality, traits,
attitude, or virtues” (p. 76). Hanah and Avolio (2011) wrote of character when they
stated, “Character is neither personality nor an individual characteristic” (p. 980). Brown
et al. (2014) further added, “Character is developed by beliefs and life experiences. As
people mature, their beliefs and life experiences mold a certain integrity, ethical integrity,
responsibility, discipline, and respect” (p. 76).

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Brown and Mitchell (2010) wrote, “Values form the core or foundation of a
culture. As such, values include beliefs and give them shape; values and beliefs can be
expressed in principles that give guidance to life” (p. 33). Johnson (2012) discussed
virtues: “Your chances of making wise decisions and following through on your choices
will be higher if you demonstrate the positive moral traits or qualities referred to as
virtues” (p. 58). Johnson further discussed values and virtues from the perspective of
organizational psychologists: “Define virtues as morally valued personality traits” (p. 59).
Northouse (2012) also discussed values and leadership: “When tested in difficult
situations, authentic leaders do not compromise their values, but rather use their
situations to strengthen their values” (p. 259). In a review of virtuous leaders, Cameron
(2011) wrote they were “significantly more able to absorb system shocks, to bounce back
from difficulties” (p. 31).
Teaching/Preaching Ability

Stott (2002) stated that pastors are “teachers, teaching the message of the Bible,
and faithful stewards of the Word of God” (p. 104). Bredfeldt (2006) showed that
teaching is linked to leadership: “Those who teach and teach well are truly the greatest of
leaders. Teachers are great leaders for three basic reasons—they have great influence,
they bring about great change, and they can invoke the highest levels of follower
development” (p. 19). Paul clearly outlines the skill of teaching (1 Tim. 3:2) as an
essential qualification for pastoral leadership. Towner (2006) wrote that teaching flows
from the pastor’s firm hold on “the trustworthy message as it has been taught” (p. 257).
Titus 1:10 described “many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers.” In Acts 20:29–
30 Paul taught, “I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and

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will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth
in order to draw away disciples after them.” In 2 Timothy 4:2, Paul gave instruction on
how to teach: “Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke
and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.” Paul also challenged
Timothy to “preach the word” (2 Tim. 4:2). Mohler (2007) showed that the work of the
pastor as leader is essentially an exercise in theology and that pastors do the work of
theologians through “teaching, preaching, defending, and applying great doctrines of the
faith” (p. 927). Mohler further identified four actions pastors take to fulfill their call:
“reading, teaching, preaching, and studying the Scriptures” (p. 928).

Management Ability

A minister’s management ability impacted this study because ministers are the
senior leaders within their respective churches. In 1 Timothy 3:3, Paul asked whether a
man can manage the household of God if he cannot manage his own household. The skill
of management (1 Tim. 3:7) is clearly outlined by Paul as an essential qualification for
pastoral leadership. Peter gave direction on overseeing in 1 Peter 5:2: “Shepherd the flock
of God that is among you, exercising oversight.” Davids (1990) wrote that biblical
shepherding does not “suggest an aggressive, dictatorial style of leadership” (p. 178).
Time Management

The Pulpit and Pew Center at Duke Divinity School (McMillan, 2002) conducted
a study finding that pastors worked a median of 45 hours per week. Pastors spent 33% of
their time in worship and sermon preparation, 19% of their time in pastoral care, 15% of
their time in administrative duties, 13% of their time in teaching duties, 7% of their time
in prayer and meditation, 6% of their time in denominational and community affairs, and

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4% of their time reading. Brunette–Hill and Finke (1994) found that pastors reported
working 69.3 hours per week in 1955 in contrast to 47.7 hours per week in 1994.

Leadership Styles

A minister’s leadership style impacted this study because of the multitude of
leadership styles from which a leader may lead: Leader Member Exchange theory
(LMX), transactional leadership, transformational leadership, steward leadership, servant
leadership and authentic leadership.
Transformational Leadership

Transformational leadership impacted this study because ministers should seek to
help their followers grow and develop, inspire others for higher performance, educate and
seek new ways to solve problems, and to meet their various needs of those they lead
(Bass, 1990). The concept of transformational leadership was introduced by Burns
(1978). The primary contribution of his work was the differentiation of transformational
and transactional leadership. He believed that transactional leaders “approach followers
with an eye to exchanging one thing for another: jobs for votes, or subsidies for campaign
contributions” (p. 4). Burns (1978) defined transformational leadership as “a relationship
of mutual stimulation and elevation that converts followers into leaders and may convert
leaders into moral agents” (p. 4). He thought transformational leadership could be
described as “a process by which leaders and followers raise one another to higher levels
of morality and motivation instead of following a set of specific behaviors” (p. 20). Burns
saw transformational and transactional leadership at two ends of the leadership spectrum
and that leaders were either high in transactional or transformational leadership styles but
not high in both. Bass (1985) built upon Burns’ (1978) foundation when he emphasized

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the impact transformational leadership has on social change. Bass discussed a
transformational leader when he wrote, “They seek to help followers grow and develop,
to inspire others for higher performance, to educate and seek new ways to solve
problems, and to meet their various needs” (pp. 53–54). Bass did not view transactional
and transformational on opposite ends of the spectrum; rather, he believed that
transformational leadership built upon transactional leadership. Bass inspired Avolio, and
together they developed the full range development model, integrating transformational,
transactional and on transactional laissez-faire leadership (Bass and Avolio, 1994).
Transformational leadership has four dimensions: idealized influence, inspirational
motivation, intellectual stimulation, and individualized consideration (Bass and Avolio,
1994; Schieltz, 2010). Bass, Avolio, Jung, and Berson (2003) defined these four
dimensions. 

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