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Pastor Ron Carpenter: Can Ministry Failure Be Prevented?

Posted by Ray Carroll | Posted in adultery, church, churches, leadership, marriage, ministry, pastoring, pastors | Posted on 15-10-2013

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Pastor Ron Carpenter: Can Ministry Failure Be Prevented?

ron2by Ray Car­roll (please see below for con­tact info)

Pas­tor Ron Car­pen­ter of Redemp­tion World Out­reach Cen­ter reported to his church on Sun­day that his wife had been hav­ing mul­ti­ple affairs for the past ten years. There is much to the story and you can read it in many dif­fer­ent places. It is a very large min­istry and the pas­tor, after telling the story of his wife, said she had been com­mit­ted to rehab for a month and that they would not be rec­on­cil­ing. Also, he has planned to stay in the ministry.

There are two things I can guar­an­tee. First, the only peo­ple who know any­thing close to the truth are he and his wife. This whole hor­ri­ble, messy sit­u­a­tion will take years to fig­ure out and the con­se­quences will come to bear for a long time. It is a heart wrench­ing sit­u­a­tion that God can sort out.

Sec­ondly, peo­ple on the out­side really have no idea what is going on and fruit­less dis­cus­sion is not help­ful. In every arti­cle I read, there were hun­dreds of com­ments of peo­ple dis­cussing, tear­ing apart and going on about the issue. There was a lot of defend­ing, attack­ing, and sling­ing of var­i­ous Scrip­ture pas­sages, names and profanity.

The one thing that was lack­ing was any real dis­cus­sion on the core of this issue. I fell from the min­istry four years ago. And since that time I’ve been on this blog min­is­ter­ing to fallen pas­tors, their churches, wives, and the women they were with.

Even though this pastor’s wife fell, I can almost guar­an­tee that the issues that occur before a pas­tor com­mits adul­tery. The same weak­nesses that befall most min­istry cou­ples is what brings ruin over and over again. It’s the same pat­tern that I out­line in my book, “Fallen Pas­tor: Find­ing Restora­tion in a Bro­ken World.”

Min­istry in today’s world is high pres­sure and resem­bles life in a fish bowl for the pastor’s fam­ily. With a world of overly high expec­ta­tions, poor rela­tion­ship with spouse, church con­flict and other pre­dictable prob­lems, many of the fail­ures in min­istry can be pre­vented. Sta­tis­tics bear out that many of our min­is­ters are in seri­ous peril (these sta­tis­tics and more are in my book):

80% of pas­tors and 84% of their spouses are dis­cour­aged and deal­ing with depressionfallen

More than 40% of pas­tors and 47% of their spouses report they are suf­fer­ing from burnout, fran­tic sched­ules and unre­al­is­tic expectations

Approx­i­mately 1,500 pas­tors leave their assign­ments each month due to moral fail­ure, spir­i­tual burnout, or con­tention within their local congregations

89% of pas­tors stated they con­sid­ered leav­ing the min­istry at one time

Pas­tor Car­pen­ter and his fam­ily are in an awful place and need prayer and sup­port. The peo­ple who should be at the fore­front, ready to help in such a cri­sis are the mem­bers of church leadership.

Unfor­tu­nately, many times, church lead­er­ship is ill equipped when a pas­tor falls. What would be even more ideal is to have a godly church lead­er­ship who works with the min­is­ter to keep him ready and account­able, always aid­ing the pas­tor and his fam­ily, to pre­vent such an awful failure.

Most churches, pas­tors, church lead­ers, asso­ci­a­tions, denom­i­na­tions are not set up to pre­vent such cat­a­stro­phes. Hardly any are able to deal with the issue when a pas­tor com­mits adul­tery or com­mits another major sin.

Reconciling With A Fallen Pastor, Part 5: Reconciling An Old WoundThat’s one of the rea­sons this web­site is here – to help any who reach out. And hope­fully in the com­ing weeks, with any who are will­ing and ready, to begin to put together tools/​conferences/​aids for those who want to stop this hor­ri­ble epi­demic in our nation’s churches.

So what about Pas­tor Car­pen­ter and his fam­ily? What can any of us do? Know that God is in con­trol of all things and that He does respond to repen­tant peo­ple. This sit­u­a­tion, what­ever is going on, will not be fixed in weeks or months, but years.

Also, if your church is not work­ing to pre­vent pas­toral or lead­er­ship fail­ure, start fig­ur­ing out how to do it. Does your church have a plan in place if your pas­tor falls? Will you respond with grace and mercy or with shame? This sit­u­a­tion should give every­one pause and a moment to think about how close any of us are to sin.

_​_​_​_​_​_​_​_​_​_​_​_​_​_​_​_​_​_​_​_​_​_​_​_​_​_​_​_​_​_​

Are you a fallen pas­tor, burned out pas­tor, pas­tor on the brink or a church that has gone through a tough time? You might start out by read­ing, “Fallen Pas­tor: Find­ing Restora­tion in a Bro­ken World.” There are a lot of things in there that will help pas­tors pre­vent min­istry fail­ure and a lot of things to help pas­tors after they fall. There are also helps for churches whose pas­tors have fallen.

Need more help than that? Feel free to con­tact the author of this blog and the book, Ray Car­roll. He’d love to talk to you. Any­thing you say will be kept confidential.

ron2by Ray Carroll (please see below for contact info)

Pastor Ron Carpenter of Redemption World Outreach Center reported to his church on Sunday that his wife had been having multiple affairs for the past ten years. There is much to the story and you can read it in many different places. It is a very large ministry and the pastor, after telling the story of his wife, said she had been committed to rehab for a month and that they would not be reconciling. Also, he has planned to stay in the ministry.

