Seven Qualities of Pastors in Growing Churches


These men understand the importance of getting past all distractions, moving around all barriers, and sometimes even rising above disturbances that might somehow detract from their main objective.

Pastors of growing churches want to see people involved in a healthy, vibrant, growing church and to see their lives transformed into the likeness of the Lord Jesus Christ.


Pastors of growing churches have leadership abilities. This is not to say that all pastors of growing churches practice the same style of leadership or approach to leadership, but almost all of them are strong leaders. See the article_ Four Styles of Pastoral Leadership.

Priority on preaching

These pastors discipline themselves to invest time in preparing for preaching times. They discipline themselves to spend time in the study even though there are phone messages to be returned and even though there are ministry calls to be made and even though there’s planning to be done. The messages they bring are always practical, always relevant, and always delivered in a manner that makes it easy for people to understand.

4. Love for their people

When I have had the privilege of interviewing some of these pastors, they usually take me on a tour of their facilities. What stories they tell! More than anything else, they tell about the people in that church - people they love. When we pass a classroom, they tell of the godly, faithful teacher who leads the class that meets there. We walk into the worship center, and they point to the exact spot at the altar where life-changing decisions are made. Pastors of growing churches love their people.

Positive attitude and approach

They believe that victories can be won. These pastors face the same obstacles and barriers that all pastors face. Yet they somehow continue to see the possibilities for victory. Even in the face of tremendous challenges, they believe that God can and will change lives and overcome circumstances. They believe their churches can grow. When others explain to them that you can’t win people with direct evangelism, or that you can’t grow a church in that community, they go out and win people and lead their churches to grow.

People skills

These pastors love their people and are able to communicate that love. They are confident and comfortable with who they are and this allows them to be comfortable with others. They make eye contact, and they work at remembering names. These pastors may have little available time, but they find a way to connect with people.

An intimate relationship with God

These pastors speed time in prayer. They read the Bible daily and allow what they read to impact their lives. They are filled and guided by the Holy Spirit. Pastors of growing churches have a close, personal, and growing walk with Jesus.

As I list these characteristics, I am aware that many other pastors have these same traits. And, of course, not all pastors of growing churches have all these characteristics. But I think it is valid to recognize the pattern I have observed in the pastors of growing churches.

Barry Campbell is lead pastor of Highland Baptist Church, Redmond, Oregon.

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