8. Good bishops are people of prayer and study of the Word. They are individuals who keep themselves spiritually alert and fresh. They lead from grace that is centered on Jesus Christ, and not out of ego, personal gratification, or in pursuit of any specific political agenda.
9. Good bishops have an inner humility. This is a spiritual grace that tends to get overlooked in our push-and-shove age. This humility allows them to be honest to God and honest with themselves. A terrific place to start when thinking about who might be a bishop for a diocese is Paul’s teaching in 1 Timothy 3.1ff.
10. A good bishop is someone who knows how to listen to and take good advice and wise counsel from Godly priests and laity.
11. We are a Church that focuses on the worship so much…if a bishop is present he tends to lead the service. This is not the top priority, but we need bishops who know the rubrics of the service and who can lead a service beautifully. I am not saying that they all should be melodious singers and chanters, but it helps.
A lot more can be said, but these are just some of the qualifications that we need to be looking for in those who are called to lead us, and we need to deliberately set the bar high. I expect those who lead to reflect Christ’s grace transparently — this should be so of priests and certainly of bishops. Many of our problems in the past generations have resulted from setting the bar too low. The sort of bishop that a diocese needs today is someone for whom Christ is their all in all, someone who is determined that the Gospel is not about the Church as an institution, but about the Kingdom of God.
May the Holy Spirit guide our Church and move our leaders to discern and chose the best men for the episcopate. Hab moryo l’eeto deelokh qadishto shayno w’shlomo – (Grant, O Lord, Your Holy Church peace and tranquility).
COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY – DEPARTMENT OF RELIGION