What should we expect of our leaders?
You don’t have to read very far to discover examples of behavior on the part of pastors and church leaders that brings reproach to the Lord and embarrassment to the Church. In recent conversations with denominational leaders, I learned of several mega-churches across the country in which the pastor is accountable to no one within the church, but rather reports to an outside board of his own creation. This lack of accountability, especially for persons entrusted with power and influence, is an invitation to misbehavior or worse.
I traveled this week to Denver to meet with a denominational team that is studying new ways to prepare seminarians for effective, long-term pastoral leadership. One of the outcomes of this team is a proposed document titled Ethical Affirmations of EPC Leaders. Our hope is that at some point, every ordained officer of our denomination would willingly sign on to this document, thus committing all leaders within the EPC to a clear biblical standard of behavior and accountability.
Although this is still in draft form and represents only the work of our committee, I invite you to read it, both for your information and suggestions, as well as for the opportunity to evaluate your own character and behavior as a follower of Jesus. (LINK)
We hope that the tone of this document is clear and encouraging without being legalistic. But judging from the headlines, we are pretty convinced that more church leaders need to act more like their Master. I’ll be interested in your thoughts.