One of my dearest friends, a fellow minister of the gospel, regularly challenges both my mind and heart about gospel ministry. The two of us have walked together as brothers and best friends for nearly thirty years. In conversation yesterday, and after writing the blog that I posted on ambition (September 15), my friend’s three point test for good ministers is one that I feel worth sharing.

The three qualities that you should look for in every minister, and that every minister must cultivate in their personal life, are:

1. Humility

2. Self Critique

3. The ability to listen

I can’t think of any qualities in a person that are more vital to true success in true pastoral ministry than these. In fact, when one or more of these is missing the pastor will fail over the long haul, even though outwardly there may appear to be real success. (Don’t be confused by a minister’s great gifts since gifts do not make a true minister.) If you are searching for a minister for a local church make these vital personal qualities priority one. If you are a minister you should make them your pursuit for a lifetime! In fact, take this test. Ask yourself: "Are these three qualities noticeably present in my life before my flock?"

Related Posts


  1. Steve Chu September 16, 2005 at 3:29 pm

    Thanks for the reminder. I regularly need a good dose of humility in shepherding, esp. when I feel wronged.
    If I could add anything to the list it would be 4. Learn to laugh at yourself. I think that goes a long way.

  2. Aaron Shafovaloff September 16, 2005 at 3:53 pm

    Mr. Armstrong,
    Sorry that this is off-topic, but I couldn’t find a contact e-mail address that wouldn’t bounce back. There’s a developing page on the NPP that might be of some value to folks:
    I hope Theopedia as a whole can be a great resource as it develops.
    Grace and peace in Christ,

Comments are closed.

My Latest Book!

Use Promo code UNITY for 40% discount!

Recent Articles