This ad will not display on your printed page.
Responding to the intense scrutiny presidential candidates have received lately, one contender complained, "We're running for President, not sainthood." Does such a distinction hold true for pastors?
On one hand, pastors are full-fledged members of the human race. They sin daily. On the other hand, pastors labor in a profession in which character is critical. They're called to lead and teach and model not some technical skill but a life. When pastors fall, they can wound many believers.
So how pure does a pastor need to be? LEADERSHIP posed the question to four key individuals. Two are pastors:
-Eugene Peterson, pastor of Christ Our King Presbyterian Church in Bel Air, Maryland.
-Charles Swindoll, pastor of First Evangelical Free Church in Fullerton, California.
The other two are denominational officials who daily deal with the care, certification, and discipline of ministers:
-G. Raymond Carlson, general superintendent of the Assemblies of God, headquartered in Springfield, Missouri.
-Donald Njaa, executive secretary of the ministry, The Evangelical Covenant Church, headquartered in Chicago.
PART I: WHAT IS INTEGRITY?
Leadership: Is integrity visible? Can you recognize a leader who has it?
Donald Njaa: I think it is visible, but only after knowing somebody pretty well. You can't determine whether someone has integrity just by sitting down for lunch.
Chuck Swindoll: With a person of integrity, you feel something solid. That's the idea in the Hebrew root word-there's something solid, of substance. It isn't a veneer.
Raymond Carlson: I define integrity as being complete, being whole. Generally you can sense a person who walks with God through the discernment the Holy Spirit gives.
Swindoll: Yes, we can sense that. However, I have been fooled. I have been shocked.
Leadership: Why? Because those who preach every week are forced to talk farther than they're able to walk?
Peterson: We're not forced to, but we're tempted to; there's always the opportunity, so we usually do.