12 Characteristics Of A Bad Pastor (Who’s Not From God)

In this post, you are going to find out the 12 characteristics of a bad pastor that will help you differentiate a good pastor from a bad pastor who’s not sent from God or representing Him.

There are many bad pastors in the church today, which is why many experience spiritual abuse in church as these bad church pastors who are wolves in sheep’s clothing Jesus Christ warned in Matthews 7:15 exploit their members.

I am sure you have encountered bad pastors in the church who pretended to represent God but in reality did not but instead abused their pastoral position for their selfish gains.

As a true believer, you need to be aware of bad pastors that have filled the church today who don’t teach the full counsel of God’s word lest they deceive you and lead you astray to perdition.

With that said, let’s look at the 12 major characteristics of a bad pastor or church leader who’s not called by God to help you single them out before they do their damage to your Christian life.

12 Characteristics Of A Bad Church Leader.

Take your time to read below the 12 major characteristics of bad church leaders that will help you identify them so that they don’t deceive you.

  • Greedy.
  • Doesn’t Lead By Example.
  • Doesn’t Provide Proper Spiritual Guidance.
  • Full Of Pride.
  • Bad Example Of Other Believers.
  • Teach False Doctrines.
  • Cares Only About Their Reputation.
  • Have Bad Leadership Qualities.
  • Disrespectful To Others.
  • Sinfully Adamant To Admit Their Mistakes.
  • Puts Others Down.
  • Doesn’t Preach About Sin.

1. Greedy.

Greediness will be one of the major characteristics you will see in a bad pastor who is after money and wealth at the expense of their church members, which sadly is the case with many fake pastors today. A bad pastor or church leader will always pursue money instead of God and use the church as a money cash grab through the tithes and offerings their church member gives. God calls such bad pastors without godly leadership in Isaiah 56:11 in the Old Testament as greedy dogs as they exploit their church members for their selfish gains while they become rich.

2. Doesn’t Lead By Example.

A bad pastor will not lead by example with their life as 1 Timothy 4:12 commands, but instead uses fear tactics or guilt trips on other people so that they will do what he wants them to do, regardless of their interests or desires. Instead, they will live hypocritical lives that are contrary to what they preach. It is why we hear many scandals in the church today as the church is now full of bad pastors masquerading as God’s representatives.

3. Doesn’t Provide Proper Spiritual Guidance.

Also, A bad pastor will not provide proper spiritual guidance for his flock through proper godly counseling, but instead uses fear tactics or guilt traps on them so that they will follow their direction without question or complaint about how things are done in his church. A godly spiritual leader or pastor in a position of leadership will always provide proper spiritual guidance through the full counsel of God’s word and won’t lead you astray with half-truths and false teachings that most false teachers and false prophets teach today.

4. Full Of Pride.

Another trait you will notice in a bad pastor who’s not filled with the Holy Spirit is that they will be filled with pride and lack humility, which will manifest in their actions. A true and good pastor who represents our Lord Jesus Christ is humble as Philippians 2:1-11 commands all church leaders in ministry to be. However, a bad pastor will be prideful and thinks what they have done in their ministry is by themselves rather than God’s grace. They will also hate being corrected by God’s word but follow their own fleshly ways.

See Also: How To Overcome The Pride Of Life [In 5 Practical Steps].

5. Bad Example Of Other Believers.

The Bible in 1 Timothy 4:12 in the new testament tells us that we must be godly examples of other believers in conversation, faith, spirit, purity, and charity or love which is especially true if you are in a leadership position in the church or ministry God has called you in. A bad pastor unlike a good pastor will be a bad example to other believers by how they live their lives and cause the name of the Lord to be blasphemed due to their hypocritical lifestyles that contradict what they preach. Beware of such fake pastors and avoid them.

6. Teach False Doctrines.

Teaching false doctrines that are contrary to scripture will be one of the main qualities you will also notice in a bad pastor who only teaches doctrines and commandments of men. A bad pastor will never teach you biblical doctrines or the truth found in the bible. Rather, they will teach what people what to hear rather than what they need to hear. The Bible in 2 Peter 2:1-3 warns of such fake pastors and false teachers who teach destructive heresies and even deny our Lord Jesus Christ at times.

See Also: 10 Signs Of False Doctrines [To Be On The Lookout For.]

7. Cares Only About Their Reputation.

A bad pastor in pastoral ministry or leadership will only care about their own reputation, which explains why they will be willing to bring others down through church politics to make others look bad while trying to make themselves good in front of others. Sadly, this is what’s happening in the church today, which is why there is so much fighting and tearing each other down in the body of Christ among church leaders who are trying to promote themselves. A pastor or church elder must seek to uplift others and not downplay others just to promote their reputation.

8. Have Bad Leadership Qualities.

Lack of good leadership qualities is one of the traits bad pastors will manifest, which will show in how they badly lead their congregation. A bad church leader will always lead the flock God has entrusted them poorly and astray with their poor leadership qualities and decisions. They will also abuse their church authority by emotionally and mentally manipulating their staff and church members to do their bidding.

9. Disrespectful To Others.

Unhealthy and bad pastors will be disrespectful to the leaders of their church when they think they know better than they do or when they believe they have more knowledge or ability than they do. A bad pastor will feel confident in his position, but his arrogance can be offensive and cause friction within the body of Christ. However, to a bad church leader, that doesn’t matter as long as they get their ends met. However, a good pastor will always be respectful to others and won’t use their pastoral position to disrespect others.

10. Sinfully Adamant To Admit Their Mistakes.

A sinful pastor refuses to admit that he may be wrong about something or who refuses to admit that he has sinned against God or others in some way that needs to be dealt with before God can bless him again (1 Tim. 5:19). He may try to cover up for his sin by blaming someone else for it instead of owning up to his own wrongdoing; this will only cause more problems down the road (1 Cor. 5:5). If a church is having trouble with an immoral pastor, they need to get rid of him as soon as possible so that such people don’t infect others with their sin.

11. Puts Others Down.

A bad pastor will put people down instead of lifting them up because it makes them feel better about themselves when they are standing above everyone else, even though it makes everyone else feel worse about themselves because they only care about themselves. The Bible in 1 Thessalonians 5:11 tells us that we must encourage and build each other in the Lord and this is what a good pastor who cares about their flock does. Nevertheless, bad church leader does the opposite of this to inflate their egos.

12. Doesn’t Preach About Sin.

Last but not least, a bad pastor will never preach about sin or repentance to their church members as they are only interested in numbers and money. Instead, they will only preach about money and prosperity that most want to hear but will not tell their members that they need to repent and forsake their life of sin lest they perish in hellfire. This is why many churches today are no different from the world as pastors appointed to preach in the church pulpits are not doing their job right. If you are a church member in such a church, I encourage you to get 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 their sound doctrines of the bible on holy living and shunning sin.

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 differentiate bad pastors from good pastors so that you don’t get deceived by the false teachings of bad pastors leading others astray. In closing, if this post has edified you to avoid bad pastors, let me know in the comments below, and don’t forget to share before you leave as many need to read this. Godspeed.

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