After 16 years of full time pastoral ministry, I’ve walked through many situations – both difficult and easy. I remember early on I began with some pretty naive and “idealistic” notions about being a pastor. (more about idealism later) But through it all I believe that there have been quite a number of things impressed on me about being a pastor that are of great importance. This is “Part 1” of I don’t know how many parts, because I know that I have a lot to say about this…
- A Pastor should hold some of the highest personal standards in his church
What do I mean by this? Well, it all goes back to the idea of being an example for the flock – and whether you feel like that kind of terminology is offensive or condescending or whatever – just remember that it’s the terminology Jesus used to describe a spiritual leader – a shepherd. We who are in positions of spiritual leadership in the local church are shepherds, like it or not. As such we have to set an example worth following.
What does that entail? Not perfection, that’s for sure. But a consistency and growth and increase in personal holiness that is evident. We can’t expect the people of our churches to live in ways that honor God if we are not carefully monitoring our own lives to make sure that OUR lives are! It may have to do with what we allow ourselves (and our families) to engage in, in terms of entertainment. It may have to do with the way we speak – avoiding things that might be misconstrued like sarcasm, cutting remarks, or course joking. Does that sound a bit “over the top?” If so, let me ask you THIS simple question… can you picture Jesus, our model, doing those things?
We’ve got to remember who’s standard we’ve been called to preach and uphold – it certainly isn’t our own.