This last week was heavy, not only with political division, but also with news of another leader falling morally. (Not to mention the reminder of countless church leaders falling that we don't hear about in the news.) And I felt frustrated. I felt frustrated by how I saw other pastors responding. I felt frustrated by how consistent these mistakes happen. And I felt frustrated by the witness that is hindered each time events like this take place (for the whole Church, not just their church).
Austin and I had another podcast scheduled to release today, but after talking on Monday, we knew we needed to record a fresh conversation this week addressing what we're seeing.
So today, here's about as honest of a conversation as you could get on the podcast, and some crucial reminders about how none of us are the exception. You'll hear many of the lessons I've learned in my 40 years of ministry, some openness about Austin's lifelong struggle with pornography and what led to his dad's affair, and a path forward for every single one of us. I hope you'll take the time toreallylisten to this conversation.
1) You are not the exception. With the recent news from this past week, I saw countless pastors piling on negativity towards a leader they've never met. Too many of us think we're exempt from the possibility of getting to the place where we do something stupid, and that's exactly how we get there.
2) Every single one of us has our stuff. Austin and I's temptations are very different. Your temptation is unique. And our flesh and our Enemy will never tempt us towards anything we don't already want. Every single one of us have areas we struggle in. Don't act like you don't.
3) You have to know your absolutes. I give some suggestions and examples in this episode, but you have to know the specific strategies you have in place that you will never compromise on.
4) You don't just stumble into things. If you play on the bank, you'll eventually fall in. The stories we hear of pastors who fall aren't just people who are victims of a bad situation. Just like David didn't just "happen" to see Bathsheba.
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Dale is the Executive Director here at 95Network and the author of Stalled: Hope and Help for Pastors Who Thought They'd Be There By Now. He has been in ministry for 40 years and is dedicated to helping small and mid-size churches get healthy. Dale has served in nearly every role of church leadership (except Worship Pastor), and has had a wide variety of coaching and consulting experience. He and his wife Gina have been married almost 40 years and live in Greenville, SC.