Behind all the issues of ministerial conduct and character lies a simple reality. The heart of ministerial ethics and integrity, argues Barbara Blodgett, is trust - trust expected, trust earned, trust practiced. Trust, she says, is undermined by three trust-busters common in the church: secrecy, gossip, and lying.
For Blodgett, trust is not an emotion or intention but a transaction. People entrust each other with things they value, and that interaction endows a relationship. In the aggregate, they create community. By focusing on crucial practices of trust, a unique new framework for ministerial identity and ethics is created.