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.

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