Another factor that adds to the joy of being a pastor is that no pastor is ideal. It is not possible to perfectly measure up to even one person’s standard of the ideal pastor because no human being is perfect. That means that a pastor has to live with the comforting thought that in one way or another he disappoints every single person in his church. Each of us can identify some way we wish our pastor were different. That’s going to be true of us no matter who our pastor is. So regardless of what he does a pastor has the delight of knowing he disappoints all of his people some of the time and some of his people all of the time.
I guess what I am saying is there is no ideal pastor. Churches and individuals will desire different personalities, philosophies of ministry, styles and gifts in their pastor. The Bible doesn’t identify a perfect standard in those aspects of a person and his ministry. But it seems to me there are some qualities that are essential in a pastor. One is that he must be faithful, meaning he has faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and he does his best to serve and obey him. He must have integrity and he must faithfully teach all of God’s truth even when it is uncomfortable for him because he falls short. Second, it is absolutely imperative that he be humble. He does fall short, so it is crucial that he admit his shortcomings. This is the one thing that can offset the obvious gap between the ideal he teaches and the less than ideal that he lives. And finally, he must live in, exemplify and exude grace. Because he is flawed like every other human being he must know in the pit of his soul and he must proclaim with passion that what commends him and everyone else to God is the grace he gives us through Jesus Christ, and nothing else.