People skills are key to effective ministry

“I believe that good people skills are foundational for effective pastoral ministry,” Bob Sheffield says. “Since these skills are open to a wide range of interpretations, I will define people skills as ‘the ability of a pastor to minister effectively to and through people’.”

Sheffield is a former pastoral ministries specialist with LifeWay Christian Resources.

He urges pastors to “study the life of Jesus and learn how He related to people. Re-read the gospel accounts that show how Jesus related to and worked with both followers and adversaries.” Remember:

  • “You will not be able to get along with everybody all the time.
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  • “Everybody has one or more difficult persons in their lives.
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  • “You can’t change people; only God can. You will have to learn how to relate to people as they are.
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  • “People are not perfect and therefore will disappoint and even hurt you from time to time.”


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