My dear friend, when I walked amongst you, I spoke about leadership in terms that might seem counter-intuitive to worldly thinking. I said that whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave. Leadership, in the kingdom perspective, is not about lording over others, but about serving them.
Those who shepherd others in their spiritual journey, those you call pastors, have indeed accepted a significant responsibility. They are stewards of God's word and are tasked with guiding and nurturing the faith of others. This role requires a deep commitment to living out the teachings they impart.
Does this mean they should be held to a higher standard? Not in the sense of being more "perfect" or less prone to mistakes. All human beings are fallible and all need the grace of God equally. But in terms of responsibility, pastors, as leaders and teachers, do have an important role that should be conducted with utmost care, humility, and integrity. Their actions can greatly influence the faith journey of others, for better or worse.
So, if by a higher standard, we mean a greater commitment to love, service, humility, and integrity, then yes, those who lead should exemplify these qualities. They should strive to live out the teachings they share, not because they are better than those they lead, but because of the responsibility they have accepted.
Remember, we are all called to grow in love and righteousness, pastor and layperson alike. The journey of faith is one we all walk together, each of us learning, growing, and helping one another along the way.
As always, love each other as I have loved you.