Pastoral Accountability

Have you seen the headlines?

CBS News has learned Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa, the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, is investigating six prominent televangelist ministries for possible financial misconduct. The six ministries identified as being under investigation by the committee are led by: Paula White, Joyce Meyer, Creflo Dollar, Eddie Long, Kenneth Copeland and Benny Hinn. Three of the six - Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland and Creflo Dollar - also sit on the Board of Regents for the Oral Roberts University.

This brings up a very reasonable question:

To whom is the pastor of BBC accountable?

First and foremost, a pastor must fear God and be accountable to Him. When a congregation feels a pastor no longer fears God, he should be voted out of his office.

Second, a pastor must be accountable to his wife if he is married. If a pastor is keeping secrets (other than a surprise birthday party) from his wife, that should be a serious warning sign to the church. No one knows a pastor better than his wife, and she has a responsibility before God and the church to aid her husband in becoming more like Christ day by day in love and respect for him.

Third, as the pastor of Berean, I place myself in a position of accountability to the other pastors in the church. If you are looking for this in the NT—look in Acts and look at the plurality of leadership. Paul told Titus to ordain elders in every city. The pastors of Berean Baptist have demonstrated that they are willing to risk their jobs and do the right thing. They believe that you as a congregation will support them as long as they are following the Bible. A pastor who would knowingly let another pastor remain in the ministry when he is biblically disqualified should lose his ordination as well as the pastor in sin.

Fourth, I am answerable to every member of Berean. Every member of this church has a responsibility to approach me individually when they have a concern, issue, or a belief that I am not in compliance with the Word of God or the Church Constitution. Matthew 18.15, could be written, "Moreover if your pastor sins against you, go and tell him his fault." Read the rest of the chapter for more guidance from our King.

Fifth, I am accountable to the annual budget. The budget is approved by the congregation and provides the parameters within to operate. A need to adjust the budget must be approved by the congregation. The duly elected church treasurer has access to all financial information at his discretion. The church also provides quarterly briefing and reports on the financial condition of the entire ministry.

Sixth, I am responsible to follow the Articles of Faith, the Covenant and Church Constitution.

When a pastor falls into sin, he needs to be quickly disciplined according to the biblical criteria of 1st Timothy 5:19-21.





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