Yes, in light of current events, television shows, radio ads, and of course many of our local churches, I thought that I should put this out there. While it’s a basic look at what a pastor ought to be and do, many professing Christians don’t get it. So I will look at the Bible and offer explanations based on what it teaches.
“A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous.”
-1 Timothy 3:2-3
Bishop or bishop?
The term bishop and pastor are interchangeable. Unfortunately in our day and age and among my culture (black folks), we have allowed the hierarchical form of church government to hijack some of our churches, and in the thinking of some pastors that desire to be bigger than other pastors—even when Baptist churches don’t follow that form of church government anyway. (I also understand that there have been many claiming that they are non-denominational as well.) By hierarchy, I do mean any system of persons or things ranked above another. So when men use the word “Bishop,” we should consider what they mean by that term. It may well mean that we should ask them about their connections, and, is it necessary, since all pastors by their office are bishops, that their title should read Bishop So and So, or should it just read Pastor So and So.
Looking then at what the pastor should be: First and foremost the pastor should be humble. Other passages in the New Testament deal with fact that the pastor should not “lord” it over the people. Real pastors are humble. Not into titles or reality TV shows depicting themselves as a “real preacher.” Quiet as kept, if you are a “real preacher” you don’t need a TV show to affirm that.
Blameless, Not Sinless
The next character trait to take a look at is being blameless. Not sinless, but blameless. In the sense of not having a valid accusation of wrongdoing—like a criminal being brought up on charges. The pastor’s life shouldn’t be charged with sinful behavior. The best illustration I can give is in basketball. A foul is considered flagrant when it involves excessive or violent contact which could injure the fouled player. So too a pastor’s excessive behavior can injure the witness of the local church. Which means, in an effort to be transparent, as opposed to being authentic (real), one can commit “personal fouls” trying to let their proverbial hair hang down. Again, like in basketball, one can be moving sideways or backward but not forward, and the foul can occur. So too the pastor’s life can move in the wrong direction, even when attempting to do the right thing.
A One Woman Man
This is what every wife wants out of her husband, and this is what every church should expect from their pastor. Although, this is simple and complex all at the same time. Some have a tendency to get it twisted. It’s not talking about the marital status or divorce in the life of the pastor, but rather his moral and sexual purity. See, “real preachers” don’t dump their wives, like some people do their cars, whenever the newer (younger, hotter) model comes along, it’s time to turn this one back in. Real pastors aren’t players or playboys. They should not be out to accumulate wealth, nor get a fine woman for eye-candy and validation, while misinterpreting the Scripture to mean “one wife at a time!” Or running around as a 60-year-old single (divorced or otherwise) parading a girlfriend in front of the church with no intentions of marriage in sight. Don’t laugh or shake your head—that’s a real life scenario. A real pastor is what every wife wants out of her husband. A one woman man.