Category Archives: Adultery

Update for March 2013

Some of you have stopped by on occasion and made a comment or two.  Thank you.  But to be honest this is not a site people visit and linger.  This is a problem fixing site.  “Here’s what wrong, what do I do?” site.  I know that if you are stopping here it’s because you are part of a church where you have just discovered your pastor’s sin and are looking for answers, for what to do.

Much of what I have written is directional, informational and devotional, but it’s also focused on a topic none of us want to linger over for long.  We want to fix it and get on with “real life”.  I do so understand that.  Talking about broken churches and fallen pastors is just not fun or encouraging.

But, what I have seen is that over time God does do amazing things in the lives of people whose whole world has been destroyed by a pastor’s fall.  I’m watching as I see pastors I have worked with move on into new ministries and visions for their life.  I’m watching people from our body (I saw many of them last night at a wedding) continue to grow and love God….even though they are in new churches and not part of our community any longer.

What I realize is that God is able to continue his kingdom work even after a pastor has sinned and destroyed a church family, even after he has ruined his life, marriage and ministry, even after it seems many have walked away from the faith.

We are now in the seventh year since our big earthquake.  The church is still alive, but it’s much different.  I think any church will change after a pastor’s affair. It has to.  Our body has changed.  Now we have a lot of people who have no knowledge of what happened here….and to be honest we rarely mention it any more….it just takes too long to explain.

So what is the one thing I would tell you after almost seven years?  God’s church will be fine and so will you.  Trust him, stay in his word, stay in a community of faith…don’t walk away…and pray for God’s work in your life and in the lives of those who went through this disaster with you.  I guess that was more than one thing, wasn’t it?

Anyway….I want to simply assure you that if you are new to this experience in your church the most important thing you can do is keep your eyes on Christ and realize he is still Lord of his church in spite of what has happened.  He will be glorified in the church and in your life.  Keep trusting him.  You will see his amazing work and grace.  You will grow.  And God will be glorified!

Sin is messy (follow up…)

I wrote an earlier post titled, “Sin is messy”, and in that post I made a statement (from the weariness of this odyssey) that one of my readers disputed.  I agree with the correction I received from Bill and want to share with you the comment exchange from that post with Bill’s permission:

Bill:  I am concerned with your statement that “There is no good that comes from a pastors fall! None.”

I fell flat on my face. I came to the church admitted my failures and fell hard… here is what has happened in spite of my failures;
-i got help and healing from some deep deep hurts that i did not even know existed
-My wife and i have an honest real relationship which is 100 times better than either of us ever thought we could have
-people around me are getting to see what grace and love means – not just from a theoretical perspective but from experiencing grace and love.

These are only the positive and good things that have come from my failures. I am not saying for one moment that it was Gods will for me to fall in the way that i fell. But what i am saying is that it is very very very short sighted to say that NOTHING GOOD can come from a pastor who falls. God used example after example of Gods faithfulness not only to men in the Bible who have fallen but of his Grace Mercy Forgiveness and Love of HIS people who fell in the exact same way.

Do i wish i had not fallen… YES but i am so grateful to have walked through my misery and because i did i am a new man.

I am a Fallen Pastor but because of a loving church and loving family who understands God and family – i am a better man and a better disciple!

Me: Bill, you know what….you are right. I recant my statement. It strikes me, as I read your words and then reread mine, that I am still stinging a bit from the sin I have lived through here. I thought I had dealt with it all well, but obviously I haven’t fully dealt with all that happened to me through the events of our church family. It’s more damaging to those around the pastor who fell than most ever realize, than I even realized. Obviously I am still dealing with the weariness of the battle and some resentment for all I have had to go through…although I had done nothing wrong. A little bitterness remains that I must deal with God about. Thank you for your words and thoughts. What a blessing to read how God has worked in your life. God is so good to resurrect dead and broken lives, isn’t he? May I share your words in one of the posts? Thank you, Bill.

Bill: Yes you can. I want you to also know that as a pastor who fell i have worked very hard and have been incredibly humbled by what i have gone through. i will probably never fully understand the hurt and pain that my church has gone through.

This is what i did to help myself, my wife, my kids, my church…
-three months christian live in facility for addiction (HopeQuest in atlanta) Mid December – early March
- 14 months of counseling (and counting) for myself once a week.
- 14 months of marriage counseling every other week.
- first 3 months after coming home 1-1 accountability 7 days a week with men from the church.
-6 weeks living with friends after returning back to my community while i worked on restoring wife and kids.
-Went back to my home church as a congregant and sat in the audience weekly (soooo humbling).
-i had work to do for HopeQuest for 6 months after finishing in order to graduate (which i did 100%).
-got involved in a small group of our church that met every other week.
-met with other fallen pastors once a month (had to quit this when i began working full time- they meet lunchtime).

As much as i am grateful for the opportunity to deal with who i am and what i have done to my wife, kids, family , and church. this has not been easy. I have chosen to be obedient to God in returning to my community and church. Obedient because this is what i felt God was calling ME to do. Everyday i live with the reminder of what i have done. I am learning humility in a way i could have never imagined. i am learning brokenness in a way i could have never imagined. I am learning Grace and Mercy Kindness and Love in a way i never thought was possible. i am learning the deep humbling understanding of what it is to fall and be forgiven!

you can share any and all of whatever you want that i have written. i believe we have an opportunity to see the kingdom of God grow through failure – and i am the greatest of all failures!

bill

The cruel one

Proverbs 5:8-10

New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Keep your way far from her
And do not go near the door of her house,
Or you will give your vigor to others
And your years to the cruel one;
10 And strangers will be filled with your strength
And your hard-earned goods will go to the house of an alien;

The cruel one.  What an interesting wording from this passage about adultery and promiscuity.   In the heat of passion with a pretty woman a man may fail to realize he’s also about to suffer the wrath of the cruel one.  I’m fascinated by that wording.  On one hand affection, passion and love of a woman who isn’t your wife.  On the other hand the wrath, anger and hatred of the cruel one using this affection to destroy you.

Few men in the pastorate realize that behind the kisses and affection of a pretty woman who says she loves you is an enemy who says he hates you.  What you see as your “soul mate” is actually the perfect weapon of the enemy of your soul whose only goal is the destruction of your life,  your marriage,  your ministry and your church.  In a moment of passion and affection he can accomplish all of that!

