“It is naïve to think that pastoral ministry is always propelled by love for Christ and love of his gospel. It is simplistic to conclude that people in ministry have a natural and abiding love for people. It is dangerous to conclude that everyone in ministry is working to further God’s kingdom. It is important to recognize that many people in ministry have been seduced by self-glory and lost sight of the glory of God. Not all people in ministry do their work out of a humble sense of their own need. Ministries derail because leaders begin to think they have arrived and don’t do the protective things they warn everyone else to do. It’s naïve to think that pastors are free from sexual temptation, fear of man, envy, greed, pride, anger, doubt of God, bitterness, and idolatry. Every pastor is being reconstructed by God’s grace.
So it is essential to know the heart of the man behind the knowledge, skill, experience, and ministry strategy before you call him to pastor God’s flock. You can be assured that like God’s leaders of old, he will face crucial personal and ministry choice points. In those significant moments, the heart will win the day and determine what he will do. Because, like everyone else, whatever rules his heart will direct his life and his ministry. It is vital to get way, way beyond the profile that emerges from the data on his vitae. The one called to teach God’s Word must have a heart ruled by grace.“