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I just updated my “Getting Help” page and renamed it “Help!” I made it a little more general. I hope that if anyone is reading this blog and needs any kind of help, they won’t delay or hesitate in reaching out. If you’re a pastor on the brink of failure, a fallen minister...

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“List of Fallen Pastors”

Posted by Ray Carroll | Posted in adultery, blog, community, fallenness, forgiveness, grace, ministry | Posted on 06-01-2014

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list-500x250Once in a while, I like to look at my site stats and see what people are searching for. More and more, people have searched for “list of pastors who have committed adultery,” or “names of pastors who have committed adultery.”

I blogged about this topic for Provoketive Magazine on March 7, 2012. The article gets its fair share of hits.

For four years, the majority of searches that have led people to this site were searches like “pastors and adultery,” “how to forgive a pastor,” “how to help a fallen minister,” or “should pastors who commit sin be allowed back in the pulpit.” But more and more, people are simply asking for lists.

What is our fascination with lists? Go to Google and type in “list of pastor scandals” and you’ll get more than one blog that has a list of “Hall of Shame” of pastors or how pastors who fall are the most horrible people imaginable.

The trend of people searching and looking to compile such lists should give us pause. I have a few ideas why this trend exists and would like to share them.

1. People are searching for a specific pastor who fell. fallen

It might be that someone is using a search engine to find out whether a specific pastor they know, or their pastor who committed adultery, found his way on a master list somewhere. This supposes that a master list exists in the first place.  But why would a church member want to find their pastor’s name? Maybe they want details, maybe they’re trying to make sense of why he committed the sin in the first place, or maybe they are looking for a way to share the story with others.

2. People are noticing the alarming trend in pastor failure.

Pastors are falling at an alarming rate. In my book, “Fallen Pastor: Finding Restoration in a Broken World,” I list several pages of statistics that should make the average Christian shudder. Pastors are under a tremendous amount of stress, their ministries are crumbling, they are looking outside their marriage for love, some are sinning and not getting caught, and it’s not getting much better. Typically, when we hear about a mega-church pastor falling in the news, it is just the tip of the iceberg. We never hear about the small-church pastors, bi-vocational pastors, or medium-sized church pastors who are falling at the same rate.

3. People want to do something and don’t know where to start.

Fallen_Pastor_Cover_1200wOver the past few months, my inbox traffic has picked up. Fallen pastors, their wives, churches, church members, and any number of people looking for help. Several new blogs have popped up over the past year of fallen pastors telling their story of their fall from ministry. Some have even emailed me telling me that they were inspired by my story.

All of this tells me something important. Something exists today that did not exist five years ago – a better awareness of a serious problem. When I fell almost five years ago, there was almost nothing online to help fallen ministers. Today, there is a groundswell of help. It’s not always easy to find, but it’s there for those who are really interested in searching for it.

This year, I’m hoping for big things. I’ve talked to people about serious plans for speaking to more church groups, conferences, and men’s groups. I hope that one day, some of us will be able to hold a conference on pastoral health and share what we’ve learned. I pray that the epidemic of fallen pastors will become nil. That it won’t be a news story.

I pray that this is the year when the dreams I’ve shared with others will begin to materialize and God willing, lives will be changed.

I pray that this is the year that churches become aware that their pastor is under a tremendous weight and that the institution needs to change. I pray that churches and their leadership come together to help the pastor before weakness can take hold of him.

I pray that no longer will pastors say that the ministry is a thing that weakens their marriages, but bolsters it.

And I hope and pray that when people search for “list of fallen pastors,” the top result will be, “list of pastors whom God rescued.” Lord willing, we can and will make it happen.

Want to leave a comment? Click the “keep reading” button and join the conversation.

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Ray Carroll is the author of “Fallen Pastor: Finding Restoration in a Broken World,” which answers many of the questions I get asked on a weekly basis.

If you are a fallen pastor who needs to talk or you are someone who has been affected by a fallen pastor and would like to contact me privately, please click here. You are the main reason this ministry exists. I’m here to help you.

If you are a church, men’s group, association, conference, or news outlet and would like more information about this ministry, please click here.

 

Jared Moore’s Top 250 Christian Blogs

Posted by Ray Carroll | Posted in blog, ministry | Posted on 11-11-2013

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I got a Twitter very early this morning that the Fallen Pastor blog had been added to Jared Moore’s list of Top 250 Josh-1Christian Blogs of 2013-2014.

I wanted to take a moment to thank everyone. This has nothing to do with me and I want you to know why this is so important.

I started writing this blog anonymously four years ago because there was nothing out there for fallen pastors. After about two months, I started getting some feedback and people started asking me questions. A few months later, Jonathan Brink from Civitas Press and I started talking about the possibility of a book. That turned into Fallen Pastor: Finding Restoration in a Broken World.

If I were to take credit for one moment for this blog, it would be a mistake. I’m excited to be on a list because it gets this ministry out there to the people who need it. These days, I get one to four emails a week from fallen pastors, churches whose pastor has fallen, pastors who are in the midst of adultery, women who are involved with pastors, and all kinds of things you can imagine.

