12 Qualities of a Bad Pastor (who is not of God) - SaintlyLiving (2023)

In this post, you will find out the 12 characteristics of a bad pastor that will help you distinguish a good pastor from a bad pastor who is not sent or representing God.

There are many bad pastors in the church today, which is why many in the church are experiencing spiritual abuse like these bad church pastors who are wolves in sheep's clothing that Jesus Christ warned aboutMatthew 7:15exploit their members.

I'm sure you've encountered bad pastors in the church who pretended to represent God but actually didn't, instead abusing their pastoral position for their own selfish gains.

As a true believer, you must be aware of the bad pastors who have filled the church today and who are not teaching the full counsel of God's Word lest they deceive you and lead you astray into perdition.

Let's look at the 12 key characteristics of a bad pastor or church leader who is not called of God to help you pick them out before they do harm to your Christian life.

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12 Characteristics of a Bad Church Leader.

Take the time to read below the 12 key characteristics of bad church leaders that will help you identify them so they don't fool you.

  • Stingy.
  • Don't lead by example.
  • Does not provide adequate spiritual guidance.
  • Full of pride.
  • Bad example of other believers.
  • teaching false doctrines.
  • Just cares about her reputation.
  • Have poor leadership qualities.
  • Disrespect to others.
  • Sinfully adamant to admit their mistakes.
  • Puts others down.
  • Don't preach about sin.

1. Greedy.

Greed will be one of the main characteristics you will see in a bad pastor who is after money and wealth at the expense of his church members, which is unfortunately the case with many fake pastors today. A bad pastor or church leader will always seek money instead of God, using the church as a moneymaker through the tithing and offerings his church member gives. God calls in such bad pastors without divine guidanceIsaiah 56:11in the Old Testament as greedy dogs, as they prey on their parishioners for their selfish gain while getting rich.

2. Does not lead by example.

A bad pastor will not lead by example1 Timothy 4:12commands, but instead uses fear tactics or guilt in other people to do what he wants them to do, regardless of their interests or desires. Instead, they will live hypocritical lives contrary to what they preach. This is why we hear many scandals in the church today as the church is now full of bad pastors posing as representatives of God.

3. Does not provide adequate spiritual guidance.

Also, a bad pastor will not provide proper spiritual guidance to his flock through proper godly counseling, but will instead use fear tactics or guilt traps to get them to follow their directions without questioning or complaining about how things are being handled in his church. A godly spiritual leader or pastor in a position of leadership will always give proper spiritual guidance through the full counsel of God's Word and will not mislead you with half-truths and false teachings that most false teachers and false prophets teach today.

4. Full of pride.

Another quality you will notice in a bad pastor who is not filled with the Holy Spirit is that he will be filled with pride and a lack of humility, which will show in his actions. A true and good pastor representing our Lord Jesus Christ is humble likePhilippians 2:1-11commands all church leaders to be in ministry. A bad pastor, however, will feel proud and think that what he has done in his ministry is of his own making rather than God's grace. They will also hate being corrected by God's Word and will follow their own carnal ways.

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See also:How to Get Over the Pride of Life [In 5 Practical Steps].

5. Bad example of other believers.

The Bible in1 Timothy 4:12The New Testament tells us that we must be other believers in conversation, faith, spirit, purity, and charity or love as godly examples, which is especially true if you are in a position of leadership in the church or ministry to which God is calling you has. A bad pastor, unlike a good pastor, will set a bad example for other believers by living their lives blaspheming the name of the Lord because of their hypocritical lifestyle that goes against what they preach. Beware of such false pastors and avoid them.

6. Teaching false doctrines.

Teaching false doctrines that contradict Scripture will be one of the main qualities you will notice even in a bad pastor who only teaches the doctrines and commandments of men. A bad pastor will never teach you Bible teachings or the truth found in the Bible. Rather, they will teach people what to hear, not what to hear. The Bible in2 Petrus 2:1-3warns against such false pastors and false teachers who teach destructive heresies and sometimes even deny our Lord Jesus Christ.

See also:10 Signs of False Teaching [To Look Out For.]

7. only cares about their reputation.

A bad pastor in ministry or leadership only cares about his own reputation, which explains why he will be willing to bring others down through church politics to make others look bad while trying to present himself to others to do well. Unfortunately, this is what is happening in the church today, which is why there is so much fighting and putting one down among church leaders who are trying to self-promote themselves in the body of Christ. A pastor or church elder must seek to uplift others and not downplay others just to promote their reputation.

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8. Have poor leadership skills.

The lack of good leadership skills is one of the traits that bad pastors will exhibit, which is reflected in how they mismanage their church. A bad church leader will always turn bad and mislead the flock that God has entrusted to them with their poor leadership and poor decisions. They will also abuse their church authority by emotionally and mentally manipulating their staff and church members to carry out their orders.

9. Disrespect to others.

Unhealthy and bad pastors will be disrespectful to their church leaders if they think they know better than they do, or if they think they have more knowledge or skills than they do. A bad pastor will feel secure in his position, but his arrogance can be offensive and cause friction in the Body of Christ. For a bad church leader, however, it doesn't matter as long as he achieves his goals. However, a good pastor will always be respectful of others and will not use his pastoral position to disrespect others.

