What Qualities Do I Need for Effective Ministry?

Posted On February 28, 2022

Written by Dr. Ben Shaw, professor of Old Testament

What qualities do you need for effective ministry? If you were to turn to the internet to find an answer to this question, you’d find that it’s important to be a good listener, a problem solver, enthusiastic, trustworthy, ethical, someone who asks questions, honest, consistent, loving; the list goes on.

While these are all interesting character traits and have their place, it is strange that no top internet search to this query makes any reference, direct or indirect, to the qualifications as they are presented in Scripture. Here are three examples from the Bible that summarize some of the qualities needed for effective ministry:

  • The fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5. As with other lists of Paul, this list is intended to be illustrative, not exhaustive. But the list does lay out a clear definition of Christian character. Without this fruit, no one is qualified for effective ministry.
  • The requirements for church office in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1. You’ll notice, there is some overlap between these lists and the fruit of the Spirit. However, other unique considerations appear, such as being hospitable, not being a drunkard, and not quarrelsome, all indicating the need for a mature Christian character (1Tim. 3:2–3; Titus 1:7–8).
  • Paul’s advice to Timothy in 1 and 2 Timothy. While youth is not an excluding factor in these considerations, immaturity is. The young person who has a desire for ministry should take Paul’s advice to Timothy: flee youthful passions, pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, and gentleness (1 Tim. 6:11; 2 Tim. 2:22).

The more you pursue Christian character, the more fully you will be qualified for ministry in the body of Christ. Do not be discouraged in your pursuit of this character. Though it may take time, God will use the mature Christian, regardless of age, in effective ministry.