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