When discussion regarding the qualifications of a pastor is brought up, it almost always is brought up in the light of sexual sin (as in the case of the late Ravi Zacharias). However, there are other key qualifications in the scriptures and I’m concerned that we’re not sufficiently holding pastors accountable for them.
For example, I know one of my former pastors had been observed inebriated, which is a disqualifying behavior according to Titus 1:7, especially if the behavior is recurring. Instead of being held accountable for it, everybody who knew about it let it slide with little more than a grumble. Decades later, when a social network built specifically for the purpose of adulterous relationships was hacked and the emails were leaked, his was one of them.
Another key qualification I want to focus on today for a pastoral role is not “greedy for gain” (Titus 1:7) which is refracted in 1 Timothy 3:3 as “not a lover of money”.
Now, to be clear, being an owner (which is rather to be viewed as a stewardship, in God’s economy) of significant money is not sinful if gained in an honest manner. Some people in ministry don’t have profit matching or similar employee benefits. Nor do they have the income out of pocket to contribute a sufficient amount towards retirement, and are left to pursue investments in order to achieve a reasonable retirement. This pursuit, if done in an honest fashion, is being responsible and not greedy. However, the Bible is repeatedly clear that if you love your money, which would include honest money, this is a root for all kinds of evil (1 Timothy 6:10).
I would propose, then, that in whatever manner your church or ministry would expect to handle an accusation of adultery against your pastor, whether that be a suspension pending investigation or some similar measure, so too should you handle an accusation of financial fraud.