It never struck me until now. I had missed it and only recently realized what was happening. Now, six years later, I realize that one thing that was lost when our pastor fell was trust. Trust was broken and only now do we see the effects of broken trust in the lives of the people in our church. It shows up now because a new idea is being introduced to our church family. What we discover happening is that our people who aren’t sure this is a good thing are going to the Internet for information about it instead of talking to us.
Why? As I watched this and prayed about it I suddenly realized that this is the result of something that happened six years ago and has yet to be resolved. The people who stayed lost trust in our pastor when he fell and have never dealt with this breach of trust in their lives. Now, when something new is talked about in our church family, they don’t trust us to care for them. They don’t trust us to have their best interest in mind.
Broken trust was nothing I expected to still be a problem all these years later, but what it reveals is how pervasive one sin is as it ripples through a church family. Now, six years after the fall of our pastor, trust is still an issue. My visits with members of our church family begin with this question, “So why are you afraid? What do you think we are going to do?” And from that beginning it becomes clear that at the core of all of this is a trust issue. They don’t trust us! If they couldn’t trust the pastor who fell why should they trust us?
The fear we are seeing over a small and insignificant issue has its roots in trust. Now we must deal with this broken trust and the fear that has resulted in the lives of each one we visit with. We are still in the middle of this so I’m sure there are other nuances we must confront, but honestly I have been surprised to see that something we took for granted had been lost six years ago. Now, we must go back to foundational issues and reestablish a trust in the shepherds of our flock.
Broken trust is another ripple in the tidal wave of a pastor’s fall. If you are a member of a church where a pastor has fallen realize you have a trust issue that you will have to resolve if you are to grow in faith in your life. If you are a pastor of a church where this is part of the history realize you have some work to do.
Right now I’m in prayer for our church family that they will each be able to deal with the fear that has come because of broken trust. I pray that we will once more become a place where the sheep feel safe with the shepherd taking care of them. There is much yet to do….even six years later.