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Traits – Character That Builds Trust

This week I continue sharing a series of articles focused on things I have learned that are traits of an effective pastor and leader. Once again, I share Psalm 78:70-72.  He chose David his servant and took him from the sheep pens; he brought him from tending ewes to be shepherd over his people Jacob – over Israel, his inheritance. He shepherded them with a pure heart and guided them with skillful hands. Another trait that the psalmist points out of king David is that he led his people with a” pure heart.” It cannot be stressed enough how important good character is in being an effective leader, especially in ministry.  A leader can be very gifted and competent in many things but a lack of character can easily derail and disqualify them. A review of 1 Timothy 3:1-7 makes it apparent that the Lord looks more at the heart than the skills and abilities of a leader.  Out of the fourteen qualifications listed, ten focus on character qualities such as being upright, sensible, self-controlled, respectable, gentle, avoiding greed and addictive behavior and so forth. Paul went on to admonish Timothy to not only be trained in doctrine but in godliness as well (4:6-8).  While calling is essential, it doesn’t replace qualification of good character.  While no one can be perfect, except our Lord, leaders should seek to consistently live above reproach.  In doing so people will willingly follow because you have built trust by demonstrating Christ-likeness, integrity, and spiritual maturity. Let us strive to live so we can say as Paul, “Be imitators of me as I am of Christ.” (1 Cor. 11:1)  – Dr. Gary Mathes