10 Priorities for the Successful Pastor or Church Leader

A Personal Check-up


“Success” in ministry is illusive at best and for most in ministry, unattainable. It very well may be found in the areas of life we least suspect. It is in these unsuspecting corners of life that ministry flourishes or flounders. Our enemy wants us to flounder and be ineffective in our ministry to the people God has called us to serve. This check-up has been organized after 30 years of ministry experience, observing many church leaders rise and fall. Take it if you dare.




  1. How’s your “love life?”
    1. God – Prayer and the Word- personal time with God
    2. Wife – your #1 friend, accountability partner, confidant, lover and resource
      *List consequences of moral failure and discuss them with your wife. (NAME SOME CONSEUENCES OF FINACIAL AND SEXUAL MORAL FAILURE/SIN)
      Notes, cards, flowers, phone calls
      Cell phone – “Wife line”
    3. Communication = INTIMACY/TALK
      How often do you argue?
      Never? = Little or No passion and little or no communication
  2. Children
    What are the life goals of each of your children?
    Strengths and weaknesses?
    What do they think of you being a Pastor?
    Do you play together, laugh together?
  3. Money (life in a capsule form)
    Consider others in the use of money?
  4. Physical health – food, exercise, sleep DISCIPLINE
    “It’s better to burn out than rust out!”
    Most arguments at home avoided if you are rested.
    Don’t go to bed angry. “O.K., I’ll just stay up all night!!”
  5. Have a Hobby – Distraction with goals
  6. Accountability – “moral failure,” adultery, etc. leave the Pastorate
    “A Pastor can never have a close friend.”
    Habits/PORNOGRAPHY, ONE THE BEST KEPT SECRET OF THE CHURCH. Over 6 billion dollars spent last year on adult videos.
    “The church will never see revival until it turns off the television.
    Thought life/internet (INTEGRITY)
    #1 accountability = your wife
  7. Integrity – this is not optional as a Pastor.
    Be honest with yourself
  8. PERSONAL GROWTH – Attitude determines Altitude
    Leaders are readers; same person you are now in ten years except for the books you read and the people you meet (videos and TV you watch).
    “The Greek says . . .”“The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, who can know it?”   We tend to deceive even ourselves. Pastors are among the best trained rationalizers in the world.
    • “I have earned the right to indulge in this sin.
    • “This adulterous affair is God’s blessing on my life.”
    • “I only have feet of clay.” (Usually it’s not the feet we are concerned with).
    • “It’s the only way I could see out of the ministry.”

10. Personal Holiness

Standards with a Godly Attitude
“I’m holy and proud of it.”

Pastor/Church Leader, Do You Measure Up?


Your “Success” in ministry depends on areas you may least suspect. It is in these unsuspecting corners of your life that ministry flourishes or flounders. Take this check-up if you dare . . .

Scale from 1 to 10 with 10 being the highest.

  1. I disagree, argue or fight with my wife occasionally.
  2. My wife and I have an intimate and growing relationship.
  3. I spend time with my children on a daily basis.
  4. I am in charge of discipline in the home.
  5. I write my wife love notes, call her regularly and take her out on dates.
  6. In my list of priorities, I put my home above my church.
  7. I know my greatest weakness and can discuss this with my wife.
  8. I have a best friend (other than your wife).
  9. I have a prayer partner outside my home.
  10. I have a hobby.
  11. I exercise regularly and have good sleeping and eating habits.
  12. I have learned to control my anger.
  13. I have a daily time with the Lord in prayer and reading the Word.
  14. I have discipline in the area of personal finances.
  15. Savings and retirement accounts are important.
  16. I would do business with someone else who had my level of integrity.
  17. I struggle with pride.
  18. I have set a personal goal to live a holy life, pleasing to God.
  19. I am honest with myself.
  20. I tend to be honest in “check-ups” of this nature.