Church, realize that behind every enticement to unfaithfulness, to an affair, is the cruel one in the shadows smiling at the opportunity to destroy everything you love.  If you find yourself attracted to a pretty face, an affectionate glance, someone who “really cares about you” realize that behind that person is another, the cruel one, waiting to destroy everything you care about.

The cruel one wears his name proudly.  He has no mercy, no care for you, your wife, your kids, your church or your life.  His great deception for you is that this affection, this affair is real and will satisfy your empty soul, but all it will do is destroy everything.  Solomon’s words are a vivid picture for anyone in the pastorate!

God loves even him!

I just wrote a post titled, “Sin is messy”.  In a way it was a chance for me to vent a bit about how destructive this sin is, this sin of adultery for a pastor, but as I read it I was struck by two things, 1. the truth of the words, and 2. the harshness of my own anger at the devil and the results of this sin in our church and others I talk  to.  I’m frankly very tired of good and godly men being stupid!

But what I need to address is this- even though we might sin, destroy our marriages, our lives, our churches….God loves us!  He is constantly reaching out to the broken, fallen, failed with his love.  And, who needs it more than a fallen pastor?  My friend who fell found himself with nothing and no one.  His wife divorced him and as she prepared to leave gave him a few dollars.  That’s all he had.  Everyone had abandoned him, a man who was dearly loved only weeks before.  We just don’t know what to do with all of this, do we?

In the middle of the sin of a pastor there is one truth we have to tell them, remind them of and tell ourselves as well- God loves him.  He loves me.  He’s madly in love with his children no matter what the sin.  It’s God’s love the fallen pastor needs the most because all others abandon him and he finds himself alone.

I’m in the middle of a book titled, “Good and beautiful God” by Smith.  Today I read chapter four in preparation for a small group.  It just brought this truth back to my mind that even in the middle of the most terrible sin a church could experience God is still madly in love with the sinner.

Our response?  It has to be the same.  We must love that fallen one, embrace them, restore them in some way (not to the pulpit, but to the family) and we must forgive.  If God still loves the fallen man or woman how can we possibly do any less?

Sin is messy

To be honest with you I really hate this topic.  It’s painful to talk about. It’s nasty to deal with.  It’s messy!

There is no good that comes from a pastor’s fall!  None.

Sin is messy.  We leave damage all around us when we think secret sin can be committed without penalty.  But out of our sin comes nothing but broken churches and destroyed families and abandoned faith.  This sin is probably one of the devil’s best victories in any church.  It destroys far more than we even know as we try to clean up the damage.

In our own experience I have seen the “domino effect” happen as others have emulated the pastor’s deed and think because he did it they can do it as well.  As a result more families are destroyed.  Faith is compromised. Obedience abandoned.

Sin is messy.  We will never find happiness disobeying God.  Never.  It’s simply not possible.  It’s never been done and we won’t be the first.  In a pastor’s sin, whatever the reason, a cascade of lives are damaged, faith eroded, churches made impotent and much more.

Words escape me to describe this in a way that would make a pastor respond, “Well, if it’s that bad it’s just not worth it!”  But the devil is much smarter than we are.  Much more cunning.  He looks for our weakness and attacks there.  For some reason we believe his lie, although we should know better, and because of the lie many fall.

Sin is messy.  So far, in my short 62 years, I have never, not once, seen good come from sin.  But some would quote Romans 8:28 to me as I say that, I can hear it already.  What that verse speaks of is God’s great work in spite of our sin, not because of it.

Church,  know this because it’s true and will always be true- You will never find happiness disobeying God.  It won’t happen…no matter how pretty she is, no matter how unhappy you are, no matter how much you love her, no matter how depressed you are.

Solomon, the son of David, wrote of men who make these choices in Proverbs 5-7.  In the middle of these thoughts he described a man who lacked sense and the result was what many have seen in the lives of their pastors; sin, failure, lust, broken lives.  The words of Solomon should be a clear slap in the face for anyone thinking “they won’t get caught.”

As you can tell I’m rambling a bit in this entry.  These thoughts are a culmination of seeing way too much, being way too tired of it all.  When will we realize that God is much more interested in our obedience than he is in our happiness?  What we fail to realize is that if we will live a life surrendered to his will we will find happiness.  He will make sure of that, but sin will never discover it.  It’s simply not on that path.

Emotional affairs

Not all the problems a pastor faces involve physical contact.  Equally serious, although never revealed in most cases, are emotional affairs.  They happen with a smile, a little extra time, attention, a listening ear and an interested look.  Soon the pastor is dreaming of the affair he may never have in the flesh, but he’s had it in his mind.

Emotional affairs don’t seem as deadly as a physical affair to most, but they have their consequences and often they are as serious as the physical affair.  The pastor finds himself distancing from his wife and looking for those emotional “fixes” with the “other woman”.  They seem harmless, but if you could see his thoughts you would know otherwise.  The price for the pastor’s marriage is the biggest cost of all.  Although he may never betray his wife sexually he has had a change of affections and she notices it.

Soon the distance between them is further than they know and he is more drawn to an affair because his affections are given to another woman and not his wife.  The bait in this trap seems harmless.  It’s just a little time to care for a woman in need of a friendly ear, someone who cares, but soon it’s much more.

Affairs begin with innocent steps that no one would ever notice, but God sees.  He knows.  He’s aware.  This ministry of a pastor is serious business and should never be taken lightly.  It’s a serious calling, just as the priestly role was in the days of Aaron and Moses.  There is a holiness that God expects.

In 1 Cor. 6:19-20 Paul gives us three keys to dealing with these emotional affairs and how to think about your life, you love and your ministry.  Study the passage and you will find the keys to making choices, but to help make it easy here they are in a nutshell, 1. You are not your own, 2. You have been bought with a price, so 3. Glorify God in your body.

If we could live by these three simple guidelines a lot of our problems would vanish and we would find a real joy in walking with God and denying sin.

Another pastor has fallen

I can always tell when a pastor is caught in adultery.  It’s crystal clear.  My visitor count goes up dramatically!  On a normal day I might have 25-30 people stop by and read an article, take a look or make a comment, but there are days when the visitor count goes up to 200!  It’s on those days I know another pastor has fallen and the church family is looking for answers, looking for help.

If you’re stopping by because your church has just discovered the pastor’s sin take a moment and tell your story.  Our goal here is to help other churches and believers, 1. know how to deal with the fall of a pastor and, 2. try to prevent it from happening in the future.

