Practical Pointers

Doing our “Job”

Gabriel Adu-Acheampong serves as a district pastor in the South Central Ghana Conference, Kumasi, Ghana.

After my presentation preaching about love on an FM radio station in my pastoral district, people phoned in to say they saw my relationship with the community reflected in what I presented. I try to model integrity, from how I treat my wife (publicly and privately) to faithfulness in tithes and offerings; from visiting members to how I present the gospel in my sermons. I do not want to preach virtue and practice vice. Yet how far short I fall from the example of Job!

Practice what you preach

Job is one man commended by God Himself as a person of integrity (Job 1:8). Theologian Lael Caesar comments, “Behind the theodicy of the quality of divine justice—the contribution most often attributed to the story of Job—is actually the question of divine integrity. And the book of Job shows its concern with integrity. But though divine integrity is the primary focus, it is not unfair to see Job as an individual who offers the most powerful representation of this virtue.”1

I believe God needs pastors of sterling integrity to present His unadulterated love to the world, as in this stirring quote: “The greatest want of the world is the want of those men and women who will not be bought or sold, those who in their inmost souls are true and honest, those who do not fear to call sin by its right name, those whose conscience is as true to duty as the needle to the pole, those who will stand for the right though the heavens fall.

“But such a character is not the result of accident. It is not due to special favors or endowments of Providence. A noble character is the result of self-discipline, of the subjection of the lower to the higher nature—the surrender of self for the service of love to God and humanity.”2

Hypocrisy

One area where integrity becomes exposed is hypocrisy. Though the Pharisees were meticulous about the law, Jesus condemned their hypocrisy and warned people of its snare (Mark 12:38–40). How shameful on the part of ministers or anybody entrusted with sacred duty to be condemned by Jesus because of double standards. (See also Romans 2:20–24.)

Ministerial leader Jonas Arrais states, “As pastors, we possess knowledge and understanding of the scriptures the average person does not. We’ve attended schools and seminaries, spent years studying the Word of God. Yet hypocrisy runs rampant throughout our profession. Why is that? We, of all people, should know better.”3

Basic practices

As opposed to blaspheming God, we can glorify His name if we will follow seven basic principles. Ministers who preach

  1. the Sabbath will not desecrate the Sabbath;
  2. faithfulness will return faithful tithes—and offerings (especially when receiving extra money);
  3. faithfulness in finance will be faithful with church funds;
  4. faithfulness will be very careful around the opposite sex;
  5. love will show love to their spouse, children, and parents;
  6. forgiveness and unity will be on good terms with colleagues (unhealthy competition among ministers is a disgrace to the ministry);
  7. humility will be humble.

One major consequence of a lack of integrity is an erosion of trust. It has been said, “Breaking someone’s trust is like crumpling up a perfect piece of paper. You can smooth it over but it’s never going to be the same again.”4 Arrais concludes, “When someone preaches with sincerity, people will see it—not only in the way he preaches, but also in the way he lives.”5

Pastors, let us do our “Job.”

  • Lael Caesar, “Integrity on Trial: A Case Study of Job,” Ministry, April 2000 , 11.
  • Ellen G White, True Education (Boise, ID: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 2000), 38, 39.
  • Jonas Arrais, Wanted: A Good Pastor (Silver Spring, MD: General Conference Ministerial Association, 2011), 14.
  • Anonymous, Quotespedia, accessed March 5, 2023.
  • Arrais, Wanted: A Good Pastor, 28.

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Gabriel Adu-Acheampong serves as a district pastor in the South Central Ghana Conference, Kumasi, Ghana.

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