By Sonny Simak
Question: what are some of the characteristics of a true Christian minister/pastor/leader?
Answer: We can look at some of the things that Apostle Paul mentioned in the first letter to Timothy and Titus.
The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. (Titus 3:1).
However, this man must be serious about His calling. He must be a godly man. He must be a lover of good. He must love the Lord, the local church and the lost.
Here are some of the things which I see in the Bible.
1. HIS CONVICTIONS
What kinds of beliefs he has about God and His word? We believe one’s beliefs will shape one’s behaviour.
Does he believe and preach the gospel? Is he faithfully proclaiming God’s truth? How do you know he is preaching the truth? Have you ever gone back to the word of God to check whether he is preaching the whole counsel of God?
Do you even know that there are many preachers who use God’s word to get rich and powerful. Do you even know that there are many who are using God’s word to deceive many people all over the world?
He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it. (Titus 1:9)
2. HIS CHARACTER
What is his character like? Given, no one is perfect but does he strive to be more like Christ? Many Christians follow ministries and pastors without any sound discernment about their character. Is he a husband of one wife or he is a loose character when it comes to other women? Is he a lover of money, fame, bigger and better things? Has he ever been found guilty of any moral misconduct? Is he too proud that you cannot even bring correction to him? Does he come across too spiritual that you cannot even question his motives? Does he get angry quickly?
Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. (1Timothy 3:2-3)
For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it. (Titus 1:6-9)
Do you see these qualities in your pastor? If yes, praise God. If not, then what are you doing about it?
3. HIS COMMITMENTS
Is he committed to his family if he is married. Does he provide for his family? Does he love his wife? Do they have a good relationship? What about his children? Does he set a good standard before his congregation or he is often entangled in moral and domestic failures?
If anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination. (Titus 1:6)
He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? (1Timothy 3:4-5)
I am writing these things because I have seen and heard many so called pastors and preachers have replaced biblical theology with counterfeit theology.
Instead of preaching about Christ, the character of God, eternal life, holiness and sanctification, they choose to deceive people by preaching about healing, signs and wonders, prophecies etc.
Instead of calling people to repentance and faith in Christ, they tell people if they will get visas to go abroad, you will get rich, you will be healthy, you will have have better life once they come to Jesus.
Instead of being acknowledged for their sound character, they are often accused of moral and spiritual scandals.
Instead of putting God first, they put power, money and dare I say their immoral relationships with women/men.
They make God look like a genie, who is ever present to give you what you wish.
Let me tell you dear friend, God is not a genie. He is God. He is King. He is Lord and He is Saviour. If you know someone who is either deceiving or being deceived then what are you doing about it?