Today the numbers are up.  Another pastor has fallen.  It happens far too often.  Let us know how we can pray for you.

Modeling Christ

“Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.”

-Paul, 1 Corinthians 11:1

Paul did something I have not seen others do.  He offered himself as the model of what a Christ follower should look like.  As I read these words this morning they once more stopped me to think about what that would look like in my life and yours.

Paul was so confident that he understood the Christ life and was living it that he invited others to follow him and imitate his life.  “Boys, just watch me and do it like I do it” would be Paul’s words to a young disciple.

It demands two important things in a life, 1. that you know what a life lived as an imitator of Christ looks like, and 2. that you are actually living that way.  It demands a clear map of the route and a confidence you are on the path as a disciple yourself…that you are in fact imitating Christ.

But this is exactly what we are supposed to be doing in our lives, isn’t it?  Dads, are you telling your sons and daughters, “just watch me live the Christian life and you will be ok”?  Pastors, are you inviting others to follow you around and imitate your life, your words?  You should!

Paul has given us the foundational principle of discipleship- modeling.  “Imitate me as I imitate Christ” are heady words to say to someone.  It means you must know where you are going, what it looks like, and actually be going the right way. It means you know that others are watching you, following you, imitating you.

If someone is imitating your life will they get it right? Will they be a follower of Christ or a deformed version of one?  Have you invited someone to imitate you as a Christ follower?  If not, what do you need to change? Where are you going that you wouldn’t want another to follow?  Are you modeling Christ for others to follow?

This is our greatest need in the church today…men and women following Christ and inviting others to imitate them in the way.  What do you need to change to make that offer to another?  Could it be that most of us don’t know where we are going in the first place?  If you have never offered this invitation to another what must you change to invite another to follow you?

“Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.”  What an amazing invitation from the pen of Paul.  I’ve never been invited to follow another in this way, nor have I made the invitation.  I wonder what would change if we did…….and this very discussion is the reason a pastor’s fall is so devastating to a church.  He is the one we are following.  When we discover he is not on the right path it brings disappointment, confusion and loss of faith.

We, as pastors, are to model Christ.  When we don’t the disaster that follows is devastating.

Shame

We are a proud race.

We all try to look good to others.

Pastors are not exempt from this pride.  We are not only playing to the congregation, but we are “competing” with other pastors around us.  Pride is a wicked master.  It focuses the camera on us and not on God, it responds to praise and avoids criticism.  Pride is one of the reasons that honestly about our sins is so hard.  We don’t want to deal with the results of sin in our lives.

The ugly side of pride is shame.  Our pride makes us hide our sins so no one will know, no one will find out.  In some way we think God doesn’t see either, but he does.  And in the revelation of our sins shame comes.  A shame that we have lost the admiration of others, but hopefully also a shame for what we have done.  There are two sides to shame, the shame of loss and the shame of sin.  One is healthy, the other is not.  When sin is revealed and shame is part of our new reality the number one task is to come before God on our knees and share with God all that pride and sin have done.  He already knows, but there is no better way to deal with shame than to open it up  before God.

Shame dealt with well brings repentance.  Shame dealt with badly is just another face of pride.  When sin is revealed the best response for any of us is simply this, “Lord, I am the man.  I deserved the cross you bore for me.  Thank you that you have already forgiven me because of what Christ has done.  I am sorry.  Let this shame I feel bring me before you in repentance each time it comes and let me become one who rejoices in your grace once more.”

Use your shame rightly.  Realize there are two sides to this thing called shame.  One is an aspect of pride that wants to hide what we have done.  The other is a right response to our sin and makes room for the restoration God wants to accomplish in our lives.

You need to know that shame is a healthy part of any sin.  It’s how you respond to the shame you feel that makes such a difference in the outcome of your life and walk with God.

What about the wife?

 

What about the wife?  What happens to the pastor’s wife when he sins?  What happens to the family?  Sadly I have watched several families go through this terrible sin and the fall out is catastrophic to the church but especially to the home of the pastor.

I’m corresponding with one pastor’s wife now who is recovering (if that’s really possible) from her husband’s affair.  Her husband, the pastor, left the church and her for the other woman.  The destruction to the church and the family is more than a pastor will know.  This pastor has hardened his heart (you have to harden your heart to sin in this way) and is living with “the other woman.”  He has “moved on”…..whatever that means.  And now this wife of a pastor is picking up the pieces and not only starting over but trying to redefine her life.  Who is she now?  What is her role?  What does she do?  How does she serve God from what her husband done to their family?

I know the devastation is more than most will ever realize.  A church destroyed, a home vaporized, lives changed, children shocked, lives completely destroyed and redefined by sin.  And so I naturally ask, what about the wife?  How do we help her?  Who is she now?  What should she do?  Where does she go from here?  How does the church respond to her and her needs?  What now?

Let me invite you to share your stories and thoughts on this topic.  What now?  What about the pastor’s wife?  Share your experiences, comments and thoughts.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Consequences

I love this cartoon! It’s a brilliant insight into the very heart of choices and results. We live in a world that wants the freedom to do as we wish, but with those choices are always consequences. In the moment it might seem that things are wonderful, but choices always have consequences.

Often, as I meet with people in their crisis, I hear these words, “Why did God do this to me?” They are sincere in their question and are clueless to the reality that many times what has happened is the result of their own choices….it’s not God, it’s them.

Choices and consequences. One you make, the other you don’t. You can control your choices, but you can’t control your consequences. I wonder, if we knew this as a reality in our lives, if our choices would change.
When a pastor sins there are choices he has made that fulfill a need, a lust, a desire, but beyond the choice circumstances will follow that he can’t control.  The church he pastors will be hurt, lives will be changed, some will abandon their faith in disappointment and still more will simply stop going to church.  Trust is broken, the work of God in the pastor’s life is crippled and often so are the people in his flock.
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Choices and consequences.  Consider the results of your choices pastors.  Will you give up all that God wants to do in your life for a choice of sin?  Will you live for the moment forgetting there will be consequences that will affect countless lives?  “I’ve never felt so alive!”  will soon be followed by “If only I could undo what I have done.”

