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A Pastoral Code of Conduct

Thomas F. Fischer, M.Div., M.S.A.

Number 68

As a called and ordained minister of Jesus Christ, my fundamental duty is to serve, not to be served;  to preach the Word of God in both easy and difficult circumstances, to lead the church in the defense against error, to teach the people of God, to minister to the sick and dying, and to do what is reasonable and within my calling to respect and minister to God's people of every race, nation, gender and age without regard for wealth, social status, position, personal or physical limitations of any kind.

I will keep my private life unsullied as an example to all.  I will not live in a secretive manner so that, if exposed to the light of God's Word, I may stand confidently on the integrity of my unquestioned character. I will maintain courageous calm in the face of scorn or ridicule, disagreement or disrespect, conflict or schism. I will exercise Christian self-restraint; and be constantly mindful of the welfare of others and the importance of the Office of the Ministry to their spiritual lives. I will not seek revenge, but will minister patiently as I trust God's working to lead, direct and bless my ministry as He sees fit.

Honest in thought and deed, and devoted to the full and daily application of God's will in both my personal and official life, I will strive to be exemplary in upholding the standards of this sacred office. I will uphold and observe the infallible teachings of the inspired Word of God in whole and in part, conform to the doctrinal positions of my church body, and esteem and follow the professional guidance of denominational officials.

Furthermore, I will uphold others in the ordained ministry (and its auxiliary offices) and maintain an appropriate professional and pastoral demeanor whether in their presence or in their absence. I will support them in need, rebuke them privately when necessary, and receive correction and advice from them without disdain or disrespect. Recognizing them as fellow soldiers in the battle against Satan, I will not act in any way that would detract from the Lord's working in ministry through them or the enjoyment of their holy calling.

Instead, I will support them as to the best of my ability in my intent, in my words, and in my actions--both private and public. If they commit  injustice or error, or otherwise fall short of the scriptural standards of this sacred Office, I will deal with these instances in a pastoral and professional manner according to the highest principles of scripture and the procedures established by my denomination for proper ecclesiastical  discipline.

Whatever I see or hear items of a confidential nature, I will regard it as a sacred trust and to be kept ever secret, unless revelation is required by the law of the land. I will never act officiously or permit personal feelings, prejudices, animosities, or friendships to influence my decisions.

Without deviation from the doctrines and teachings of Scripture, I will preach, teach, lead, and minister the whole counsel of God's Word confidently and impartially without fear or favor, malice or ill.  I pledge never to undermine other's respect for this divine Office by employing unnecessary force or other self-serving measures. As His called servant, I will lead the flock of God, following the holy example of the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ, for whom I will take up the His cross and follow His leading.

I recognize that the acceptance of the calling to public ministry is a sacred trust given by God through His Church for the benefit of His people. Because of my weakness, I recognize that I will always need to live in the forgiving grace of God and, even as I receive it I must share this grace with others--without favoritism, preference, or partiality--even as God has commanded. Even this is weakness, I am convinced that God's strength will work through me, in spite of my weakness, so that His Word will accomplish that purpose for which God intended.

Ever true to the God-ordained standards of the ministry,  I will constantly strive to achieve these objectives and ideals, daily dedicating myself before God to the Office for which He has bought, called and chosen me—the Office of the Ministry of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Soli Deo Gloria
To Him alone be the glory!

Thomas F. Fischer

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This page was revised on: Tuesday, October 05, 2004 11:03:02 PM