"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.

Friday, January 28, 2011

The New Guy

I got a call the other day from a pastor friend of mine who told me that Angel Falls has finally called a new pastor. Almost a year and a half after my fall, they've finally filled the pulpit.

He gave me the details and told me the guy had some pastoral experience and came from a local church pastored by a mutual friend of ours, Andy. I called Andy and asked about the new guy. He said the new guy's name was Adam, he had a little experience and was very Reformed.

I told Andy that I was just calling because Angel Falls will always be close to my heart and I wanted the best for them. I told him that if Adam ever wanted to call me and talk, he was more than welcome. I didn't expect a call.

The next day, Adam called and we set up lunch.

I wasn't sure what to expect. I did know that I wasn't going to say a bad thing about Angel Falls. What could I say? I had fallen, sinned, and it was my own fault. During my time there, most of the people had been kind and generous. I wasn't nervous about the meeting but I didn't want to slant his opinion about the church either. I talked about it with Cynthia and we agreed I'd let him do the talking.

We met at an O'Charley's in Montross and he was friendly right off the bat. We exchanged seminary stories and he started asking questions. Was the church open to change? What was the community like? How did the deacons operate? What was Sunday School like?

We finally got around to my sin and I gave him the 20 second version. I fell, I hurt them, had spoken with four people since then and hoped he could help them heal.

The best part of lunch was that he never passed judgment on me. In fact, he told me that during the pulpit committee meeting, they asked him about how he would relate to female members of the congregation. He said he answered them like this: "Listen, I'll answer your question, but this isn't going to be about what happened in the past. This is about me and you. People sin. You sin. I sin. We lie, cheat, and we steal. Let's not make this about what happened and how you got hurt. Let's make this about the future."

I liked that answer. Pulpit committees too often ask the candidates questions that relate to the previous pastor's problems. They shouldn't. But I also understand why they do.

At the end I said, "Adam, let me tell you what I wish someone had told me. They're good people at Angel Falls. There are a few, like at any church who will drive you nuts. For the most part, they want to love you. Let them. Give to them and they'll give back. Let the deacons mentor you. Let them handle the small issues so you can concentrate on the Word. And most importantly, be yourself. Don't let people get you down."

I think Adam is going to be okay. He's a little younger than I am. He has a great deacon body to mentor him. His theology is good, he's energetic, and has a plan. He loves the Lord.

In all, I want what's best for Angel Falls.

He said, "You're more than welcome to come visit the church anytime." I couldn't help but chuckle.

"Adam, I appreciate it, but there are still a few there that want to punch my lights out."

He said with a sly smile, "Then maybe I should preach a series on forgiveness. Better yet, I'll have you come preach supply and you can do it."

I'll give him one thing. He's got a sense of humor. He's gonna need it.


  1. Yeah, I thought about endorsing him, but that's a sure fire way of getting the guy fired before his first sermon.