We live in a day of crooked practices. You look around and see major business who have cheated their way to success only to trip on their own lies. Immediately these business become the fodder for news agencies, our opinion of them swings as we want nothing to do with organizations that lie to us and all of their scheming to get ahead backfires as they decline rapidly. There is no success in cheating.
Every day as a pastor I make decisions. Some of these are small. For example I get to decide what is served in our Wednesday night supper. Other decisions are much larger. These are the decisions that shape the overall direction of the church.
I have noticed that there are a few traps that any pastor can fall into in his decision making. One trap is his decision making with the opposite sex. How many pastors have fallen prey to a poor decision regarding intimacy with a woman who is not their wife. The other trap is money. You can look in any church and find a story of a pastor who failed because he made poor decisions with finances. Perhaps it was spending money that the church was not comfortable with, not using designated funds for their proper purposes, skimming off the offering, or having to great a knowledge of member’s giving.
When a pastor makes poor decisions, he is not the only one that suffers, his church suffers as well. A pastoral affair will destroy a church. Misuse of funds will hurt a church. Selfish decisions on a pastors part ultimately hurt both the pastor and his church.
I have placed safeguards on myself to protect both my church and myself. I will not meet with a woman one on one. I will not touch money. It doesn’t matter if it is a donation, dinner money or camp fee, I refuse to touch it. I do not make major financial decisions alone, I depend on our finance committee to walk with me. Everything happens above the table. I lead my staff, our committees and myself by one principle, do the right things. The right things are not always easy, not always efficient, but they are always right.