Ministry Today – Serving and empowering church leaders

Integrity Matters

What are you doing when nobody is looking?

Someone has said that integrity is what you do when you're out of town and nobody's watching. Integrity is essential for strong ministry over the long haul. We must not ignore the threefold cord of ministry: integrity, faithfulness and honesty.

Integrity. Without integrity, a minister doesn't have a prayer of finishing strong. Some statistics suggest that more than half of those in ministry today will not be in ministry 10 years from now. Why? One primary reason will be lack of integrity. Integrity starts with things such as:

**paying your bills on time

**spending time in the Word

**loving people and using things, not loving things and using people

**living out servant-leadership

**being transparent and honest

**admitting you're wrong when you're wrong

**preaching your own sermons, not some else's.

Faithfulness. Faithfulness starts with your spouse, extends to your family and God's family, and continues on with your stewardship and commitment to the Lord. Faithfulness involves loyalty to your staff and to your congregation. Faithful love covers a multitude of their sins.

With another rash of high-profile ministry divorces recently, we must ask ourselves if integrity really marks ministry anymore. We must love those who fall. But should they remain in the spotlight as ministry examples? Let's raise the bar instead of lowering it in holiness, purity, integrity and morality.

And what about the ostentatious lifestyles of some of the high-profile ministries? Yes, God's blessing does include prosperity, but boasting about planes, cars, clothes and houses does little to equip the saints. I have just returned from an extensive tour of ministries in the South Pacific, Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia. They are sacrificing everything for Christ. What a shame American Christianity can be at times!

Honesty. Honesty really means being consistent between your word and your actions, your inner and outer selves, and your walk and talk. Honesty knows that truth is God's absolute truth and that it applies to everyone--ourselves included. Honesty avoids exaggeration and embraces simplicity.

I commend to you a rereading of Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth by Richard J. Foster. May this be our pastoral prayer: "Let integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for You" (Ps. 25:21, NKJV). *

Leaders are readers! Subscribe now and get 3 magazines for the price of 1. Get Ministry Today, Charisma and SpiritLed Woman all for $24. YES - I'm a leader!

Ministry Today Subscription Special - Subscribe to Ministry Today magazine today and get 12 issues (2 full years) plus Amplified Leadership, a free leadership book for only $24.

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
  • Discouragement can be a serious struggle.

    Guard Your Spirit Against These 4 Crippling Attacks

    Are you struggling this Valentine's Day with one of these discouraging issues?

  • Some of the toughest lessons reap the greatest rewards.

    10 Tough Lessons Every Pastor Should Remember in Ground-Shaking Trials

    One is that your suffering may turn out to be the highest compliment the Father ever gave you.

  • Why Many Christians Misunderstand This Crucial Leadership Trait

    Great leadership doesn't start with a great education, although that is incredibly valuable. ...

  • Worship leaders, keep your team's attitude in check.

    This Can Quickly Erode a Worship Team's Culture

    God has given us talent and He calls for excellence, but excellence with this is not honoring ...

  • Start a Wildfire of Spiritual Growth in Your Church

    Start a Wildfire of Spiritual Growth in Your Church

    Watch how God can take one spark and turn it into a wildfire that impacts your ministry, your community and even future generations.

  • Your Source of Unlimited Kingdom Energy and Power

    Jesus said that we can do greater works than He did and that He will do whatever we ask in His Name.

  • What reasons can you think of that leaders might not choose to delegate authority?

    7 Reasons Some Leaders Dump Delegation

    These could have a lot to do with stalled growth and low team morale.

  • A 'What's in it for me?' mentality could bring your church down.

    The Mentality That May Be Killing Your Church

    And we wonder why so many congregations are stagnated, plateaued or declining.

  • These seven responses can get you on the right track.

    Responding Like Jesus When Your Church Kicks You Out

    It's a pain that many in the ministry have felt at least once and maybe more.

Use Desktop Layout
Ministry Today Magazine — Serving and empowering church leaders