But I wouldn’t have any of it were it not for the amazing grace of Christ. I fell hard four years ago. There are days when it comes rushing back to me. My past blogs and some of my old, bitter writings are still up for everyone to see. But God has been so gracious to me.

I’d be nowhere without Allison, my wife. She’s my inspiration, the hand that’s always reaching out for me when I’m at my lowest, when I feel worthless. I send her the emails of the women who reach out to me and she does an amazing job at her blog.

I need to thank SBC Voices who linked to my blog even when I was blogging anonymously.

Thanks to my ragged group of friends who are always with me: Bob Groves, John Wilbanks, Roy Yanke, and Tom Jamieson – who also helped me redesign my blog.

Thanks as always to Dr. Hershael York, who for some reason took the time to do an interview with me, let me take up space in his pulpit one Sunday, and has been a great encouragement to me.

Thanks to those of you who read this blog, not because you’re fallen, but because you want to. Because you enjoy it and you love grace.

Above all else, thank you and many prayers to the fallen pastors I’ve met and those I have yet to meet. I love you all dearly. Christ loves you and has not abandoned you. And neither will I. No one understands what the fallen pastor has been through quite like another fallen pastor. And that’s why I’m here and will always try to be.

Please pass the word of this ministry if you know someone who needs help. If I can’t help, I usually know someone who can.

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If you know someone who has fallen, a church who need help, or if you are a fallen pastor, please contact me. If you’re not ready for contact, try my book, Fallen Pastor: Finding Restoration in a Broken World.

Four Years After Being Caught In Adultery

Posted by Ray Carroll | Posted in blog, Christ, grace | Posted on 01-10-2013

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The Fallen PastorFour years ago, I was a pastor caught in adultery. I’ve told the story on my blog and in my book. It was one of the darkest moments of my life and it was one I had created. I let down many, hurt many, and could not erase any of it.

However, and thankfully, we are all given second chances. I had no idea of what might happen. Over the course of months, I went through many actions and feelings. I justified my actions, was angry, stubborn, and distant. Then, God slowly began to work on my heart and He broke me. He humbled me.

The past four years haven’t been a story of my adultery. They’ve been a story of the unfathomable grace of Christ.

I want to share a few things I’ve learned and observed over the past four years. It may help anyone: Christians, non-Christians, churches, fallen pastors, pastors, people struggling with forgiveness. But I trust that it will help the right person at just the right time, like this blog always has.

First, I’ve learned that forgiveness isn’t what I always thought it was. For some it comes easy. Others demand it. Some fallen pastorthink they’ve repented and demand others forgive. For some it takes time. The best? For God, it is instantaneous to the broken-hearted.

Second, I’ve found some amazing friends. I don’t want to list them here because I fear the name-dropping tag. They all know who they are. They pray for me, have supported me and have given me chances I didn’t deserve.

Third, I never imagined fallenpastor.com would become what it is. Like my mom, I love to write. And through this blog, I have been contacted by countless fallen pastors, churches, women who were/are caught in affairs with pastors, and wives of fallen pastors.

There’s something about talking to fallen pastors that I love. Unless you’ve been there, you just don’t understand what it’s like. It’s awful. No one knows. That’s why I started blogging in the first place. There wasn’t anything out there like this. So now when I talk to a fallen pastor on the phone and he’s in such a horrible place because of his sin and I’m shedding tears on the other end of the phone and he says, “I feel like you’re the only one who gets me.” I know, brother, I know.

I wish there were more organizations, services, groups who were there at point of contact to help the church and fallen pastor.

blueFinally, I can sum up the worth of it all in a simple story. A fallen pastor I’ve counseled called me a couple of weeks ago and said, “I heard about a pastor I know who fell. He just left his whole family to be with another woman. I told the church leadership, ‘I want his number. I want to talk to him. He may not talk to me right away, but some day he will want to talk. And when he does I want him to know I won’t judge him, that I love him, and I want to listen.‘”

He was speaking back to me the same words I had left for him a couple years ago in several voice mails, letters, and text messages until he finally contacted me two years ago. As I relayed this story to my wife, tears running down my face, she said, “That’s what it’s all about. That’s why you started your blog. God has been good to us.

Yes He has. More than I deserve.

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Ray Carroll is author of “Fallen Pastor: Finding Restoration in a Broken World” a book for hurting churches, ministers seeking to avoid failure, fallen pastors, those who want to understand the pressures of ministry and anyone looking for help with forgiveness. If you are in need of help or would like Ray to speak at your seminar, conference, event or church, you can contact him here.

My Wife’s New Post: Does Someone Like Me Deserve to Be Happy?

Posted by Ray Carroll | Posted in Allison, blog, Uncategorized | Posted on 07-05-2013

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Check out Allison’s new post on her blog: “Does Someone Like Me Deserve To Be Happy?”

Great insight. And I’m proud of the things she’s doing over there. She’s been able to help a lot of people. Click on over if you have a free minute.

