Article by: Collin Hansen
Pastors are flawed, sinful people, just like the rest of us. But those called to vocational ministry are and should be held to a high standard of personal holiness. Paul told Timothy that elders must be “above reproach” (1 Tim. 3:2). James warns, “Not many of you should become teachers . . . because you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness” (3:1).
This standard presents a difficult situation for pastors in dealing with their own temptations and sin. If they try to conceal their sin, they imperil their souls. If they confess their sin, they risk losing their jobs—even if what they confess doesn’t disqualify them from ministry according to Scripture. Healthy spirituality is only possible when sin can be openly confessed, but this is a tricky thing for pastors to do well.
To talk about these difficult questions, I’m joined on this podcast by Ray Ortlund. He is lead pastor of Immanuel Nashville, president of Renewal Ministries, regional director for Acts 29, and a TGC Council member.
Related Resources from TGC
- Dangerous Calling
- The Pattern Among Fallen Pastors
- Should Churches Offer Vocational Retraining for Fallen Pastors?
- When You Are No Longer a Pastor’s Wife
You can listen to this episode of The Gospel Coalition podcast here.
Collin Hansen serves as editorial director for The Gospel Coalition. He is the author of Blind Spots: Becoming a Courageous, Compassionate, and Commissioned Church, Young, Restless, Reformed: A Journalist’s Journey With the New Calvinists, and co-author with John Woodbridge of A God-Sized Vision: Revival Stories That Stretch and Stir. He earned an MDiv at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and an undergraduate degree in journalism and history from Northwestern University. He previously worked as an associate editor for Christianity Today magazine, co-edited Four Views on the Spectrum of Evangelicalism, and co-edits the Cultural Renewal series with Tim Keller. He and his wife belong to Redeemer Community Church in Birmingham, Alabama, and he serves on the advisory board of Beeson Divinity School. You can follow him on Twitter.
Read Source: Pastor Confess Your Sin—No Matter the Consequences