First, churches should expect their pastors to be men who walk in holiness before God. All of us are called to be holy, for our God is holy (1 Pet. 1:16). Pastors in particular are expected to be men who meets a full composite of qualifications (I Tim. 3:1-8; Tit. 1:5-9). Many of these qualifications concern the pastor’s personal holiness: “self-controlled,” “not a drunkard,” “not a lover of money,” “upright,” and “holy.” These qualifications should characterize the pastor throughout his tenure. This is the only way in which he can remain above the reproach of his people.
Second, churches should expect their pastors to be men who model Christ. Again, all of us are called to follow Christ and our Lord’s walk before God the Father. But pastors have many opportunities to set an example of Christ for others to follow. We must be able to say to our people, “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ” (1 Cor. 11:1). We are to “set an example to the believers . . . in purity” (1 Tim. 4:12).
Believers are commanded to consider how their leaders live and imitate them (Heb. 13:7). If our people cannot see an example of Christ in us—including keeping our bodies pure from immorality—they cannot follow Christ by following us. To put it differently, our stead as pastors is no greater than our ability to say, “You can please Christ; just follow me and I will show you how to do it.” We have no credibility or meaningful role in evangelizing sinners if our message only is “God can change and keep you, but he cannot do the same for me.”
Third, churches should expect their pastors to be men who keep their marriage vows faithfully. Pastors must be “[husbands] of one wife” (I Tim. 3:2). The man of God must be one who keeps his marriage vows. This means that he should not be a man of remarriage, adultery, pornography watching, or bisexual and/or down-low relationships, for each of these items stands in contrast to fidelity in marriage to one woman. This is an issue where lesser understandings and disobedience to this Scripture are harmful to our churches...