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Lexilogio

What makes a good minister?

What makes a good Priest / Vicar / Minister?

What are the key qualities, knowledge, skills needed?
I'm assuming belief in God is kind of an essential given here....
Shaker

Not necessarily! (Or rather, as the old phrase has it, "depends what you mean by 'God'" ....).

It's probably just me and my unbelieving ways, but I suspect that to ask what makes a good priest/minister/vicar is somehow to miss the point. What makes for a good human being? Compassion (call it kindness if you like: it amounts to the same thing); sympathy/empathy; ability to listen without judgement; open-mindedness (up to a point); patience; wisdom.
Jim

Re: What makes a good minister?

I'd say that not just a belief, but knowing God is a given, Lexi.
Whether or not the person in question is a theologian is not really important.
AAs a very good friend of mine; and my minister, now in glory, said to me;
"I spent seven years learning theology.  I've spent the last forty forgetting it."
     If the minister/vicar's first, and most important role is sharing the love God has given them, then they're on the right track!
Powwow

Well Shaker you're definitely out then .lol

Well I will list a few things I observed when I watched and listened to my dad preach.
A sense of humour. Not too much mind you.

A good preacher will get the congregations attention right off the bat. Very important. I feel for ministers that have a dozen in the congregation sleeping during the sermon.

Appearance is important. They can't look bored. Being able to come off intense yet relaxed at the same time is a rare talent among ministers.

Passion for God and His Word. Very, very important. If a preacher doesn't actually believe what they are delivering the there is no point. If a preacher believes what he is saying it will show.

Staying focused. One message per sermon and no more then that.

Don't dare preach anything that does not have solid Biblical support.

A good minister will by the end of the sermon, have brought the individual to a point where they must make a choice.

Then we have ministry outside of the Sunday service. Can people trust this preacher to keep things told to him in confidence. How does he watch out and care for the elderly members of his congregation.

I was outraged at the young senior pastor at mom's church at the time of her death. A church she helped to start 60yrs+ ago.  Two days before she died she told one of the nurses that she needed her pastor. The nurse got hold of my sister. My sister had called that young idiot three times over the prior 12 weeks to get him to visit mom at the hospital. No response no call back. So when mom requested the pastor my sister didn't want to call him again. She instead called the widow of our original pastor at that church who was mom's best friend, she's 97yrs this year. Well the response my sister got was, no, you do what you mother wants and you call the preacher one more time.
Well, well, well, wasn't that whippersnapper one uncomfortable parson when he walked into mom's hospital room and came face to face with her three angry boys. But we left the room and what mom and that preacher talked about I do not know. I have never set foot in that church since. They abandoned and forgot mom until we had to practically beg. The old guard in the church was true to mom and were at her funeral. Not that preacher though. We requested the prior minister. One that has a real love and compassion for the elderly in the flock.

A good minister also has to be a marriage counselor at times. If a minister has an unhappy marriage, that's what they must repair before they try and help other couple.

Many, many, many more requirements but I'm tired or hitting the key board for the moment. lol
Ketty

Re: What makes a good minister?

Lexilogio wrote:
What makes a good Priest / Vicar / Minister?


Somebody who believes, teaches and preaches, the Gospel Message and who is servant-hearted.  Somebody who knows they cannot be all things for all people and who gathers around them a great team who also believe, teach and preach the Gospel Message, and to whom each are accountable.
trentvoyager

I suppose if they stay away from the kids and the booze it would be a good start.......
Jim

From what we're told, Jesus was a magnet for kids, much to the disgust of His followers, who tried to get them to scram.
Oh, and when it came to parties...wine was His speciality....
Lexilogio

I think Ketty made a good point with the "servant-hearted".

