Qualifications for Leadership

(A biblical model for recruiting, training and deploying potential leaders for ministry.)


“I suggest keeping the following “shopping list” of leadership values in mind. This isn’t a fail-safe method.  Even with these criteria, I’ve managed to select poorly at times.  However, these values and principles have served me well over the years, both for managing professional staff, and mobilizing and recruiting volunteers from the congregation.”  -John Wimber


1. Sincere love for and pursuit of Jesus Christ demonstrated in regular personal worship, meditation on the Word, and prayer.

Psalm 1

Blessed is the man

​    who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked

​   or stand in the way of sinners

​    or sit in the seat of mockers.

But his delight is in the law of the LORD,

​     and on his law he meditates day and night.

He is like a tree planted by streams of water,

​ ​ which yields its fruit in season

​​and whose leaf does not wither.

​ ​Whatever he does prospers.

Not so the wicked!

​  T​hey are like chaff

​    that the wind blows away.

Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,

​    nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.

For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous,

but the way of the wicked will perish


Psalm 18

I love you, O LORD, my strength.

The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;

​​my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge.

​​He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

I call to the LORD, who is worthy of praise,

and I am saved from my enemies.


2. Demonstrated fullness of the Holy Spirit, of faith and of wisdom.

Acts 6:3,5

But select from among you, brethren, seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task…and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit.



3. A perception of leadership not as grasping for position, or title, or power, or authority, or respect, or privilege, but as a commitment to humble service and self-sacrifice.

Mark 10:42-45

Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”


Phil. 2:5-9

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very nature God,

did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,

but made himself nothing,

taking the very nature of a servant,

being made in human likeness.

And being found in appearance as a man,

​     he humbled himself

and became obedient to death—

​     even death on a cross!

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place

and gave him the name that is above every name,



4. Personal exposure, loyalty and commitment to their pastors, and to those whom they are pastoring.

Mark 4:14-15

And He appointed twelve – designating them apostles – that they might be with him and that He might send them out to preach and to have authority to cast out the demons.  


5. Trustworthiness, with the ability to resist being bribed or bought.

Exodus 18:21

“Furthermore, you shall select out of all the people able men who fear God, men of truth, those who hate dishonest gain…”


6. Commitment to the “Barnabus – style” of open, loving communication, to solving relational problems, to processing anger constructively, to encouraging and building up and maintaining confidences strictly.

Acts 4:36-37

Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means Son of Encouragement), sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet.


Eph 4:25-32

Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body. “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.



7. Willingness to be a “Team Player” and to help one’s pastoral associates succeed.

Phil. 2:3-4

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others


8. A strong loving marriage in which both the husband and wife sense the call to minister. 

Acts 18:26

He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately.


9. Capable and respected, mature in the faith, and with proven ministry ability.

1 Timothy 3:2-7

An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, uncontentious, free from the love of money.  He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity…not a new convert…and he must have a good reputation with those outside the church…  


10. Willingness to be judged by strict standards and to accept reproof.

James 3:1 

Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we shall incur a stricter judgment.



11. Love for people and for Jesus, without desire to benefit personally at the expense of the sheep.

John 21:17

He said to him the third time, Simon, son of John, do you love me?… And he said to Him, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you”.  Jesus said to him, “Tend my sheep”.  


12. Commitment to equipping others for ministry through active recruiting, training, deploying, monitoring and nurturing. 

Mark 3:13-15

Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him. He appointed twelve—designating them apostles —that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach and to have authority to drive out demons.


13. Commitment to excellent work, taking responsibility seriously, being proactive, planning and executing well.

Ezra 5:1-2

Now Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the prophet, a descendant of Iddo, prophesied to the Jews in Judah and Jerusalem in the name of the God of Israel, who was over them. Then Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and Jeshua son of Jozadak set to work to rebuild the house of God in Jerusalem. And the prophets of God were with them, helping them.


14. A committed, cheerful giver who tithes regularly to the fellowship.

Mal 3:8-10

“Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me.

“But you ask, ‘How do we rob you?’

“In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse—the whole nation of you—because you are robbing me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.