"What can a ruined soul, like mine, effect towards the redemption of other souls?—or a polluted soul, towards their purification?"

This blog has been moved to www.fallenpastor.com.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Online Info About Fallen Pastors

There's just not a lot of help out there for fallen pastors.

There's some interesting stories. Like this Christianity Today article where one church's struggle with an adulterous pastor is mentioned. However, it deals with how a church is supposed to handle the consequences. It really paints the fallen pastor as someone who gets left by the wayside. I suppose that's fine since it's about how the church needs to move on.

Interestingly, it does note how unwilling some churches are to forgive pastors who have fallen. One church was still lashing out at a former pastor 25 years after the fact by taking it out on every pastor who had been called since. Ouch.

Then, one of my former heroes, John MacArthur (more about that later), has this article about whether fallen pastors should be restored to the pastorate. That's a blog for later. I appreciate MacArthur's strong biblical stand on his issues. He gives this interesting insight:

Where did we get the idea that a year’s leave of absence and some counseling can restore
integrity to someone who has squandered his reputation and destroyed people’s trust? Certainly not from the Bible. Trust forfeited is not so easily regained. Once purity is sacrificed, the ability to lead by example is lost forever. As my friend Chuck Swindoll once commented when referring to this issue—it takes only one pin to burst a balloon.

There are a few ministries online apparently for fallen pastors. One that caught my eye had the heading, "Fallen Pastors." It's run out of Springfield, Missouri and had the following statistics on the front page:

· Fifteen hundred pastors leave the ministry each month due to moral failure, spiritual burnout, or contention in their churches.

· Fifty percent of pastors’ marriages will end in divorce.

· Eighty percent of pastors and eighty-four percent of their spouses feel unqualified and discouraged in their role as pastors.

· Fifty percent of pastors are so discouraged that they would leave the ministry if they could, but have no other way of making a living.

· Eighty percent of seminary and Bible school graduates who enter the ministry will leave the ministry within the first five years.

· Seventy percent of pastors constantly fight depression.

· Almost forty percent polled said they have had an extra-marital affair since beginning their ministry.

I emailed them when I first fell, but never got a response. I tried again, but never heard a word. Good idea, but they might want to check their email.

I do want to mention an extraordinary blog post I read on the topic. It's from "The World From Our Window" a blog post titled, "What Shall We Do With the Fallen Pastor?"

There is some interesting information out there, but I would encourage anyone dealing with this issue personally to take time to remember that there are real people involved. That the pastor and his family are suffering. The person the pastor was involved with is suffering. The church members are suffering. All of them need love, forgiveness and attention.


  1. I'm reading my way through your blog and find it fascinating. We have walked down the same path and have similar views. I feel your feelings as I read. No, really. I can feel them. I've had them myself. I'm sure this is very therapeutic for you.

    I elected not to chronicle the details of my "fall" as you are doing, but instead write a blog about my struggle to survive the event (and other painful experiences). I hope you will read it and subscribe to it... surviving2thriving.net.

    Your insights here on "resources" for fallen pastors is right on. I avoided such resources for a long time, but have lately investigated some of them because I'm in the process of trying to discover if and how God might use me again.

    I'll be interested in reading your take on your "former" hero John MacArthur. Personally, I found him (even when I was preaching and quoting him) to be very legalistic and his take on restoring pastors is typical for him. It's amazing to to me that his ministry has the word "Grace" in it.

    Anyway, wanted to stop and comment here. Looking forward to more.

  2. David,

    Thank you so much for commenting. If those statistics are right, there are a lot of pastors out there who need help. And there are so few resources available. And that's sad.

    I love your site and have it bookmarked now and I love your heart for ministry.

    I listened to MacArthur for years and found myself being judgmental like him. It wasn't until the past two years that I realized that you can't treat people with the harsh black and white attitudes that he does.

    I had a seminary professor who worked with him who said that his compassion was almost non-existent when dealing with people in crisis.

    Thanks again for stopping by. God be with you.

  3. A great ministry for pastors is restoringthesoul.com. MacArthur's words do not reflect God's heart.

  4. Mikki,

    Thank you for posting this link. I'll check it out. Looks like a great ministry. I'm always encouraged by those who desire to aid ministers.

    God bless you.

  5. ... Heartbreaking that such a unique ministry for Pastors who stray could drop the ball so terribly ... Did you EVER hear from them?

  6. I never heard a word from them. However, I have located a couple of other ministries that are out there.

    I do feel there is a need for a ministry, a large one, for fallen pastors. Hopefully it can get done.

  7. Hmmmmm ... a need ... to be sure. So sad that this group did not ever respond ...

  8. http://www.faithfulandtrueministries.com/ this ministry is well known and he has counseled thousands of men, many pastors. He was a pastor and fell. I love this man.

  9. Thank you for the link, Fallen. I will look into it. I'm always looking for new resources.

    God bless,

  10. I was ordained a Pastor at a church.After some time I felt it was time to move and I called the Senior Pastor to speak to him.I was not an employee of the church,all I did was preach and teach but I worked for my own living.Surprisingly the Pastor was not happy and he was very rude.Still I moved on and I attended another church while waiting for God's instruction.Everything in my life was ok.After 6 months the Senior Pastor from my former church send someone to contact me.I saw him because I didnt hold any grudge against him even though he had been very rude before.He said the youth had since gone down and things were not too good in the church and asked me to come back so I could preach once more.In a desire to do God's work I agreed without seeking the Lord's face.The day after I set foot in that church I lost my job,car everything.I soon realised I had made a bad move.I tried to talk to the Pastor about it so I could move on but he was even more rude and started cursing me telling me I would never achieve anything outside his church.He said he would make sure I suffered if I left.He was also never going to announce my departure.I left all the same,I would apply for jobs get invited for interviews but never get the jobs.I ended up having to live with friends.
    How would you deal with this?

  11. Thank you so much for your comments about FallenPastors.com We are actually based in Austin, Texas. We are commited to seeing Pastors and leaders restored by God's grace and unconditional love.

    Thank you again for your comments
    Danny Williams

  12. I had a transition of Staff back when you contacted us the first time. Sorry about that. It has been fixed!

    Pastor Danny

  13. Bro. Danny,

    Glad to hear it. Hope you all are able to help many pastors who are in need. Is there any way you can send me an email with regards as to what you do? Lots of fallen pastors read this blog and I'd like to give you a shout out.