“You Aren’t Who They Say You Are,” Guest Blog

Posted by Ray Carroll | Posted in blog, guest blog | Posted on 02-04-2013

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I had the pleasure of writing a guest blog for my friend Mark at his blog, “Here I Blog.” If you haven’t read his stuff, you’re missing out.

My post is entitled, “You Aren’t Who They Say You Are.”  It’s about how we perceive ourselves and how we perceive other’s perceptions of us. Make sense? Thanks to Mark for posting it. Head on over and take a look.

Allison, My Wife, My Inspiration

Posted by Ray Carroll | Posted in affirmation, Allison, blog, marriage | Posted on 29-03-2013

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I was overwhelmed Wednesday by the reception I received from my blog post called, “Gay Marriage, the Church, and Fallen_Pastor_Blog-1024x815the Christ Response.” All the feedback I got was amazing and it was from both sides of the aisle. The post wasn’t really about gay marriage, but about how we should love as Christ loved.

I say that to say this – I wasn’t going to post anything about it, but my lovely wife Allison, had said something to me several times during the evening after I had received a Facebook inbox message asking me my opinion about it. After she had mentioned it, the lights came on about 2:00 in the morning and I started writing.

It ended up being the most viewed blog post I had ever written. I was kinda dumbfounded about the whole thing and I asked her why she thought it had done so well. She said, “You know how people were always trying to trap Jesus and he never answered the way they wanted him to? You answered the question perfectly.”

I don’t think I was worthy of a Jesus comparison, to be sure. But I got what she was saying. More than that, I cannot emphasize how much I love and appreciate my wife. She is my biggest fan. She said, “I just want people to read this post. I want the world to see it.”

She’s always like that. Whether I’m writing, counseling a fallen pastor, working, or whatever, she’s encouraging me.

DSC_0355Lately, I haven’t been living up to my potential, I think. She’s been honest with me about that. She knows that God has something better for me and she’s told me so. I love that about her too.

We always say that when one of us is down, the other one always seems to be up and able to help the other one. We fit so well together and I’m blessed to have her in my life.

I’m at a point where God is using me in a different way and to do a different type of ministry. I’m very thankful that I have a God who doesn’t give up on His people or His pastors when they fall.

I’m also thankful to have Allison at this time. A woman who I could not live without right now. A woman who understands this ministry I am engaged in to help those who fall, who understands my frustrations, my limitations, my pain, my grief and constantly puts up with me in spite of my glaring imperfections.

I’m proud of her for getting her blog up and going again. In her own right, she is ministering to a whole group of people I cannot reach. I know many times she thinks she is incapable or unworthy but she is amazing at what she does. Her heart is amazing and I am very proud of her.

The road that has led us to where we are now has been difficult, but it has also been rewarding. But I am glad I have been blessed by God with Allison.

My Wife’s New Web Site: Fallenpastorswife.com

Posted by Ray Carroll | Posted in Allison, blog | Posted on 19-03-2013

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My wife, Allison, has a new website for her blog – www.fallenpastorswife.com. She really has a heart for women who are in relationships/have been in relationships with pastors or those otherwise effected.

She’s gotten back into blogging and has received a lot of good feedback and appreciates it. Thank you for your support. She’s a great listener and encourager. I know I wouldn’t have survived without her.

She works so hard all week at her job but finds time to write to encourage others. It’s a good reminder that no matter where we find ourselves, no matter how weary or tired, God will find a way to use us. Keep up the good work sweetie.

My Wife, “Fallen Pastor’s Wife” & Her Ministry

Posted by Ray Carroll | Posted in adultery, Allison, blog, love, marriage | Posted on 14-03-2013

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Allison is my sweet wife of three years. We have both tread the path of holiness since our fall, trying to do what is right. Are we always perfect? Nope. But we are here to serve those who fall.

A while back she started a blog. It’s been inactive a while, but today, she wrote again, to tell our story.

If you are “the other woman,” or someone who just wants to understand, just follow this link. She wants to share her heart. Thanks. 

Comment Section Fixed! Many Apologies!

Posted by Ray Carroll | Posted in blog | Posted on 26-02-2013

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I want to apologize to many of you. I have been using a program to filter out comments. But apparently, I was not using it correctly. Unfortunately, some of you have contacted me and I hadn’t read your cries for help until just now (which I just emailed you back) or you were unable to leave a comment.

I am so sorry! I think I fixed it. Again, I hope it is all well and you will keep reading and commenting. I have a direct email link on my contact page if you find I’m not responding in a timely manner. If you need help immediately, I want to help you immediately. I take all contacts very seriously.

Take care and God bless!

Fallen Pastor Radio Interview and Welcome

Posted by Ray Carroll | Posted in blog, book | Posted on 07-12-2012

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I was interviewed recently by Mike Bundrant at Natural News Radio. I had a great time talking to him. He was a great guy and we covered a lot of bases. Here’s a link to the press release. You can catch it online or download it as a podcast.

If you’re here visiting because you heard it, welcome to my site. I’m here to help you if you need it. If I can’t help you, I might be able to send you to someone who can.

I encourage you to check out my book and also my “Help!” page for further information to get you started.