It’s that time again when we must select a new candidate to run for president of the United States.

Therefore, I have put together a list of 10 qualities I would like to see in our new president.

By the way, my use of the pronoun “he” does not mean I am excluding a woman, just the limitations of the English language and I don’t like using he/she.

1. A professed believer in Jesus.

I don’t really care about the denomination of the church attended as long as it is a Christian church. I’m not saying people from other religions are excluded; I’m just sharing my preferences.

He doesn’t need to be a Sunday school teacher or a weekend preacher; I just think it is important to share a personal testimony of a relationship with Jesus.

I don’t want a person who will use their political power as a bully pulpit for the Christian faith, nor someone who claims to speak for God or always knows God’s will.

By the way, I’m not interested in a “hypocrite” – someone who professes to be a Christian but then spews out hate and anger.

2. A strong family person.

If he has children, they should be the type of kids that make a parent proud – not perfect, but kind and considerate. Also, a spouse who is supportive, but also strong and capable in their own right.

3. One who cares for the needy.

A person who will promote programs and economic opportunities that are beneficial to the most needy in our country. I don’t mean welfare handouts, but genuine opportunities and support that will encourage folks to make their own way toward success.

4. Reasonable and even-tempered.

We don’t need someone who is mean-spirited, nor do we want someone who responds to criticism with anger. We need someone who is well-balanced emotionally, able to be sensitive to others and situations, and has the ability to speak appropriate words in difficult times; someone who has a calming presence.

5. Optimistic.

I don’t need to constantly hear how bad things are. I need to hear about what we can accomplish.

6. Willing to compromise.

He needs to admit that he is not always right and that others have good ideas. I think it is also important to be able to admit the other party might have a better idea sometimes. He should not always make decisions on party lines.

7. Independent.

We need a president who does not owe his election to a small group of donors. He should be able to take a stand on an issue even if it is not the first choice of the wealthy.

8. Courageous.

A person who is willing and able to take a stand whenever appropriate. I don’t want him to fight every battle, but be willing to stand up for what is right when necessary.

9. Doesn’t see violence as the first option.

They will try to keep us out of wars, and try not to bomb everyone who looks at us crossways.

10. Visionary.

This person will lead us to reach our potential, not reverse us to return to our past. Our country has the potential to be better than we have ever been before, but we need leadership who is willing to take us there.

One thing I hope you noted is that my list is relatively free of specific policy positions. That is by design. I believe there are multiple ways to accomplish most goals, so I think it is important to be open to the ideas of others.

If our next president has the necessary personal traits and skills, he will be able to identify the best approach to most issues.

Another thing you might notice is that our current president fits most of these traits very well. I know some of you will disagree vehemently, and that’s fine. I don’t mind your disagreement; just don’t be ugly and hateful about it.

To be honest, the traits on my list should be things we all strive to achieve.

Terry Austin is one of the pastors at Bread Fellowship Church in Fort Worth, Texas. He is also the principal partner of Austin Brothers Publishing. A version of this article first appeared on his blog, Intermission, and is used with permission. You can follow him on Twitter @wterrya.

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