Personal Discipline and Habits

This is part of a series of posts on my understanding of faith, ministry and the church. I would enjoy feedback and your response to my answers to these questions.

Question – You have agreed as a candidate for the sake of the mission of Jesus Christ in the world and the most effective witness of the gospel, and in consideration of their influence as ministers, to make a complete dedication of yourself to the highest ideals of the Christian life, and to this end agree to exercise responsible self-control by personal habits conducive to bodily health, mental and emotional maturity, integrity in all personal relationships, fidelity in marriage and celibacy in singleness, social responsibility, and growth in grace and the knowledge and love of God. What is your understanding of this agreement?

Response – My response is:

“We always have a choice between cleaning up our acts and cleaning up our hearts.” It is more important to cleanse our hearts and seek to live a righteous life. My understanding of this agreement is that in all things I am called to strive to “be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” The responsibilities to word, sacrament, order and service call for one that is going on to perfection. I believe that “if you want to become a good minister, you have to be holy.” I intend to live out the ideals mentioned in the question through regular physical exercise, continued learning and study, fidelity in my marriage, doing good, doing no harm and attending to the ordinances of God. (Wheeler, Sondra. “Ethical Dimensions of Ministry.” Wesley Theological Seminary. 18 January 2006.)


  1. How would you respond to this question?
  2. Where do you agree with my response?
  3. Where do you disagree with my response?

By Andrew Conard

Christian, husband, son, brother, homeowner

3 replies on “Personal Discipline and Habits”

In light of this probationary membership question, I think that DCOMs should ask these questions for certification:

1. Describe your regular devotional practices.

2. Describe your physical fitness practices.

Also (now I’m getting a wee bit off topic), at some point, the candidacy process should involve a drug test. I mean, if you get tested for drugs to work at a Wal-Mart, one should certainly be tested for any position of guaranteed appointment.

Matt – Thanks for your positive response!

John – Thanks for your comments. I agree – those are great questions that perhaps should be asked of candidates for ministry. You raise an interesting point about drug testing. Perhaps not a bad idea…

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