The pastor should always be pure in thought … no impurity ought to pollute him who has undertaken the office of wiping away the stains in the hearts of others … for the hand that would cleanse from dirt must be clean, lest, being itself sordid with clinging mire, it soil whatever it touches all the more.
Gregory the Great
When a man is getting better, he understands more and more clearly the evil that is still left in him. When a man is getting worse, he understands his own badness less and less. C. S. Lewis
Anyone in the ministry is caught in a tension. On one hand, we're called to be holy, to provide an example of righteous living for those we lead. On the other hand, we're human, unable to completely live up to our calling. How can we be ourselves and make our inevitable mistakes — indeed, commit our inevitable sins — without seeing our ministries destroyed? Every Christian leader is forced to come to terms with this dilemma.
I wasn't aware of this tension when I began ministry. Let me ...1