There is character crisis in the realm of church leadership in today’s world.
Ed Stetzer and best-selling author Jon Acuff discuss the importance of developing pastoral integrity.
The traditional attributes of character and integrity that used to distinguish a good leader have been tossed aside and the attributes of articulation and charisma have risen to the top in level of importance.
Often we are mistakenly attracted to leaders because of the way they speak, how they articulate their words, and their persuasiveness. In addition, we are attracted to people because of the power, personality, and charm they exude. We should ask ourselves what’s really important in leadership and if there is biblical truth behind the façade of charisma in church leaders.
With the unprecedented number of tools at their disposal to express charisma, it is becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish who the real, biblical leaders are.
“A good twitter account doesn’t mean you’re a good leader, a big twitter account doesn’t mean that. I feel like we might be over-infatuated with visibility versus a foundation.”
What does it mean to have good pastoral integrity?
The process of developing good pastoral leadership and character is difficult and pain-staking.
“For me, as I get older, the more I realize it takes me a long time to do the things that are worth it.”
We can’t do everything
Many pastors have an unnecessary and unhealthy mindset about doing too much. There seems to be a pressure on pastors to continue doing more things until they are completely overwhelmed and become ineffective.
“We have limited time, limited creativity, limited energy, and I think the challenge for pastors is that if it takes you forty hours a week to pastor a church, and you add book writing, speaking, and creating a podcast to that, you’re fooling yourself if you think that won’t impact your ability to lead the flock.”
Remember what’s really important
It’s important to remember what season of life we are in and what we might be missing out in in our busyness.
“I say no to a lot of speaking gigs because I’ve gotten nine years left with my youngest daughter in the house and I’ve got one shot at childhood.”
Keep our ego out
For Jon, it’s hard to say no to speaking engagements, but its very important to not allow his ego to control his decision making.
“You show up and a thousand people clap for you, and it feels good and I get offered trips around the world to come and speak. Our egos get loud, our insecurities get loud, and we have a hard time saying no.”
Pastoral integrity and character should be grounded on the firm foundation of biblical truth. If we fill our lives with the Holy Spirit and seek God’s will for our lives through his Word, He will help us to maintain and develop biblical integrity and character.