Still so lost

(I’ve received a number of notes over the last few years from those of you going through this same thing.  I would like to share the stories of others going through the fall of a pastor.  I will remove the names, dates and locations to protect their privacy, but their stories from the pews are so important that I wanted to share them with you.   -Mike)

My name is M—–, and my pastor fell into the sin of adultery over 4 years ago. I am a little different because I had known my Pastor and his wife and whole family before they ever became Pastors. I sat under his father who was my Pastor for five years, and then under his son for another five years a few years latter. I was not part of the leadership but was the editor of the church newsletter, so I was not privy to the info that the leadership had.

I was particularly close to the pastor’s wife, we had been close friends for years. She had been my mentor, my teacher, my prophet and my friend. I had noticed her being downcast a couple of months before they stepped down but she refused to tell me what was wrong, and I was unable to comfort her. Then one day she came to me and told me they were leaving the church after being there for ten years, that she loved me and wanted me to leave with them. She did not tell me why they were stepping down. So I said I would go with them, never did I even question her I trusted them completely.

I was a different woman than I was before God brought them into my life. I went to publish my last newsletter before I left my home church. I had asked the congregation to write something about our pastors before they left. I hardly got any responses. I didn’t understand, I knew so many in our church had been delivered and changed under their ministry and hardly anyone wrote anything. I went ahead and published what I had. On the last Sunday, my Pastor’s wife sang the song by Martina McBride ‘Do it anyway.’ I cried, our Pastor gave his last sermon and I cried. He never said that he had committed adultery to the congregation just that he was stepping down. Then they had a meeting that many people attended but I was never invited and knew nothing about, where our Pastor confessed but was not repentant.

So I left with them. I started going to another church with my old pastor and his wife and grown kids and grandkids. Still in the dark. It was about a month before I was told. My pastor’s wife had told me there was a lot of gossip going around our old church and asked me to stay out of it so I did. I always hated gossip. She sent me an email and told me. I was devastated, I felt betrayed because I had left my home church for them and didn’t have the facts to make my own choice. She had decided to stand by her man. She told me that people disagreed with her choice. So here I am sitting in the pews in a new church with my fallen pastor and wife. It was weird. Well he never stopped having the affair, when his wife found out she confronted him and he left her to be with his new woman. They had been married 26 years.

My pastor’s wife had never been on her own, had no idea how to survive without him. It was strange to me that hardly any of the women supported her, she hadn’t done anything wrong. I helped her for the next year or so. I was church shopping with her, it was not a good thing for me spiritually not to have a home church. I finally called my old assistant pastor and got her version of what had happened, it was different to hear from someone else whom I trusted what had gone on in the leadership. They had truly given him plenty of chances to repent and stop seeing her. I had never heard that. He acted like nobody had cared when he had cried out for help.

He is now married to the other woman and a shadow of the man I knew. His wife couldn’t live alone and married again to an unsaved man!!! It has been four years I am now living in another state with my husband. This mess came really close to ending my marriage as well.

My problem is I am still so lost. I haven’t wanted to go to church and haven’t joined another church because of trust issues I am sure. I love the Lord still but my relationship isn’t the same because I am not part of a church family any more. I don’t know what I wanted you to say to me except that you are still going through stuff five years later and that encouraged me not to give up. Thank you for your blog. I actually found it a couple of years ago and had saved it in my favorites and just looked at it today and read your recent posts. It is nice to hear someone else had been through this hopefully we will all heal soon.

We are going through the same thing — is it OK to feel this way?

(I’ve received a number of notes over the last few years from those of you going through this same thing.  I would like to share the stories of others going through the fall of a pastor.  I will remove the names, dates and locations to protect their privacy, but their stories from the pews are so important that I wanted to share them with you.  Here is the first one.  -Mike)

I am writing this on behalf of my husband and I.

I’ve found your site to be very helpful, and beneficial.

I write to you because our church underwent a similar situation. In 200-  our pastor had been unfaithful to his wife, which he admitted to us in a letter of resignation. The incident had occurred months prior, but he felt it was right to resign, even though they were in the middle of reconciliation. I worked for the church at the time and the shockwave of the sin and resignation hit all of us staff. It shocked the rest of the congregation as well. At the time I was ready to forgive, completely understanding that he’d chosen to resign for the better of the congregation.

But giving began going down after his resignation, although much of it probably related more to the economy, and I was among those staff members laid off as a result. The pastor completed reconciliation/recommission and then started another church in our area, which resulted in a church split. Individual congregants, including my husband and I, have endured some pretty hard, heavy-duty financial and physical trials, which we continue to this day.  When I lost my job that was when I became angry with the pastor and the situation. I knew people who were my mentors or friends who left our church to go to his and it was like a pain going through my heart. I am still hurt because his sin ultimately caused my job loss and helped contribute to our financial struggles. I’ve struggled with feelings of betrayal, feeling as if he abandoned our church after so many years invested in it.  I feel hurt because he apologized in a letter instead telling us face-to-face.  I have not been able to visit the pastor’s new church. Now I don’t want to harbor unforgiveness, and I have asked the Lord to help me to forgive, but the situation is still painful. Is this OK? Will I get to place of forgiveness? How do I really get over this and truly forgive? Is there any support groups that address this situation?

A note from a fallen pastor

I am the pastor who fell, the one who worked with the man who created this site. Only recently did he tell me about it, and he asked me if I would be willing to write my own perspective as a Fallen Pastor. I responded that if I could offer anything of value to help people, I would be happy to do so.

The first and most important thing is to share my sorrow, grief, and sadness over the hurt and damage my sin has caused. I do not excuse it in any way. It’s been five years and more since my sin became public, and I have lived with regret and sadness every single day since. Beyond hurting people I loved and who believed in me, the worst thing to live with is to have brought reproach on Jesus Christ and discredit to his message of grace, hindering the progress of the gospel. Sometimes I can’t imagine why he has allowed me to live, and even more, to find a new life in which he continues to share grace and love with me. His grace is truly amazing.

Having said this with all sincerity, I believe it might be helpful for me to address what I believe are some misconceptions about “pastors who fall.”

First, I believe it needs to be said that there is no single category of “pastors who fall.” The stories are as unique as the individuals. There are all kinds. The worst cases are serial offenders, who go across town and start another church, seemingly without conscience or repentance. Most pastors I’ve known, however, have been sincere men who wanted to serve God. In the cases of those who fell, they ran into temptation during a time of weakness and sinned, the same as any believer can do. I can’t talk about anyone else’s story meaningfully. I can only speak for myself and what happened to me.

