12. Church Going Through a Pastor’s Fall
When a pastor falls, it is a devastating thing, but sadly, often lost in the entire situation is how that man feels. So often the church is so caught up in their own fears and hurts that they neglect to comprehend what he is facing. For this reason I want to share some of the things most people do not consider.
1. He is scared to death of all he is going to lose. Picture a drowning person and you will understand the terror. He is losing more than a position; he is losing his profession. That is terrifying.
2. He is desperate for someone who will help without condemning or removing all hope. Many times a fallen pastor is thrown an anvil rather than a life vest.
3. He is embarrassed, humiliated and ashamed. Imagine the awful shame he is facing. He has gone from public admiration to public contempt.
4. He is confused. He may still be trapped between the sin and what he needs to do to get right. This is huge. He knows what is right, but he is in sin and it may take some time before he is ready to completely forsake it. David was living with a pregnant Bathsheba before he finally came to himself and repented.
5. He has always helped others, and is probably struggling with thinking he can help himself. Many times he goes into fixit mode. He wants to orchestrate his own restoration. I know I did.
6. He desperately needs a true friend, someone who will not talk down to him. So many people will forsake him and he will feel desperately alone.
7. He does not know how he is going to survive. Most get cut off financially by the church and have nothing to fall back on. Personally, I think a church should help him during the transition just out of Christian love, but I will not hold my breath on that one. Churches seldom have that kind of mercy on his family.
8. He is probably afraid of his shadow. He thinks everybody hates him now and they are talking about him. They probably are. He knows the internet is going to go crazy using him as fodder for their hatred and causes.
9. He is scared of what the brethren are going to say. Fellow preachers can be cruel and he knows it.
10. He wonders if God will ever use him again or if anyone will allow God to. That is the way we have historically handled fallen preachers.
11. He honestly does not have any idea where to turn for help. There are few people who are willing to “risk” their reputation to stand with a fallen pastor.
12. He is probably not a phony. Please understand this. Sincere men fall into sin and get trapped. Demonize the devil not the fallen preacher. He was not faking his ministry. He became caught between his commitment to Christ and the power of sin. (See David)
I have been there. I know the hurts, the fears, the confusions, the paranoia, the loneliness of being a fallen pastor. I wish more people would have understood the truth about what I was feeling. I hope this helps some pastor who falls in the future, by preparing some Christians to understand him better and be there to help restore him.