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55 Questions for a Prospective Pastor

By August 10, 2011June 21st, 2019Blog, Pastoral Ministry

BibleThe following is an excellent list of questions for potential pastors.  I remember when, as a young Independent Baptist, sitting through a Q&A session on a Sunday night where the “hot topics” were the man’s position on rap music or whether he thought special music should be sung with or without an accompaniment tape!  I trust these will be a help to you.  And if you’re considering the pastoral ministry, they are excellent questions to prayerfully ask yourself.


  1. There  are many who profess to know Christ who are mistaken.  What evidences do you have that you have been given life by God?
  2. What  does it mean for a person to love God? In what ways do you see true biblical  love toward God demonstrated in your life? Do you see true biblical love toward  God in the lives of your wife and each of your children?
  3. How  does your wife feel about your commitment to pastoring?
  4. Why  do you believe God wants you in the pastorate?
  5. Closely  examine each of the Bible’s qualifications for pastors and deacons (1  Tim. 3; Titus 1:5-9; Acts 6:1-6; 1 Pet. 5:1-4). Which are you strongest  qualities? With which requirements do you have the most trouble? Why do you  believe these areas of difficulty do not presently disqualify you from  ministering? (Note the phrase “must be” in 1 Tim. 3:2.)
  6. A  pastor is charged by God to preach to the church and to shepherd the people in  a more individual way. Which aspect of the ministry appeals to you the most?  What are some specific ways you could be helped to develop your skills in  either of these areas?
  7. What  are your methods for involving yourself in the lives of your people as their  shepherd and overseer of their souls?
  8. What  activities characterize your evangelistic interest? What is your approach to  personal evangelism? corporate evangelism?
  9. What  is your approach to counseling? How do you handle your counseling load?
  10. What are your specific and regular  practices regarding the spiritual disciplines (e.g., personal prayer, Bible  study, meditation, stewardship, learning, etc.)?
  11. How would you describe a successful  pastor? How would you describe a successful church?
  12. How is the pastor  held accountable? What relationships in your life currently provide  accountability for responsible attitudes and behavior, both personally and as  pastor?
  13. Who are your favorite Christian  writers, commentators, theologians, etc.? Why? What books have you read in the  past year?
  14. Describe an instance when you made  attempts to reform the church in some significant area. What were the results?  What did it cost you personally?
  15. Describe your leadership style. What  have been some weaknesses? Strengths?
  16. When you have met with opposition, has  it been mostly related to your style of leadership, your personality, your  beliefs, or something else?
  17. According to your observations, what  doctrines need special emphasis in our day?
  18. What is true biblical repentance?
  19. What is true biblical faith?
  20. Explain justification by faith. What  is the difference between the Catholic view of justification and the biblical  view?
  21. Please explain your view of  sanctification. What are the various means God uses to sanctify the believer?
  22. Can a person have Christ as his Savior  without submitting to Him as Lord? Explain.
  23. What is your position on the inerrancy  of Scripture?
  24. Explain the biblical term  “baptism of the Spirit.” When does this baptism occur?
  25. What are your views on baptism by  water?
  26. How does the Bible relate the  sovereignty of God to salvation?
  27. What does the Bible teach about the  extent of man’s depravity?
  28. What does Christ’s atonement  accomplish?
  29. What does the Bible teach about the  perseverance and preservation of believers?
  30. What is the proper use of the Old  Testament law?
  31. How do you articulate your present  view of end-time or eschatological issues?
  32. Do you believe that Jesus Christ was  born of a virgin? What is the significance of your belief?
  33. What is your interpretation of the  biblical teaching on Hell?
  34. Do you believe that the events  described in Genesis 1-11 are factual or symbolic?
  35. What does the Bible teach concerning  spiritual gifts? Please delineate your views about prophecy and speaking in  tongues.
  36. What is your view of divorce and  remarriage? How strictly will you follow this view in practice?
  37. What is your view of the phrase,  “The bishop [pastor] then must be…the husband of one wife” (1  Tim. 3:2)?
  38. What are your requirements for  performing a marriage ceremony?
  39. Please explain your views on church  discipline. Relate any personal experience.
  40. How would you handle a case of scandal  or immorality by a church member?
  41. What is your view on abortion?
  42. Many children who appear to be  converted at an early age show no evidence of knowing Christ later. How do you  handle children when they come to you for counsel concerning conversion? What  is your advice to parents?
  43. What is a useful plan for receiving  new members into the church? What are prerequisites?
  44. What are your views on styles of  church music?
  45. Who should direct the worship of the  church? Why? Which methods of leading corporate worship are appropriate? Which  are inappropriate?
  46. What does the Bible teach is the  purpose of the church’s weekly gathering?
  47. What are your views regarding raising  money for various projects within the church? Should the church solicit those  outside the church?
  48. What are your convictions about the  local church and debt?
  49. What does the Bible teach about women  in pastoral ministry?
  50. What does the Bible teach about how  churches should make decisions?
  51. How should a pastor and his church  relate to other churches locally and (if denominational) to the larger body? Do  you feel comfortable cooperating with other denominations? Do you draw any  lines?
  52. What are the biblical responsibilities  of elders? Are there any distinctions between elders, pastors, and overseers?  If applicable, what distinctions exist between staff and non-staff pastors?
  53. What are the biblical responsibilities  of deacons? How are deacons and elders to relate?
  54. What emphasis do you give to the  leadership of fathers with their families, especially in terms of family  worship? Do you personally engage in family worship with your wife and  children?
  55. What is your missionary vision for the  church? How are you currently demonstrating missionary interest and  involvement?

Jim Elliff and Don  Whitney
Christian  Communicators Worldwide,

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