A Portrait of a Successful Pastor: Reanimating the Pastor as Shepherd in a Success Oriented Culture
Date of Award
Doctor of Ministry (DMin)
Deborah Loyd, DMin
Aaron Friesen, PhD
MaryKate Morse, PhD
The purpose of this study is to define a set of metrics by which pastors can measure their “success” as pastors. It is important to note that this is not an effort to define a successful church, which would be a different study altogether. Studies show that a great majority of pastors are struggling in life and ministry and it seems reasonable to ask if this could be a result of ambiguity about the role pastors are supposed to fill and what constitutes successfully doing so. It is my contention that many pastors function without a clear sense of metrics for it means to be a successful pastor but instead, operate with a vague sense about “growing and running” a big church. It is probable that most pastors, by the very nature of their gifting and call, are not equipped or “wired” for that task and are set up for failure from the very outset of their ministry. Chapters will include a survey of how different eras in church history have affected the modern view of pastoral ministry. Chapter one looks at the New Testament and Primitive Church. Chapter two will examine the effects of the Roman Catholic Church up to the Reformation, and chapter three will consider the Reformation. Chapter four will look at the American experience, and chapter five will look at the Biblical foundations of Pastoral ministry. Chapter six is a literature review to consider what other voices are saying and chapter seven will analyze the material and state a summary. Effort has been made to discover recurring qualities throughout the historic church to see what might remain consistent in the measurement of pastors. Changes that began to take place in the pastoral assignment beginning with the advent of the Church Growth Movement in the mid 1950s are especially of interest.
Bontrager, Steve, "A Portrait of a Successful Pastor: Reanimating the Pastor as Shepherd in a Success Oriented Culture" (2018). Doctor of Ministry. 279.