Thursday, March 3, 2011
Pursuing the "Perfect" Preacher
"The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task." ( 1 Timothy 3:1)
I must confess that being a pastor is not as easy as some make it out to be (or believe it to be). Yet, being a pastor is the most fulfilling and rewarding office to which I have ever aspired. 1 Timothy 3:1-7 is one of the standard passages that lists out the certain qualifications for the office of pastor. Here are the characteristics found in that passage:
1) Above Reproach
2) Husband of One Wife
7) Able to Teach
8) Not a Drunkard
9) Not Violent
10) Not Quarrelsome
11) Not a Lover of Money
12) Dignified in Managing Household Well
13) Demonstrate a Maturity in Walk with God
14) Good Reputation
Being aware of these things, it must be said that "perfection" is not found anywhere on the list. Expectant congregations, the general public, and the preacher himself should understand that grace is also needed by the pastor. One of the greatest myths in ministry is that "the preacher never sins". _____________________________________________________________________________________
I am a preacher and I still...
1) get angry on occasion
2) get tempted by worldly materialism
3) get frustrated enough to let an explicative fly on occasion
4) get absolutely flabbergasted as to how I'm going to get my 3 children to obey their mother and me without having to beat them into submission.
5) get tempted by all of the overbearing, massive amounts of sexual immorality in our world
6) get the opportunity to be a blessing to a needy individual(s) and fail to see it until it is too late to help
7) get concerned about the economic problems that potentially could have negative consequences on my "retirement" plans
The list could go on and on. I guess what I'm trying to say is that there is NO SUCH THING as the "PERFECT PREACHER".
If you are a church member, you need to be aware that your preacher will be tempted. He will be pressed to the point of anger. He will have bad days. He will be tempted by immorality. He will be tempted by material things.
However, he must demonstrate the temperance and self-control to resist all of these.
Give your preacher grace and mercy. Give him your support. Give him your prayers. And in the process, hold him to a high-degree of God honoring accountability. Yet, never never never expect him to be perfect.
If you are a preacher, you need to be reminded that you WILL NOT BE PERFECT. And, trying to portray yourself in a light of perfection will not lead down a smooth road in ministry. Hypocrisy is a sin too. We all have much room to grow in holiness as we are being molded into the usable instruments that God desires for us to be.