Posted by fallenpastor | Posted in adultery, affair, anonymity, book, civitas press, culture, fallenness, ministry, pastors | Posted on 05-12-2011
Before “Fallen Pastor: Finding Restoration in a Broken World” releases, I’m trying to give my blog readers some extra insight to what went into the writing process and the experience behind it.
One of the singular joys I had was interviewing the men for the book. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started looking for fallen pastors to share their story. It’s a tough thing to do. We’re talking about one of the most devastating chapters of their lives. A time when they made a conscious decision to sin which in turn led to a set of consequences that caused pain to their family, their church and many in their family.
I knew how hard it was because I had to write my own story and lay it out there for all to read. I decided to keep everyone’s story, name and location anonymous. I interviewed about 15 men and we only used 11 of the stories.
One of the statements fallen pastors hear after they sin is, “How could you do this? What kind of man does this?”
I can tell you the answer to that. Each of the men I talked to was at least three years out of their experience. Some were as many as 15 or 20. All of them took full responsibility for what they had done. Each had been severely humbled by the experience and all had experienced God’s restorative grace.
It’s easy to look down on fallen pastors in society. It makes for great headlines. They are the stalwarts of morality. They proclaim the message of God each week. But when they stop walking the walk and get caught between the sheets with someone other than their wife, it’s very easy to judge them.
Not many people reach out to them. Most people who once loved them or looked up to them turn on them. They feel shame, hopelessness and sometimes anger. There are no excuses for them, they sinned.
When I listened to each of these men, I learned from them. We shared a common bond and a common experience. They were humble, kind and despite the fact that they hardly knew me, they opened up immediately. They shared out of the hope that their story would keep someone from doing the same thing. They shared out of the joy knowing that God had given them grace after their fall, despite their sin.
After the interviews, patterns emerged. These men sinned out of their own decisions. But their sins did not occur in a vacuum either. There were external pressures, internal pressures, marital issues, ministry problems, and a lack of support in each case. I was astounded at how different each man was, how separated they were by distance, but how similar each story was.
That’s what the book seeks to do. Link together each of these stories to build a common framework, to understand the broken culture in which we live and attempt to mend it.
I’m in admiration to each of these men for being so open and I owe them much.
Fallen Pastor: Finding Restoration in a Broken World is available for preorder at Civitas Press. It will be available soon at Amazon.com and will also be available for the Kindle.