Vol. 11 No. 10 October 2009
The Preacher's Code of Ethics
By Don Blackwell
The old saying states, “One bad apple spoils the whole bunch.” In a similar manner, one might say, “One bad preacher reflects on the whole bunch.” Through the years, many jokes have been made about lazy preachers. Perhaps some of the jokes had a basis in reality. Some preachers have mismanaged their money, skipped out on debts and generally behaved themselves in an ungodly manner. Many occupations have a written code of ethics. While it’s true that the Bible is a preacher’s code of ethics, perhaps a concise list would be beneficial.
- A Gospel preacher should be a hard worker. The amount of time he spends in his work correlates directly with the success of it. A lazy preacher is a sinful one.
- A Gospel preacher should have the heart of a servant. His goal should never be to exalt self, but Christ. A self-seeking minister is a contradiction of terms.
- A Gospel preacher should be no respecter of persons. He should treat all people as being of equal value. The wealthy and prominent should never take priority with him because of their status or resources.
- A Gospel preacher should put his work in relation to the church before any side pursuits such as schooling or secular activities.
- A Gospel preacher carries a greater burden than others with regard to his example. He should always keep that in mind and conduct himself in a manner that will never reflect poorly on the local congregation or the church as a whole.
- A Gospel preacher should never take advantage of the pulpit. It is not to be used for winning arguments or taking jabs at others.
- A Gospel preacher should never compromise the pulpit. He should preach the truth with conviction and courage regardless of the environment in which he may be.
- A Gospel preacher should be as wise as a serpent but as harmless as a dove. He should exercise wisdom and good judgment when teaching others and do it with the spirit of love.
- A Gospel preacher should use great caution in his dealing with the opposite sex. Great damage has been done to the Lord’s church by those who have not.
- A Gospel preacher should view money as a resource and not a goal. His goal should not be an extravagant lifestyle. He should never compromise himself because of finances.
- A Gospel preacher should know when to keep his mouth shut. He should respect the confidentiality of his brethren. Others should be able to trust him with any secret. He should use good judgment when talking about others. Some things should not be taken home to his family.
- A Gospel preacher should obey the elders. He is the not the ruler of the local congregation. He should humbly submit his judgment to theirs.
- A Gospel preacher should spend time in study. He should read books, listen to other people’s sermons, spend time in the Book, and other things that will keep him from growing stagnant.
“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” (2 Timothy 4:2).
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