What do we do now?

It’s a strange feeling to find that you are suddenly in a crisis you didn’t see or expect.  That’s where we found ourselves on that Monday after the big announcement.  What do we do now?  We talked about the weeks ahead and immediately had an offer from a prominent pastor and friend from another large church in our area who said he would be glad to come the next week to speak and help us as we picked up the pieces of our church and ministry.  It was a wonderful offer and  we accepted his offer gladly. 

In our first week after our discovery and announcement we discussed all the things we thought were ahead- who would preach, how would we work through this, what would happen to our church family, what about giving, and a hundred other topics.  Quickly we realized we needed help.  We knew about a large church like ours which had gone through the same thing a few years earlier so we called them and asked, “Can we come down with some of our elders and meet with your pastor and elders to discuss what is ahead of us?”  They accepted gladly, so the trip was planned.  We were blessed that they are only a few hours away and so I and several of our elders made the trip to meet with this church that had traveled the same road we were about to go down.

This wonderful church was very gracious and gave us a conference room and a day of their time.  They told us about their experience and all that they learned from their pastor’s fall.  We asked questions, discussed thoughts we had, and talked about a number of problems and issues.  Personally, I think this was one of the wisest things we could have done.  We saved ourselves from a number of mistakes by following their wisdom from their own odyssey. 

The road ahead would not be easy, but we made a great choice in seeking advice before we made mistakes we wouldn’t have known about.  The great news for us, as we traveled back home, was their encouragement that we would get through this and would be even better when we got to the other side of our trial.

WHAT WE DID RIGHT: We sought help from another church who had already traveled the road we had ahead of us.  I encourage you, if you are facing this situation in your church, to ask for help.  Find another church family that has traveled this road and seek their help.  That is the reason for this site, I want to help those who are facing this kind of crisis.  God will see you through this time, but you will be amazed at how many mistakes you can avoid with the help of others who are ahead of you on the road you are forced to travel.

FACTS TO KNOW: One out of every five pastors falls.  It is a major problem for the church today.  Every pastor needs other men around him to help him, encourage him and hold him accountable.  Do not assume that because a man is a pastor he is exempt from temptation.  A pastor is the very one the enemy will tempt with  sin, so encourage him, pray for him and build a support ministry around him to help him.

2 responses to “What do we do now?

  1. What are you doing now to build a support system for your pastor/pastors?

  2. whenapastorfalls

    Great question. We thought we had built a great system and procedure before. But, to be honest, when a man or woman wants to sin there is no support system that will prevent that choice.

    We are interacting more as a team of pastors and staff. Working together and talking to one another. That does make a difference, but if a man in leadership chooses to sin there is no system that will stop him.

    We saw our pastor gradually pull away and become isolated, but never suspected it was due to adultery. That choice was done in the dark, and caught us all by surprise.

    I guess, what I’m saying is simply this- find good, godly men and talk to one another often. Other than that we must trust men we put in the pastorate to be good men. If you have to worry about your pastor he shouldn’t be there.

    Another problem is that few pastors will be accountable to the laity, but they should. If they have nothing to hide that should be easy. But then again, your are assuming that a man in sin will be honest, and that’s what surprised us- our man, who we thought was a godly man, lied about all of it and was only caught when confronted. Other than that he lied about everything.

    You have asked a great and very difficult question. thanks, Mike

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