Church Leadership 101: Stay Pure
Greg Atkinson: "Purity also means to be pure in our motives."
Staying in the Word and staying on our knees will help us with the final “stay,” and that’s to stay pure. There’s nothing more precious to you and wanted by our enemy (remember the “You Have an Enemy” post) than to be pure. I’m talking about your character and integrity – who you are when no one’s looking.
Like being humble, this is also easier said than done. Purity flows out of the overflow of a heart that’s in love with Jesus and walking in the Spirit daily. Purity also takes a lot of wisdom, intentionality, and purpose. You must set out to be pure and put up guards in your life to help protect your purity.
I’ve mentioned before that my wife and my best friend get sent an e-mail of what Web sites I go to – this is a guard in my life. You may have something similar. It’s important to protect yourself (and your kids) from the dangers of the Internet.
Purity also comes from setting boundaries with co-workers. It’s not okay to flirt with your admin or that new woman on the children’s ministry staff. You must know what is appropriate and what’s not.
Part of setting up boundaries is to have some close friends that can hold you accountable, have permission to speak freely into your life, and ask the tough questions. If you’ve ever struggled with porn or a wandering eye, you should confess that to a person of the same sex that you trust and ask them to check up on you. Meet with them from time to time to read the Bible, pray, and just talk. If you’ve slipped up, tell them and confess out loud. Ask them to pray for you and see how you can pray for them. You’ll probably find out you’re not alone, and you can be a source of strength for someone else in need.
Purity also means to be pure in our motives. Doing things out of our love for Christ and not to get attention. This is tough for many in ministry. We should serve because He first loved us, and we desire to worship Him through our service.
Finally, when it comes to purity, I also like to point out that even if you don’t struggle with purity, you may still be in danger of sin. Oftentimes, those not affected by porn or a wandering eye will start judging others that are struggling and in their judging and criticizing will sin and become men or women full of pride. Remember the Pharisee praying who said, “God, I thank you that I’m not like that man, a tax collector.” (Luke 18:10-11) – Don’t be that guy!
So what about you…is purity a struggle for you? Do you have people in your life that can hold you accountable?