I just read the sad news of another prominent pastor who had to resign because of a moral failure. The church website has the letter that was read to the congregation this past weekend. Those letters are becoming too common.
In November 2006, a similar letter was read at New Life and we are still feeling the pain today. I understand that leaders will always disappoint us to some degree and I certainly know I am not immune to the same temptations. I just pray I never have to write that letter.
There are three ideas that govern my heart and to date, have kept me from disqualifying myself as a husband, father and pastor. First, I love the God who redeemed me and I do not want to disappoint Him. The more I discover His grace for me, the less I want to sin.
Second, I love Pam and am grateful for the covenant relationship we have had for almost 20 years. She is a treasure to me and I cannot imagine having to tell her about my failure. It would be too painful to look in her eyes.
Third, I do not want another man to raise my children. One of the saddest songs I have ever heard is a Toby Keith tune called, “Who’s that Man Living my Life?” It tells of a man who parks his pickup across the street from his old house and watches another man play outside with his kids. The pain of watching Abram and Callie living with another man is enough to keep me from doing something stupid.
I hope we read fewer letters written by fallen pastors to disappointed churches. My prayer is that all of us live open and honest lives, submitted to real authority, so we can move the Kingdom forward and write fewer apologies.
June 11, 2009 at 12:30 pm
Dear Pastor Brady, reading your last two posts has reminded me of the sermon of Craig Groeschel given during the “From here to there” series at Church of the Highlands. Citing Proverbs 29:18 he insists on the fact that where “there is no vision, the people perish”. A missing vision in a mariage can lead to destructive behavior, as much as the same absence in the conduct of one’s financial affair may lead to desastrous decision… Even if the vision in question is nothing grand it is necessary to be able to focus on something else as one current state of difficulties. If you keep looking at the past or even present predicament you won’t be able to have the much needed forward looking hope given to us by the certitude of God’s Love.
I hope I make some sense here.
June 14, 2009 at 2:23 pm
Thanks for being so transparent again this Sunday. My husband and I love worshipping at New Life. I pray Our Lord continues to lead, guide and protect you and your precious family. May the Holy Spirit shine that flashlight into the shadows of my heart as well as all others who prayed with you this morning. We know that the Spirit is moving; challenging us both individually and as a body to respond together in unity. May we always be open to His correction, confirmed in obedience, tender in our responses to Him and filled with His joy and strength.