I never dreamed I could fall into adultery. I was married and in the ministry for almost 30 years, and had an unspotted record of integrity and faithfulness. For all those years, I made it my aim to not even flirt with another woman. What happened to me was a gradual breaking down that finally reduced me to clinical depression. Once I hit that state, I lived for almost a year wanting to die every single day. There was no joy, no happiness, no light, seemingly no presence of God in the universe. If you have never experienced it, you’ll have to take the word of those who have and of the medical profession. Genuine clinical depression is not a pouting spell or simply being down in the dumps. It is a brain chemistry phenomenon where you simply can’t reason or feel normally. The emotional pain was sometimes so great that it became physical pain.

It was in the midst of this that a woman came into my life representing a temptation I couldn’t resist. Through her I received brief glimpses of happiness in that dark dungeon. It was only an emotional connection during the following months, but eventually, inch by inch, I got to a point of literal unfaithfulness. That period lasted about two months. I ended the relationship and tried to hang on and pull myself back together, but the secret came out. I was barely functional by that time. I confessed and resigned immediately.

It was the only time in my life that I was unfaithful to my mate, but one time was all it took. My job was over. My career was over. My marriage was over. My wife told me that nothing I could do would change her mind, and she angrily threw me out of the house. I drove away with no place to live and no money.

I think one of the hardest things for church members where pastors have fallen is dealing with the lack of answers. Along with the feelings of betrayal, their imaginations run riot. However, a moment’s serious thought makes it clear that detailed explanations cannot be given to the public. It involves too many people, and too many people would be hurt even more in the process. If there are facts about my marriage and the reasons behind my sin that even my best friends and grown children don’t know, you can be very sure the public isn’t going to hear about them. However, the unanswered questions can drive people pretty crazy and make them increasingly angrier.

I understand that members of the church would like to have “closure,” but I have been preoccupied with other realities like, “Can I find a reason to keep on living at all?” and “What can I do for a job to support myself?” All I had done for 30 years was to work in ministry. What kind of job could I find to do now? Thanks be to God, he has helped me find a new life and a new career. His grace has overflowed to me, the one who betrayed him.

I will never work in public ministry again. If the Lord allows me to serve him in other ways, I am thrilled to do so. I love Jesus Christ, and express my sadness to him every day about my sin. I tell former church members about my sadness and ask their forgiveness whenever I get the chance. I don’t know what else I can do.

Thanks for allowing me to share. I hope these things are helpful to others.

No one exempt

One of the deep dark secrets is that there is no pastor exempt from this sin, this temptation.  It would delight our enemy to bring this kind of demise to every pastor’s life.  Any man who thinks “it could never happen to me” is closer to a fall than he could even imagine.  Sin, temptation and the lure of attraction and attention are strong, deceptive and unrelenting in this work called ministry.  It’s an ever present risk for every pastor.

I deeply respect Billy Graham who early in ministry realized the potential for this sin and set strong boundaries for his life and ministry.  It was one of the wisest things he could have done.  Any pastor who will tell you that this will never happen in his life is challenging the enemy to bring that pretty little blonde by for counseling.

No one is exempt.  It’s the reality of our hearts, our natures.  Our pride will tempt us to sin and a fall before we even realize what has happened.  It’s a reality that has scared me throughout my ministry and one I’m keenly aware of.  Years ago one young lady in my church called my wife and told her, “I’m going to steal your husband from you.”  My sweet wife, knowing me well and how much I feared this kind of thing, replied, “Give it your best try, sweetie.”  But when she told me of the visit I was once more made aware of how the enemy works.

Watch yourself, men.  No one is exempt.  Set good boundaries, be careful.  Peter described it well, the enemy roams around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.  Watch yourself.

Muted

My friend and pastor who fell told me at our last lunch that his voice for the kingdom of God has been muted.  He’s right.  His sin has silenced his voice.  It’s tragic because his was a wonderful voice for truth, grace and God’s word.  There were few men I have known who loved God’s word as he did.  But today his voice is muted by his sin.

How long should a pastor “sit on the bench?”  Should he ever be in the pulpit again?  When is repentance and reconciliation  accomplished for a pastor who commits adultery while in the pulpit?  I have strong opinions on this topic, but there are too many factors to be dogmatic in print.  The questions that would come from this discussion are many,

Has the pastor reconciled with his church where the sin was committed?

Has he reconciled with his wife?

Has he submitted to other godly men in a period of repentance and healing?

Is he getting counseling?  (And, may I add…He should!)

Should he ever pastor again?  Here’s where my opinion will be clear-  I don’t think any pastor who has committed adultery should be back in the pulpit for at least five years!  AT LEAST five years.  That much time is the minimum for a man to restore his marriage first of all and then there is the need to deal with a life that would choose this sin.  Yes, pastors are attacked by the enemy in many ways, but when sin has occurred there is the need for some time to heal, grow, restore, repent, recover.  Should he ever pastor again?  Maybe, but not for a number of years.  Isn’t that too harsh? Not at all!  The pastor who commits adultery has broken trust with everyone.  It takes times to rebuild that trust.

Muted?  Yes, the voice of any pastor discovered in sin has muted his voice for God.  He’s destroyed his witness and walk.  He’s broken trust and wounded many.  Some will never recover their faith and walk because of the sin of a pastor.  Don’t, dear pastor, don’t return to the pulpit until you have taken years away to heal, restore and redeem.  Don’t take this sin lightly.  The pains this sin creates for everyone around the pastor is more than he will ever know.  Muted?  Yes.

Can restoration happen? YES!  But it will take time.  Don’t be impatient.  You broke trust with everyone around you, it will take time to restore it.  Don’t be in a hurry.  Love your wife, love God and humbly repent and restore the hearts and lives you have betrayed.  It will take some time….

Preventing an affair

I’ve gotten many letters because of this site.  Sadly they come from the broken people who sat in the pew.  Not one note has come from a pastor who has made the terminal choice to have an affair.  I’m sure it’s just too hard to be honest.  We are masters of justifying our actions, “I just wanted to be happy,” or “my wife wasn’t meeting my need,” and “God will forgive me.”  All the excuses you might hear will never justify this breach of trust, this sin of betrayal.

Adultery for a pastor betrays trust with his wife, his children, his parish and his God.  The results of such a sin are more far reaching than most will ever know.  The church is crippled, the pastor and his family are brutalized and the work of God is ridiculed by a watching world.  There are few sins worse for a church than adultery by the pastor.  That church, that pastor will never be the same again.

