Biblical Guidance for the Lead Pastor: Personal Lifestyle & Modeling


Welcome to Pastor Wendell’s newest blog series: Biblical Guidance for the Lead Pastor. Over the next few months, Pastor Wendell will share 40 years of ministry wisdom and experience on numerous leadership categories. This slightly edited text was originally written as a Pastor’s Briefing to Pastors Judah and Chelsea Smith upon their promotion to Lead Pastors of The City Church. The wisdom contained within these posts are biblical, practical, proven, and sincere. Our prayer for pastors is that you too would lead a life beyond reproach as a godly example to the flock over which you have been made an overseer.

Personal Lifestyle and Modeling

Personal lifestyle and example is the foundation of your entire ministry.  As Paul describes the standards for a Bishop, he simply delineates a genuine Christian lifestyle. Never forget the simplicity of just living passionately for the Lord with both character and charisma, raising good kids and having a good public reputation – so that no one has anything evil to say about you.

This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work. 2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; 3 not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; 4 one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence 5 (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?); 6 not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil. 7 Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.  1 Timothy 3:1-7 (NKJV)

Pastoral traits from this passage:

  1. Blameless
  2. One wife
  3. Temperate (self-controlled)
  4. Sober-minded (serious about life)
  5. Good behavior
  6. Hospitable
  7. Gifted to teach
  8. Not given to alcohol
  9. Not violent
  10. Not greedy for money
  11. Gentle
  12. Not argumentative
  13. Not covetous
  14. Rules his own house well
  15. Children are in submission and respectful
  16. Not a novice
  17. Not proud
  18. Good testimony in the world

13 And who is he who will harm you if you become followers of what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. “And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.” 15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; 16 having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed.  1 Peter 3:13-16 (NKJV)

Ways you can apply these to your life:

  • Love and respect each other as husband and wife
  • Raise happy kids who are respectful and obedient
  • Manage your money well
  • Have godly and happy attitudes
  • Demonstrate godly character
  • Be gracious, patient and loving toward all people
  • Be faithful

Please meditate on these scriptures and prayerfully ask the Lord to show you any behaviors holding you back from filling His purpose for you life. As you model a holy Christian lifestyle, your community will trust you and follow you.

– Pastor Wendell

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