You don’t have to wonder. Thom Rainer asked that question a while ago and published the top ten responses on his blog last week.
When I first read the list, I smiled. For three reasons.
First, it’s a really healthy list. Church members are expecting basic pastoral competence, honesty and leadership. That’s what they ought to expect.
And when you look at some select quotes from church members that Thom included, their expectations look even healthier and more balanced than most pastors might have expected. Good for them.
- Administrative Prowess
- Great Fundraiser
- Facility Management
- Church Growth Strategist
It’s not that pulpit search committees won’t be looking for some of those attributes. They will. Especially for bigger churches. But it makes me smile when my suspicions are confirmed that the skills many of us obsess over aren’t what matter to the average church member.
Third, I smiled because that list looks very familiar. It’s the basic job description of a Small Church pastor. It’s what most of us do every day.
Churches want their pastor to offer a basic level of care, competence and integrity. They’re not looking for perfection or greatness.
As it turns out, what church members are really looking for in a pastor … is us!
So Where’s the Disconnect?
Surprisingly, this list caused a mini firestorm among Thom’s readers, most of whom are in the ministry.