So, how do we prevent affairs in the pastorate?  How do we protect our pastors from this horrible and destructive sin?  What can you do to help?  Here’s a few thoughts that will help your church protect your pastor from the attack from the enemy of our souls,

1. Pray for your pastor.  No pastor can fight this battle on his own.  The enemy is after your pastor, you need to know that.  He may not realize how serious the task is, but it is extreme!  Years ago I pastored and was constantly  the focus of women wanting time with me.  God was good and protected me, but I noticed something significant.  After a number of years in the ministry I took a break and went into the business world for a few years.  Suddenly something became crystal clear-  women weren’t looking at me in the same way any more!  I was shocked that it was so dramatic.  I was surprised that they weren’t after me anymore.  I was no longer the devil’s target.  The heat was off, but it was obvious to me how powerful this weapon is for the enemy.  Most pastors don’t realize this.  Pray for them that God will protect them, guard them and help them.

2. Build men around your pastor and hold him accountable.  Get some men around him and build a team of “mighty men” to protect your pastor from the attacks of the enemy.

3.  Encourage your pastor to never be alone with a woman other than his wife.  It’s just too dangerous!  If he counsels people make sure there is someone in the church office with him.  Don’t put your pastor is this dangerous place.  The counseling office is where the problems begin.  In our church we never counsel a woman without a secretary in the church office.  We have also installed windows in each pastor’s office door so the counseling room is not secret, hidden and made a place of temptation.  You pastor might think he’s strong enough to handle this, but he’s not!

This will be a good start, but there is more you can do to help.  If you are a member of a church family you need to know your pastor is under attack.  Help him finish well.  Pray for him, get good and strong men around him, protect him from temptation places.  This is too important.

How do you prevent an affair?  Never ever assume you will never fall!  Always protect yourself.  The enemy prowls about like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour and his weapons for the pastor are often a pretty woman in need.

What now?

It’s September. Five years ago this month we discovered our pastor’s sin. I think, for me, these have been the toughest five years of my life! I have seen many leave our church and some walk away from the faith. Sin does that, but it’s still painful to watch.

I just had lunch with our fallen pastor last week. He’s in a secular job now, trying to rebuild his life, but he still misses the ministry…..it was his first love. He told me he feels his voice for God has been silenced. He’s right. Sin does that.

He asked, “do I need to ask your forgiveness again?” He has done that many times. I told him, “no, we are done with that, let’s just have a nice lunch as brothers in Christ.” But what he knows is that his sin has made him a leper of sorts among the Christian world. We seem much better at killing our wounded than trying to heal them.

What’s sad for me to watch is this brilliant man who built a great church is now impotent in the work of God because of sin’s great attraction.

How can we so easily lose our heads, our ministries, our families over the passions of a moment? But many have. In fact 1 out of every 5 ministers will fall. It’s the devil’s best weapon to destroy ministers and the church.

What can we do? Pray for your pastors. Get good accountability around them. Check on them, check on their families. This is too important to let this continue.

What now?  We are rebuilding. It’s been a most painful 5 years. Over 1,000 people have left our church. Our people who have stayed are discouraged, the staff is tired and the ministry is unfocused. It’s all the results of a leader falling.

What now? We press forward. Care for the people God has given us and move forward, scars, wounds and all, as we attempt to serve God and the people who attend. No church will ever be the same after the pastor falls. No pastor will ever be useful again in ministry after this sin. That’s the reason the devil is so busy about tempting pastors. If he can get them to fall he has won his biggest victory!

Years ago a woman called my wife in the parsonage and said, “I’m going to steal your husband!” My wife, being the wonderful lady she is replied, “Give it your best shot sweetie.” She knew me and trusted God. But honestly, church, this is one of the sins that hurts the church the worse and we deal with it the least. I encourage you to pray for God’s protection of your pastor. He’s under attack, even if he doesn’t admit it. He needs your support and your prayers.

The ongoing life of a church

We have just passed the 2 year mark since discovering the sin and fall of our pastor.  Since that discovery he resigned, divorced his wife, married the other woman and is still living in our area.  His family is broken, but trying to live through all of the wreckage of this devastating sin. 

Our church has hired a new pastor who is much different, and is leading the church in a new direction.  Having been here through it all it’s very hard to make all the adjustments that an earthquake like this demands.  Change is the operative word!  Changing people, changing pastor, changing roles, a changing image and identity of the church.  When sin like this happens then everything changes…..

We are now coming into a time when new people come to our church and have no knowledge of what we have been through.  We are beginning to become the new church we will be.  The scars are still there…deeply buried, but still there.  Those who stayed are loving and gracious, but you can see that this trial has affected them as well.  Sin is a life changing event and it affects even those who did nothing wrong. 

What’s ahead?  That’s God’s work.  The challenge is to help those who have been through this with us to grow in their faith, and heal from the wounds.  That’s also our challenge as staff.  It’s often easy to forget that we too have been hurt, but we continue on and try to do the work of the church as normal.  Healing will take time, but I can see that God is working here….he has been working here….it’s his church, he will continue to work….He has a plan.

Honest thoughts from the “inside”

As a pastor on the staff of a church going through our own recovery from the fall of our senior pastor I wanted to take a few minutes to share my own thoughts with you.  You might not hear these words from another pastor, so I wanted to tell you my thoughts after 2 years of living in the middle of this earthquake and the tremors that have followed.  These are honest thoughts, and are my thoughts at this moment…having just passed our 2 year anniversary of the pastor’s fall.  Some may seem obvious, but I hope they will help you understand the reality of what your own pastoral staff may be going through if this happens in your church.  Ok, are you ready? Here’s some of my HONEST thoughts-

- There are many days I wish I could just run away.  This is much too hard!

- I know many of our people are angry with the pastor for his sin, I just feel sorry for him….he has a sad life ahead of him.  This can’t end well.

- I often feel really hurt by many who just left the church without a word or call.  They were friends of mine, and they didn’t even call me.  I know the body was hurt by this, but don’t forget…this hurt me too.

- I thought we were a family, but it wasn’t really true.  Many that we thought were part of our church really weren’t.

- I’ve been angry. I hope all of this doesn’t make me bitter too.

- I’m tired…this is a long ordeal.