Our vicar said recently that the ministry is not a career. What he didn't add - but could have, is that it is a service to the parish.
Powwow

Oh wasn't that precious there, Mr. trent.
We always use grape juice at communion. I never tasted booze till I went wild. Dad never did taste booze nor ever did he take a puff on a smoke. The worst word that ever came out of his mouth was when he called an old cow that was getting up a beggar. It unloaded at the same time as it was getting up and it hit dad right in the face. lol
Powwow

Just watch how they tend the elderly in the congregation. You will get a glimpse of their heart.
trentvoyager

Jim wrote:
From what we're told, Jesus was a magnet for kids, much to the disgust of His followers, who tried to get them to scram.
Oh, and when it came to parties...wine was His speciality....


What a coincidence wine is my speciality too (well and beer , whisky, vodka) I digress.

At one time I used to accompany my partners mother to Church (Catholic) and the priest there was most definitely under the influence whilst preaching. I found it very enjoyable - if slightly incoherent and rambling. His replacement, a younger man, was altogether more restrained, unfortunately.
trentvoyager

pow wow wrote:
Oh wasn't that precious there, Mr. trent.
We always use grape juice at communion. I never tasted booze till I went wild. Dad never did taste booze nor ever did he take a puff on a smoke. The worst word that ever came out of his mouth was when he called an old cow that was getting up a beggar. It unloaded at the same time as it was getting up and it hit dad right in the face. lol


Well altho it was partly in jest - are you trying to deny the facts of both abuse and alcoholism amongst some priests. Or don't you think those issues are of any concern as far as their behaviour goes ?
Powwow

What would I know of priests? I only believe in a pope made of soap and hanging in my shower on a rope.

I asked dad why he didn't believe in having a drink or two. He replied that even though it is not forbidden in scripture he and his church abstained from all booze due to the fact that booze is a stumbling block for millions of people around the planet. And hearing what several of my friends dealt with, growing up with boozer parents, I am truly thankful for dad and mom's example.
Ketty

trentvoyager wrote:
I suppose if they stay away from the kids and the booze it would be a good start.......


Aye, a drunkard or a paedophile are not the traits desired in a good minister.  Sadly, and given some of the headlines, I would observe that some methods of 'doing church' seem to be brainwashed into believing their minister is somehow special, and can do no wrong.

But Lexi asked what are the desired attributes.  
trentvoyager

Ketty wrote:
trentvoyager wrote:
I suppose if they stay away from the kids and the booze it would be a good start.......


Aye, a drunkard or a paedophile are not the traits desired in a good minister.  Sadly, and given some of the headlines, I would observe that some methods of 'doing church' seem to be brainwashed into believing their minister is somehow special, and can do no wrong.

But Lexi asked what are the desired attributes.  


Yes I know - I think it is desirable for them to stay away from kids or drink.
Ketty

trentvoyager wrote:

Yes I know - I think it is desirable for them to stay away from kids or drink.


Oh well, that didn't work then.  
Shaker

trentvoyager wrote:
I suppose if they stay away from the kids and the booze it would be a good start.......

I'd rather have them on the booze and not on kids, frankly. See my avatar for details.
Lexilogio

trentvoyager wrote:
pow wow wrote:
Oh wasn't that precious there, Mr. trent.
We always use grape juice at communion. I never tasted booze till I went wild. Dad never did taste booze nor ever did he take a puff on a smoke. The worst word that ever came out of his mouth was when he called an old cow that was getting up a beggar. It unloaded at the same time as it was getting up and it hit dad right in the face. lol


Well altho it was partly in jest - are you trying to deny the facts of both abuse and alcoholism amongst some priests. Or don't you think those issues are of any concern as far as their behaviour goes ?


Is alcoholism an issue in ministry? Just from experience, I've never come across an alcoholic priest or minister. But I presume you do get some.

I'd say that addiction of any sort would be an undesirable trait. You want a minister to minister to the flock - not be spending energy on an addiction.
Ketty

Lexilogio wrote:

Is alcoholism an issue in ministry? Just from experience, I've never come across an alcoholic priest or minister. But I presume you do get some.


I've no idea if it's a general problem, but my friend's former RC priest always smelled of alcohol.  

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