10. Sinfully adamant to admit their mistakes.

A sinful pastor refuses to admit that he could be wrong about anything, or refuses to admit that he has sinned against God or others in some way that must be dealt with before God can bless him again(1 Tim. 5:19).He may try to cover up his sin by blaming someone else instead of acknowledging his own wrongdoing; this will only cause more problems later(1 Corinthians 5:5).When a church has problems with an immoral pastor, it needs to get rid of him as soon as possible lest such people spread their sin to others.

11. Puts others down.

A bad pastor will put people down instead of lifting them up because it makes them feel better about being above everyone else, even though it makes everyone else feel worse about only caring about themselves. The Bible in1 Thessalonians 5:11tells us that we need to encourage one another and build us up in the Lord, and that's what a good pastor does in caring for his flock. Even so, bad church leaders do the opposite to inflate their ego.

12. Don't preach about sin.

Last but not least, a bad pastor will never preach about sin or repentance to his church members since they are only interested in numbers and money. Instead, they will only preach about money and prosperity, which most people want to hear, but they will not tell their members that they must repent and give up their lives of sin lest they perish in hellfire. For this reason, many churches today are no different from the world, as pastors appointed to preach in the pulpits are not doing their jobs properly. If you are a church member in such a church, I encourage you to drop out if you love your soul and find a Bible-believing church that teaches the full counsel of God's Word and prepares you for heaven with its sound Bible teachings about the holy live and avoid sin.

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See also:10 Common False Teachings [You Must Avoid at All Costs].


I hope the above 12 characteristics of a bad pastor will now help you to distinguish bad pastors from good pastors so that you are not deceived by bad pastors' false teachings that mislead others. In conclusion, if this post has edified you in avoiding bad pastors, let me know in the comments below and don't forget to share before you go as many need to read this. Thank God.

Further reading.

  • 11 Characteristics of True Prophets [Sent by God.]
  • 10 examples of false teaching [in many churches today.]
  • 7 Traits of Fake Converts [That Will Help You Spot Them].

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What are the characteristics of a true pastor? ›

Those things are good, but there are other traits that are vital to being a great ministry leader, some of which may surprise you.
  • Listening. As a church leader, you probably have to talk a lot. ...
  • Empathy. Effective listening not only takes time, it takes empathy. ...
  • Humility. ...
  • Boundaries. ...
  • Dependence. ...
  • Humor. ...
  • Flexibility. ...
  • Kindness.
Apr 13, 2018

What are some weaknesses of a pastor? ›

Here are the most common problems or issues that pastors face and a few tips for getting past them.
  • Dealing with criticism. Everybody can be a critic, but criticism in the church is especially disconcerting. ...
  • Time management. ...
  • Physical and mental health issues. ...
  • Financial struggles.

How do you know when God wants you to leave a church? ›

4 Signs a Church Member Might Be Ready to Leave—and What to Do About It
  1. They stop attending church events. ...
  2. They never invite anyone to visit with them on a Sunday. ...
  3. They become increasingly critical of the church. ...
  4. They no longer have any interest in serving in any area of the church.
Oct 15, 2019

How do you know when its time to leave a church as a pastor? ›

Here's 7 signs it might be time to leave.
  • You Haven't Found Community (But You've Tried) ...
  • The Church Isn't Doing Anything For People Outside The Church. ...
  • There Is Abuse Of Power In The Church Leadership. ...
  • You Don't Agree With The Vision. ...
  • You Don't Trust The Church With Your Money.
Jun 28, 2021

What is a pastor syndrome? ›

Normally, the immune system makes antibodies to fight off germs. But with Goodpasture syndrome, the immune system mistakenly makes antibodies that attack the lungs and kidneys. This condition can quickly progress to an inflammation of the kidneys (glomerulonephritis) and kidney failure.

Can a pastor be arrogant? ›

No one likes to deal with disappointments, but an arrogant pastor will always get triggered because they tend to have control tendencies. Rarely can they keep their emotions in check because they like to either rush things or they're always complaining about something not going their way.

What does the Bible say about the qualities of a pastor? ›

The pastor is to be selfless, not self-centered. Paul reflects this idea in the following qualifications, “respectable, hospitable, able to teach…, not a bully but gentle, not quarrelsome…” and “have a good reputation among outsiders, so that he does not fall into disgrace and the devil's trap.”

What personality types are pastors? ›

The average Pastor tends to be loyal, supportive, and helpful. They can be a stabilizing force in a group and will likely invest lots of time building relationships with their peers. They will probably work best in a serene work environment, avoiding chaos and sudden change.

How do you deal with a difficult pastor? ›

So…if you're dealing with a difficult leader, don't become one yourself. Do your job well, and demonstrate the character and passion of your Savior. Let the God you serve settle scores and bring the new day He wants for your church. Don't fight your way to control!

Why do most pastors quit? ›

Barna, a Christian research organization, reported that stress, isolation and political division are some of the issues factoring into pastors' desire to quit. As of March 2022, 42% of pastors considered quitting, according to the data.


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