The Importance of Pastoral Character and Ethics

Pastors are God’s answer to nurture, to feed, and to lead His people while the Good Shepherd awaits His ultimate return (Eph 4:10-14; 1 Pet 2:25).  Pastors lead Christ’s flock with the same pathos (passion), ethos (ethics), and logos (doctrine) of those apostles and pastors of the first century church (Acts 20:20-28).  Ministering in the pastoral office is a high privilege founded upon lowly, humble service.  The right approach to ministry is “a redemptively centered, God-focused, biblically defined, and scripturally prioritized ministry.”[1]  Spiritual men must devote themselves fully to the principles, precepts, and practices of biblical pastoral ministry so they may be a blessing to the church.

Some pastors have found themselves in ethical dilemmas that have wounded some within their churches.  Tripp recognized that ministry is “always also shaped by the true condition of his heart.”[2]  Such a humble perspective is only gained by living in a close relationship with God where one is both exposed to the grace of God.  By doing so all that the student does will be motivated by the love of God.  Pastors must daily experience a rescue from themselves and rejoice in the deliverance that God brought through the gospel.  Additionally, in each moment throughout the day one must meditate on the power and promises of Christ.  As Tripp proclaimed, “Only the worship of Christ has the power to protect him for the ‘seductive idols of ministry.’”[3]  By gaining and maintaining a mature love and deep gratitude any student can express love, grace, and patience toward others.  As one remains humble before God and experiences His grace, that one will be empowered to reflect God’s grace to others who remain in desperate need of it.

[1] John F. MacArthur, “Pastoral Ministry: How to Shepherd Biblically,” (Nashville, TN, 2005), 4.

[2] Tripp, Paul David. Dangerous Calling (Wheaton, Ill:2012), 51.

[3] Tripp, Dangerous Calling, 52.

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