Pastor! Guard Your Heart From Unconfessed Sin: Part 1

English: Photograph of an open Bible with focu...
English: Photograph of an open Bible with focus on a verse from the Gospel of John, chapter 3, verse 16. “For God so loved the World that he gave his one and only son that whosoever believes on him should not perish but have eternal life.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


One of the greatest dangers in the life of the Pastor is unconfessed sin. It will rob you of your intimacy with God and steal your spiritual power.  Over the next three days I want to share with you three steps that every Pastor needs to take in order to guard our hearts against unconfessed sin.


STEP 1: Focus on Your Relationship with God


It may seem strange to those who are not in the ministry but nearly every Pastor I know will tell you that they struggle with their own relationship with God.  It is an inherent occupational hazard that the more time we spend dealing with other people’s spiritual lives the less time we will focus on our own.  This often leads us to having blind spots in our lives when it comes to our own sin.  The cure, of course, is to spend more time focused on our own relationship with God.




During my ordination service one of the Pastors who laid hands and prayed over me was named John Hayes.  Over the course of his ministry Pastor John had planted over a dozen Southern Baptist Churches including Open Door Baptist Church in Colliers, WV where I was being called to Pastor.  I will never forget when John knelt down and whispered in my ear, “No matter what else happens, never let Satan steal your time alone with God.  This is the most important time of your day.”   Over the past two decades of ministry I haven’t always succeeded in maintaining this important aspect of my relationship with God, but I have clearly learned its importance. When we spend time alone with God it allows two important things to happen in our lives.




First, the more we focus on our relationship with God the more aware we become of our own sinfulness.  I am not suggesting here that we fall into the trap of having a morbid obsession over our sin, but the simple truth is that as we draw near to God the light of His presence will reveal sin in our lives.  In fact, I am convinced that one of the reasons that I often neglect my spiritual life is that I do not want to be made aware of my sin.  Before you judge me too harshly, I would urge you to take a look at your own heart and see if this is not a struggle in your life as well.  The good news is that never reveals our sin without at the same time offering us His mercy and grace through the gospel.




That brings me to the second things that happens when we focus on our relationship with God — we are drawn into a deeper appreciation and understanding of the gospel.  The simple truth of the matter is that before God called us to be preachers of the gospel, He called us to be partakes in the gospel.  In reality no Christian ever grows beyond their daily need to preach the gospel to themselves — and that includes you and me.  As pastors and ministry leaders we stand in daily need of preaching the gospel to ourselves and applying its blessed truth to our lives.  This constant focus on the death, burial and resurrection of Christ will not only expose every sinful act and idol in our hearts but it will also drive us deep into the arms of Christ where we find grace and forgiveness.




“Cultivating A Gospel-Shaped Attitude” is Available to Order Now

Screen Shot 2013-03-26 at 4.21.03 PM  Please take a moment right now to order your copy of my new book “Cultivating A Gospel-Shaped Attitude” so that you will have it by the official release date on May 5th.  The paperback version is available for $14.99 from Crossbooks and the Kindle edition is available from Amazon for $5.99,  All of the profits from the sale of the book from now until the end of May will go to support missions work in Haiti, so please take time to click on the link below to order your copy today (or visit


Click Here to Order the Kindle Version

Here are a few short excerpts from the book sharing why every Christian needs to study the Beatitudes please click on the following links:

Once you have ordered your copy please take a moment to email me ( so that I can send you updates about our video cast of the sermon series and the upcoming study guide that will go with the book.

Here’s what others are saying:

Nate Martin is one of my preacher boys and purchased the first copy of the book.

Jerry Vines, Pastor Emeritus of First Baptist Church, Jacksonville, FL and two-time president of the Southern Baptist Convention says that:

“Cultivating A Gospel Shaped Attitude” by Joe Buchanan is a much-needed addition to the literature on the Beatitudes. There are many good works available. Dr. Buchanan’s is unique in that it shows how the gospel impacts our attitudes, actions and character. Read it with blessing and practical application.”

Jerry Falwell, Jr. Chancellor and President Liberty University:

“There is no shortage of books in this world based on the general premise that, if we adjust or eliminate our bad attitudes, our quality of life will improve.  In Cultivating a Gospel-Centered Attitude, Dr. Buchanan moves beyond feel-good rhetoric to focus instead on the source of a healthy attitude  – in a heart aligned with the desires and teachings of Christ.”

Nate Adams Executive Director, Illinois Baptist State Association Author of The Acts 1:8 Challenge (LifeWay) and The Home Team (Revell):

“In Cultivating a Gospel Shaped Attitude Joe Buchanan delivers encouraging, practical, and highly readable insight into Christian character development, and the heart attitudes that Jesus teaches are at the core of that development.  By showing us the inner attitudes that make the actions of faith more natural, Joe offers new freedom and victory to those of us who may be frustrated in our efforts to be more like Christ.”

 Brandon Cox, Pastor at Grace Hills Church, Editor at

“There are plenty of books that will help you to have a positive attitude, but most of them are missing what Joe Buchanan brings to the discussion – how the gospel shapes our attitudes and in turn, our actions, to produce in us a Christlike character. My mind and heart are in a better place because of Cultivating a Gospel-Shaped Attitude, and yours will be too! Buy it, read it, and give a copy away!”

FINALLY,  I need everyone’s help in spreading the word about this book. Please help me by taking a moment to send this post to all of your friends through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Email. Just click on the social media buttons at the bottom of this post to spread the word to all of your friends.