There are two things I can guarantee. First, the only people who know anything close to the truth are he and his wife. This whole horrible, messy situation will take years to figure out and the consequences will come to bear for a long time. It is a heart wrenching situation that God can sort out.

Secondly, people on the outside really have no idea what is going on and fruitless discussion is not helpful.  In every article I read, there were hundreds of comments of people discussing, tearing apart and going on about the issue. There was a lot of defending, attacking, and slinging of various Scripture passages, names and profanity.

The one thing that was lacking was any real discussion on the core of this issue. I fell from the ministry four years ago. And since that time I’ve been on this blog ministering to fallen pastors, their churches, wives, and the women they were with.

Even though this pastor’s wife fell, I can almost guarantee that the issues that occur before a pastor commits adultery. The same weaknesses that befall most ministry couples is what brings ruin over and over again. It’s the same pattern that I outline in my book, “Fallen Pastor: Finding Restoration in a Broken World.”

Ministry in today’s world is high pressure and resembles life in a fish bowl for the pastor’s family. With a world of overly high expectations, poor relationship with spouse, church conflict and other predictable problems, many of the failures in ministry can be prevented. Statistics bear out that many of our ministers are in serious peril (these statistics and more are in my book):

80% of pastors and 84% of their spouses are discouraged and dealing with depressionfallen

More than 40% of pastors and 47% of their spouses report they are suffering from burnout, frantic schedules and unrealistic expectations

Approximately 1,500 pastors leave their assignments each month due to moral failure, spiritual burnout, or contention within their local congregations

89% of pastors stated they considered leaving the ministry at one time

Pastor Carpenter and his family are in an awful place and need prayer and support. The people who should be at the forefront, ready to help in such a crisis are the members of church leadership.

Unfortunately, many times, church leadership is ill equipped when a pastor falls. What would be even more ideal is to have a godly church leadership who works with the minister to keep him ready and accountable, always aiding the pastor and his family, to prevent such an awful failure.

Most churches, pastors, church leaders, associations, denominations are not set up to prevent such catastrophes. Hardly any are able to deal with the issue when a pastor commits adultery or commits another major sin.

Reconciling With A Fallen Pastor, Part 5: Reconciling An Old WoundThat’s one of the reasons this website is here – to help any who reach out. And hopefully in the coming weeks, with any who are willing and ready, to begin to put together tools/conferences/aids for those who want to stop this horrible epidemic in our nation’s churches.

So what about Pastor Carpenter and his family? What can any of us do? Know that God is in control of all things and that He does respond to repentant people. This situation, whatever is going on, will not be fixed in weeks or months, but years.

Also, if your church is not working to prevent pastoral or leadership failure, start figuring out how to do it. Does your church have a plan in place if your pastor falls? Will you respond with grace and mercy or with shame? This situation should give everyone pause and a moment to think about how close any of us are to sin.

______________________________

Are you a fallen pastor, burned out pastor, pastor on the brink or a church that has gone through a tough time? You might start out by reading, “Fallen Pastor: Finding Restoration in a Broken World.” There are a lot of things in there that will help pastors prevent ministry failure and a lot of things to help pastors after they fall. There are also helps for churches whose pastors have fallen.

Need more help than that? Feel free to contact the author of this blog and the book, Ray Carroll. He’d love to talk to you. Anything you say will be kept confidential.

Comments (4)

At some point someone has to step forward and say this is my fault I did not do what God wanted me to do. If no one does then the church as a whole should determine the truth. And the truth and the accountability should reach all who were affected by the sin.
I say that from expierience. As a youth minister my great sin was ignoring two boys and their families who had been active members in my church as drug addictions, death, suicide attempts and falling away church fellowship destroyed their lives. The short version is this. For two years I ignored God’s call to reach out to them, call them to repentence and let them know they are still loved. They are now serving multiple life sentences for burning 10 churches in 2010 in six weeks. When they were arrested my church only said that though the two boys met and grew up in our church they quit coming so there was nothing we could do for them. The church did not even discuss what could have been done differently.
When asked why they did it the only honest answer I can give is “when God told me to love them I did not”.
I did not feel fit for ministry after that and wanted to quit ministry but I have learned God will take our failures and use them for His good if we listen to Him.
Any ministry I believed can be saved when the minister fails but only when the minister is repentent and does not deny the real truth of the problem and is obedient to the Spirit.

You’re absolutley right when you say that there is undoubtedly more to the story and that it will take years for the truth to be revealed. Carpenter, by his own admission, worked with a consultant on a “strategy” on how to deal with this thing. There has to be a reason he suddenly decided (after 10 years of hiding it) to get out ahead of the story — and only AFTER his wife was safely out of public view. I live in Greenville, SC. Unfortunately, this guy (Carpenter) is a master manipulator. The people who attend that church aren’t just drinking the kool-aid, they’re swimming in it. One of them actually commented on Facebook, “I would love to see Pastor Ron hook up with Pastor Paula White.” Another wrote, “A true King is what you are, Apostle. #kingstatus.” That’s how bad it is. This guy has become an idol to his congregation. Sad and scary.

Thank you for sharing your experience. Any ministry failure causes distress, confusion and gossip. That’s why I believe it is so important for churches to be able to have outside “response teams” to rely on and help sort out the mess.

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