Feb 2, 2012

What Does it Mean When a Pastor Falls?

A pastor doesn't find himself in hot water from making one mistake, he finds himself in hot water because he climbed into the wrong pot. There are small things, a few compromises, a lack of accountability, and a lack of transparency in his life. Its a slow boil.

What happens when a ministry leader falls? I have seen so many pastors, youth pastors, and worship leaders fall in my lifetime. It’s a wonder that I am still involved in ministry circles; much less do what I do for a living. After all, the fall of leaders has been a huge talking point for skeptics over the past few years.

From Baker and Swaggart to Ted Haggard and the catholic priest scandal, it is certainly in the public eye. But its not just televangelists and prominent people who are falling, I have friends and peers who have succumbed to temptation and fallen by the way side.

Why does it shake us to the core when someone we admire falls? After all they are sinful humans like the rest of us. Is it because we made an idol out of them and should only look to Jesus? Maybe, but I don't think that is necessarily always the case. You see, John the Baptist had disciples (followers) and Jesus did not rebuke him. In fact Paul said, "Follow me as I follow Christ" (1 Cor 11:1).

What did Paul mean? We are to follow and emulate those that follow Jesus as long as they are following Him. All of the work of God that a person does is through Christ's power, and all of the sin he does is in his own power.

Think of the first ministry leader to fall. It was Satan! Through his fall 1/3 of those closest to God called it quits. I believe our enemy took notice of how easy it was to tear apart God's congregation, and he employs the same tactic today. Strike the shepherd and the sheep will scatter!

As the sheep we need to follow our shepherds as they follow The Good Shepherd. If we see our shepherds fail and fall (and we will), lets recognize the enemies attacks, restore them gently (Gal 6:1) and keep our eyes fixed on Christ, the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2).


Anonymous said...

Just because that person carries the title "Pastor"..doesnt make him/her any different than the rest of us..they are just as human as you and I are...prone to faliures, hurts, pains, and yes....sin! With that being said...we are to follow Christs' example and that is to Love that person

Nate Garrett said...

Very true. Unfortunately it gives those who rail against Christianity more ammo and is more public than the fall of the average Joe.
Hopefully every Christian is an influencer in the arena God has placed them. I believe any fall tarnishes our witness, but Satan goes for the most public blunders. It also does not help that our world loves to hear gossip.

Anonymous said...

...gossip is nothing other than Satan's radio...