- Why did God put me here to go through all of this?  What am I supposed to learn from this?  How do I use all of this to help others? (This web site is intended to help address this last question.)

- At what point does a man decide that he will give up EVERYTHING for a few minutes of sex with another woman?  I would love to know when he made that decision, and what he was thinking.

- I hate sin!  After living through the mess of these last two years I HATE sin.  I hope that feeling remains strong in me.

- Was there anything I could have done to help?  I didn’t see any of the signs of this, I wonder if there was anything I could have done.

- I know I could leave and pastor a church of my own and start over…..I’m often tempted to do that.  I’m tired.

- I know God has worked in my life through these two years….I wonder what I can do with all of this? 

- I know that lust and sex are alluring, but how could a guy give up everything for it?  He must have just lost his mind for a bit….no sane person would ever do that.

- When the “junk” of all of this gets too much at times I would love to find the former pastor and give him a good swift kick in the pants!  He deserves it!  How could he do this???

- The devil is sure good at making us do stupid things.  How does he make a smart man act like a stupid fool and think it’s a good thing?  He’s a really good liar!

- I wonder how long it takes before things begin to get better?

- I wonder when I won’t think about this every day?

- I hope this hasn’t hurt my walk with God.  Have I allowed sin in my life because of the struggles of these two years?

Ok, there are just a few of my running thoughts….they go on, but you get a taste of the battle here.  So, if you find yourself in a church going through this please pray for your pastors.  They are in the middle of this battle as well.  We will each need God’s help for the recovery and restoration of our church and it’s family.

After the earthquake, part 1

Two weeks after our senior pastor fell I was in the pulpit to help us, as a church, take the next step.  The Lord graciously gave me a concept that has become a part of the vocabulary of our church family.  We now talk about “after the earthquake” as a common term to describe our pastor’s fall, the announcement of it to our church family and our life together since that day.  This message was given over two weeks, and was so important that I want to share it with you.  It’s a quick and easy read, but what you will find is that a pastor’s sin is much like an earthquake.  Its destruction is massive, and the church and people in it will never be the same again.  It will change you, and it will change your church.  So, here is part one of “After the earthquake”-

 “We have an amazing church family! Your responses to what we have been through as a church have been amazing!

You have said, “What can I do?”

“How can I help?”

“What do you need me to do?” 

Of course we are going through a grieving time, and a loss, but almost everyone we talk to is saying the same thing, “We will grieve, but this is our church, where are we going next?”

I am so excited to be part of this family. The unity and love of this church body is very encouraging.

As to what can you do? We will be addressing those things soon…thank you all for being part of this family and being willing to help. So, let me give you one assignment right now. This is easy. Are you ready? Pens in hand?  Ok, here it is- connect with others in the body you don’t know. Reach out to one another. We have people here who are new, and aren’t connected yet, help them. 

 We have received so many words of encouragement from you all, many in person and many more by letter and e-mail.

Here are some of your comments to us-

 “My daughter (Jenna – age 8)  and I are committed to praying for you each night this week as you prepare for your sermon; that you be lifted up by God, that you are not nervous (Jenna prays this) and to communicate God’s word effectively.  God bless you and we know you will do well.”  -Kent

 “There is such a beautifully sweet spirit at CBC right now….undoubtedly we are being cared for by our Savior and King. We just need to keep our eyes fixed on HIM.”  -Marsha

 “We would like to begin giving to your church but do not have envelopes (we are not members).  Could you please mail us some envelopes?  Thank you” -John

 “What a challenge and test of our faith we have ahead of us as a church body. I am also praying that God will mightily use me and other men in this time to lead, serve, and minister to the church body as we seek to emerge from this even stronger than we were before. Your brother in Christ” -Chris

 “…We must keep pressing on, not wavering and picking up the weak ones along side of the road as we keep walking this journey.  It has been a long time since my wife and I prayed for the church staff and body like we did last night. I know this will only make all of us stronger. I hope this will be some encouragement for you on this new day that the Lord has created. Keep your chins up, there will be people watching.” -Jason

 These last few weeks have been an earthquake for us as a church family…

 An earthquake is different than any other natural disaster because you don’t see it coming….it happens, and then we must deal with the results-

 the devastated roads,

 the broken buildings,

 the shattered lives.

 Earthquakes are destructive. They literally shake our foundations.  Often the problems caused by the earthquake destroy more than the earthquake itself.

 The 1989 San Francisco earthquake broke gas lines that started fires that destroyed whole city blocks.  Broken water pipes flooded homes.  Some damage didn’t show up for months. Weakened homes had to be torn down.  One house was destroyed and one next door untouched.

 Earthquakes destroy lives. They cause fear. They are felt far from the epicenter. They are expensive!  And, after the earthquake you have to rebuild your life.

 Earthquakes bring change. 

 Church family, we have been through an earthquake.

 Shake a building and you will see how well it’s built, shake a church and you will see what it’s built upon.

 We are blessed that our foundation, as a church, is Christ alone.

 So, what do we do now? Where do we go from here? 

 In these next two weeks called, “After the earthquake” I would like us to look ahead, and focus on two things-

 1.     What do WE do? (corporate)

 2.     And what do I do? (individual)

 Rebuilding after an earthquake is a challenging time.  It’s a time of grief about what we lost. 

 And a time of hope about what can be in the future.

 As you rebuild you do things that you may have wanted to do, but simply didn’t do before.  “I think I’ll paint this place blue, always wanted to do that.  I think I’ll put in a new bathroom since the old one is destroyed.”

 After an earthquake things change.  As a church family we will find ourselves making some changes too.  As we move away from our earthquake we all will look back with sorrow and loss, and look ahead with hope and promise, but WE WILL DO IT TOGETHER.

 And, after our earthquake things will change… They always do after an earthquake. 

 The hard part for us is we don’t like change!

 Recently, before all of this happened, our senior pastor started a series in Philippians.  I wondered why, but after coming through the earthquake our church family has experienced I find that the very next verse in the study brings us to the very place we need to be. 

 The passage we will go to today will give us directions on what to do after the earthquake, what to do next….what WE, as a church family, are to do next….

 Philippians 1:27-2:8 (New International Version)

 27 Whatever happens, 

 We are at a “whatever happens” time. We will all have many “whatever happens” times in our lives, but this is a big one for our church family.  I don’t know about you, but this is the biggest “whatever happens” time I have ever seen! We have all had some “whatever happens” times in our lives- a death, an illness, financial problems.

