Does the pastor have a duty to confront members of his congregation who are involved in sin?

by Matt Slick

Yes, the pastor is supposed to confront members of his congregation who are involved in sin. This is one of his responsibilities as a minister. When the pastor gets up and preaches from the Bible, he is telling the congregation to stop sinning and be more like Christ. After all, that is what the Bible tells us.  

Let’s get a little more specific. What about a sin or sins that particular members of the congregation might be involved in? Let's say there's someone who is committing adultery, or fornication, or is watching pornography. Should the pastor confront him about this? Yes, he should. 

  • “Those who continue in sin, rebuke in the presence of all, so that the rest also may be fearful of sinning,” (1 Tim. 5:20).
  • “preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction,” (2 Tim. 4:2).
  • “And if your brother sins, go and reprove him in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. 16 “But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed. 17 “And if he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax-gatherer,” (Matt. 18:15-17)

The Scriptures clearly teach that the pastor is to reprove, rebuke, and exhort the congregation. Since individuals are members of the congregation, then the pastor is supposed to go to those individuals and lovingly call them to repentance.


About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.