Tragically, in many cases it’s the media that holds these leaders accountable—tragic because the media ends up doing a job that God has delegated to the church. Furthermore, the unbelieving world enjoys a front row seat to shameful scandals that bring reproach on Christ.
Paul makes it clear that an overseer in the church of Jesus Christ must be first and foremost above reproach. The (“must”) emphasizes that this is an absolute necessity. A life without blame is the overarching requirement for leadership in the church.
The church also has a role in maintaining godly leadership. The church is responsible to measure its leaders by that standard of being above reproach. The all too common practice today is to forgive a leader who sins grievously and immediately restore him to ministry. The church, like God, must not hesitate to forgive those who truly repent. But to immediately restore them to leadership lowers the standard that God expects leaders to follow. And since leaders serve as the visible pattern of holiness and virtue for the congregation, the standard for the entire church is lowered.
+ Sir Godfrey Gregg
Archbishop and Presiding Prelate
Administrator and Apostolic Head
Follow me on Twitter @ArchbishopGregg