 The instructions that follow are instructions for the whole church, in the middle of a “whatever happens” time.

 conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.  In the Greek-  act like citizens. Not Roman citizens worshipping Caesar, but citizens of the new kingdom worshipping God. Remember who your Lord is and live like one of his citizens.

Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you

 1. stand firm 

 2. in one spirit, 

3. contending for the faith of the gospel

 28 without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved-and that by God. 29 For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him, 30 since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have.

 Did you notice that? It has been granted to you? It sounds like a priviledge, doesn’t it? And it is!

 Philippians 2- Now Paul moves us into choices we must make because of what God has done for us:

 1 If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.  3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4 Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Your attitude (to exercise the mind, that is, entertain or have a sentiment or opinion; by implication to be (mentally) disposed (more or less earnestly in a certain direction) should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:

 Here’s what it looks like:

 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant,    being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death- even death on a cross!

 Our model for body life is Christ. This passage of scripture gives us the picture of what the proper Christian family life looks like- each of us serving Christ by serving one another.

 Christ has set the bar very low….we can only go under it on our knees, serving HIM by serving one another.

 Here are some basic things you need to know about this kind of life that Christ modeled for us:

 1.     It’s different than how the world acts.

 2.     It’s not about me, it’s about others.

 3.     If you act like a servant, people will treat you like one, be a servant anyway.

 4.     Not all the jobs of servants are fun or glorious.

 5.     It’s the very lifeblood of the church- the servant’s heart. That’s what makes us look like Christ. 

 6.     And, last, it’s not an individual calling, it’s a body calling…all of us, serving Christ together by serving one another.

 This is the answer to “What can we do?”  Here it is.  After the earthquake, imitate Christ and serve Christ by serving one another.”

 “God does not have to come and tell me what I must do for Him, He brings me into a relationship with Himself where I hear His call and understand what He wants me to do, and I do it out of sheer love to Him… When people say they have had a call to foreign service, or to any particular sphere of work, they mean that their relationship to God has enabled them to realize what they can do for God.” –Chambers, Oswald

 There’s part 1 of “after the earthquake.”  It’s very simple, but important.  After a pastor falls the one thing that any leadership group must do is gather the body of believers together to love and care for those who have been hurt by the fall of a pastor.  It’s a very difficult time, but with the Lord’s help you will find that all of you are much stronger on the other side.  God will take care of his church even if the shepherd falls.

He did what?

It was a Friday morning in the fall as another pastor and I drove to an off campus meeting with several of our elders.  We had no idea what was coming, but we knew something was wrong. Something had been wrong for a long time, but we simply couldn’t figure out what it was. We both knew that our senior pastor was having problems. He had seemed depressed for some time and had gradually withdrawn until he was no longer available for us to engage.  The morning before our meeting with the elders I saw him looking out the window of his office and stopped at the door to ask, “Are you ok?” He responded, “No…..”  That’s all he would say, so I said, “You don’t look good.  You need to talk to someone.” and with no further dialogue from him I went on with my task, but I had no idea what was coming next.

We drove to our meeting with the elders.  As we sat down with them the looks were grim, the mood somber, and then one of the elders spoke, I don’t even remember now which one, and he said, “We have some bad news. We discovered yesterday afternoon that our senior pastor has been having an affair….”  He continued to speak, but I don’t remember what he said. I couldn’t believe it!  This was something I never expected. How could this happen? When could this happen? Why would he do this? I thought he was a Godly man. What will we do now? A thousand questions raced through my mind in those minutes.  The whole visit is a blur to me now, it was a surreal meeting.  This couldn’t be happening, and yet it had.  Now what do we do?  For the next two days we planned furiously for our Sunday service and how we would tell our church family.  We have a large church with several thousand people and we were growing quickly, but as the senior pastor began to struggle we had seen a slow decline in attendance for several months.  This announcement was not going to help at all! 

The initial plan, since I was scheduled to preach that Sunday, was to make the announcement, and then I would get up to preach as planned.  Can you imagine how hard that sermon would have been? Would anyone have heard a word I said? I knew that wouldn’t work, so I made it clear I would not do that. This was a funeral, and had to be a special service….a funeral service focused just on this announcement. If it only lasted 30 minutes it had to be the whole focus of the day, and so we planned it that way.  My fellow pastor who had gone with me to hear the grim news and I planned the service for the day.   We had no idea of what the outcome would be, but moved ahead with our difficult task. 

Sunday came. We turned the lights down, the worship pastor led the church in several hymns and the elders sat on the front row together.  When time for the message came one of our elders got up and read the announcement of what had happened.  He didn’t hide anything, he didn’t dance around it, he spoke right to the sin and the results.  Then I got up and read the passage from 1 Timothy 3 that speaks to the requirements of elders and pastors.  I commented that the biblical requirements were our guidelines, and we were operating according to the scriptures as we dealt with this sin by a loved pastor.  Then my fellow pastor gave a short message and we closed in prayer.  It was a funeral….crying, gasps as the announcement was read, a solemn hush as people left.  A part of our church had died that day.

WHAT WE DID RIGHT: I’m glad, as I look back, that we hit the problem head on.  I’ve heard of many churches that try to hide these sins and hope they will go away or never be found out, but it never works and the results are much worse.  We announced what our pastor had done, read his resignation, and took our blows.

FACTS TO KNOW:  The statistics say that when a pastor falls a church will lose up to 30% of their members and will be below budget for at least 6 months.  We have found that this has proven true, but we have seen God work in our church family and care for us in amazing ways through this time.

When a pastor falls

Welcome to a site designed to help both pastors and churches when a pastor falls.  My name is Mike.  I’m an associate pastor at a church in the Dallas, Texas area.  Several years ago we discovered that our senior pastor was having a relationship with another woman.  It has been an amazing odyssey- amazingly hard and an amazing blessing. 

After all we have gone through I wanted to share with other churches and pastors what we have experienced and hopefully help others who are unfortunate enough to go through the same thing in their churches.  I will try to address a number of issues and will also walk through some of the choices we made as we realized what had happened in our church family.

I invite your questions and will help in  any way I can if you find your church in this same situation.  You can survive it.  The church can become stronger through this ordeal, but you need to know from the beginning that your church will never be the same again, but God will see you through it all.

Ok, are you ready?  Let me share with you the path we have walked….