How To Evaluate A Pastor | Watch This Episode on YouTube


Related Messages

Following are sermons by Dr. Richard Caldwell that will assist one in helping think further through ministry work and service:

Clear Thinking About The Ministry

How To Remain Faithful In Ministry

The Temperament Of A Godly Leader

A Noble Work

The Qualifications Of Overseers - Part 1 & 2

Fidelity To Truth In Our Field Of Ministry

Our View Of Spiritual Leadership



How To Evaluate A Pastor | Watch this episode on Vimeo

How To Evaluate A Pastor

Can any man choose to be a pastor? Are there specific qualifications that a man should have? Can a man become a pastor without a degree or having attended seminary?

This week on the Straight Truth Podcast, host Dr. Josh Philpot sits down with Dr. Richard Caldwell to ask him some additional questions about the office of a pastor. Last week their discussion focused on the difference between preaching and teaching. This week Dr. Philpot mentions that Dr. Caldwell is formally and informally involved in training up a new generation of pastors. He asks Dr. Caldwell if he would share what goes into evaluating a potential pastor, and how does he know that a man is fit for the task and if the Lord has called him?

Dr. Caldwell shares that it isn’t just him that does the investing in the men's lives. Founders Baptist Church is a campus for The Expositors Seminary, so all the elders have involvement and interaction with the men who attend here regularly. Which also provides one of the ways to evaluate men for ministry work. The local church is a place where men can receive mentoring by the leadership and pastors of that church; a place where they can grow and develop skills. It is a place where elders can watch over and guide with encouragement as they recognize evident giftedness in men that might pursue serving and working in ministry.

As for looking for and evaluating men that might be gifted and called for the pastoral office, Dr. Caldwell says it begins with a desire. Paul tells us in 1 Timothy 3 that the office of a pastor is a noble work, and the one who desires it desires a good thing. But desire alone isn’t enough. Dr. Caldwell shares that a man needs other things as well. There is the giftedness that he has already mentioned. There are character qualifications, the skill to teach, and the fruitfulness that comes by way of that teaching. Dr. Caldwell expands a bit on each of these with more detail. He also adds that a man must be humble, teachable, have a submissive heart, and know what it means to be under authority. The local church body is where a man's character can be seen and observed. In the life of the local church, men can be tested, evaluated, and affirmed by the leadership and elders in their desires and giftedness.

As already shared, it begins with a heart desire. But, says Dr. Caldwell, that desire should be for the office, not just to study the Scriptures. Men have to desire the work, the responsibility, and the things that go into it. They have to have the right motives and the desire to glorify God and make good use of what God means for them to do. The pastoral role is not just about preaching. It is also a shepherding role that involves interacting with people and their lives beyond just preaching to them. So men must not underestimate the task.

Does the pastoral office require that one attend seminary and have special training? Should potential pastors go to seminary first? Dr. Caldwell says that men should get training. God, in His good providence, has used Dr. Martin Lloyd Jones, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, and others in this office who did not receive formal training. But these men are the exception to the rule. Anything as weighty as the role of a pastor and what it means deserves preparation and the very best preparation a man can get. Not every man will have the finances and the ability to get seminary training or formal training that is useful and needful, but he will have the local church. God means for the local church to be a place of preparation. In his local church, a man will have elders and resources to help him learn, study, and prepare well.

Lastly, Dr. Caldwell offers advice for new pastors that will help them as they begin their roles. He says they need to be patient and respect what came before them. New pastors must have a love, respect, and admiration for what God has done in that congregation, that church, before their arrival. They need to have lifelines with older, more experienced men and not isolate themselves. Above all, they must love Christ and love His people, realizing the enormous privilege they have received. They will need to spend much time in prayer and not diverge from the Word of God. They need to stay with the Scriptures and be loyal to what God has revealed in His Word, and the Lord will bless.

Dr. Caldwell shares that this is in keeping with what is found in Ephesians 4 and believes that the two titles given in verse 11 are tied together. The reason for this title is to emphasize the shepherding nature of the teaching of the Word of God. His role is not just to declare the gospel, but it is to teach the whole counsel of God. So in all his preaching, there will be a teaching element. The qualifications of elders in 1 Timothy 3 call for all elders to be able to teach; this includes the office of the one who would be the primary pastor-teacher to a congregation.

About The Straight Truth Podcast

The Straight Truth Podcast: Christian Opinions in an Increasingly Secular World. Join Dr. Richard Caldwell, Dr. Josh Philpot, and their guests as they discuss news events, current affairs, and cultural issues from a Biblical point of view. Find the truth at

The Straight Truth Podcast is a weekly opinion show hosted by Dr. Richard Caldwell and Dr. Josh Philpot. Straight Truth is available as an audio podcast on iTunes or as a video podcast through YouTube or Vimeo.  The duration of the podcast is approximately 10 minutes. We release new episodes every Thursday.

The topics discussed in the Straight Truth Podcast are current events, matters that challenge traditional Christian values, and questions submitted by audience members. Dr. Caldwell, Dr. Philpot, and their guests seek to answer these questions with Biblical truths and from a Christian conservative point of view. The Holy Bible is the inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word of God; it alone is and will be the basis and authority of
answering any and all questions.

The Straight Truth Podcast is the perfect podcast for those seeking to strengthen their faith, to be informed on how to broach difficult topics with a Christian point of view, to share their faith with unbelieving friends, to challenge the status quo of their own beliefs by viewing them under the lens of the Scriptures, to interpret current news events from a Biblical point of view, and more.

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Season 20 Credits

Produced by
Juan Carlos Claveria

Executive Producers
Joshua Philpot
David Anders

Hosted by
Joshua Philpot

Social Media Descriptions by
Michele Watson

Graphic Design
David Navejas



Special Thanks to
El Centro Network

Music by

Motion Graphics
Szymon Masiak

Set Decorator
Molly Atchison

Walking In Grace Produces The Straight Truth Podcast - The Best Christian Podcast On The Web

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