4 Mad Skills Every Pastor Needs





Steve-Murrell-Headshot smallA couple of months ago, I posted a blog on my website titled “3 Essential Skills for Leaders.

While flipping through an old Moleskine this morning, I found some of my scribbled notes that described not three, but four skills all pastors must discover and constantly develop for the rest of their lives.

Here’s a remix of the original three, plus a fourth.

1. All pastors must develop theological skills. The bare-bone, foundational theological skills include the big three: systematic theology, New and Old Testament survey, and hermeneutics. I picked up some of these skills in seminary, some by reading books and some by listening to podcasts. Recommended books include Christian Theology by Millard Erickson, Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem, and How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth by Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart.

2. All pastors must develop relational skills. Starting-point relational skills are forgiving people, asking for forgiveness and encouraging the discouraged. Whoever develops these skills will be an amazing pastor, leader, husband, wife, parent and friend. Recommended book: the Bible.

3. All pastors must develop leadership skills. Three foundational leadership skills include strategic planning, communication and branding or marketing. This short list might not sound super spiritual, but good church leadership is more methodical than mystical. Here are some great leadership books that all pastors and ministry leaders should read: The Advantage by Patrick Lencioni, How the Mighty Fall by Jim Collins, Heroic Leadership by Chris Lowney, and Focus by Al Ries.

4. All pastors must develop ministry skills. Three ministry skills serve as the foundation for all other  skills a pastor must develop: preaching the gospel (one-to-one and from the pulpit), ministering the baptism in the Holy Spirit and making disciples in small groups. If a pastor can do these three, it does not matter if there is no budget or building, the church will be strong and healthy. Recommended books: Making Disciples by Ralph Moore and Simple Church by Thom Rainer and Eric Geiger.

Looks like this blog accidentally turned into a reading list!


Steve and Deborah Murrell went to the Philippines in 1984 for a one-month summer mission trip that never ended. They are the founding pastors of Victory Manila, one church that meets in 14 locations in Metro Manila and has planted churches in 60 Philippine cities and 20 nations. Currently, Victory has more than 6,000 discipleship groups that meet in coffee shops, offices, dormitories and homes in Metro Manila. Steve is co-founder and president of Every Nation Churches and Ministries, a family of churches focused on church planting, campus ministry and world missions.

For the original article, visit stevemurrell.com.

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