How Long Does Fallen Pastor Restoration Take?

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How Long Does Fallen Pastor Restoration Take?

Last blog post, we talked about what fallen pas­tor restora­tion really means. Let’s look at some answers now. How long does restora­tion take?

First, let me tell you that restora­tion isn’t about a timetable. It’s not about restora­tion to a reli­gion or a pul­pit. It’s about restora­tion to Christ. I cover this topic exten­sively in my book after I inter­viewed sev­eral fallen pastors.

longroadSome­thing hap­pened to make a pas­tor fall. His rela­tion­ship to Christ broke some­where and it needs to be restored. His rela­tion­ship to his wife needs to be restored. Those need to be repaired. Overhauled.

On top of that, the pas­tor needs to be repaired. His views on min­istry, life and him­self. He has been dam­aged and hurt. So, by my count, that’s four things that need fix­ing. Big things. And I’m not even count­ing his fam­ily yet.

You can’t rush any of this. It didn’t break overnight and it’s not going to be fixed overnight. It has to be repaired by mak­ing a new lifestyle and out­look. It’s going to take an account­abil­ity group and peo­ple who will walk with him for a long time.

Who will do this? There are places a pas­tor can go. Pas­tors In Res­i­dence pro­gram. There are other min­istries that will put you up for months at a time, but space is severely lim­ited. I always sug­gest that the pas­tor find out a short-​term way to find sup­port him­self and then reach out for help around him.

You still want to know a time frame? I can tell you that if you think three months will fix it, you’re sorely mis­taken. For some rea­son, three months became a num­ber that churches got stuck in their heads that would be a time that would fix every­thing. Did the pas­tor embez­zle? Three months off. Did the pas­tor look at porn and get caught? Three months off. Cheat on his wife? Three months.

We have got to stop the three months mad­ness. We keep giv­ing guys three months with­out any coun­sel­ing and long-​term help think­ing that a three month “sab­bat­i­cal” is going to defrag them. It’s not. Often times, all it does is give them more time to engage their sin­ful behav­ior. Do we want to help our Chris­t­ian lead­ers? Build solid account­abil­ity around them. Cre­ate an envi­ron­ment where they aren’t afraid to be them­selves and share their hearts.

A real­is­tic timetable? If you have a solid group of account­abil­ity and you have good Chris­t­ian peo­ple walk­ing with you? You might be on the road to restora­tion – again, not to the pul­pit, but just to solid Chris­t­ian liv­ing – in 14 months.

Once some­thing is bro­ken it takes a long time to fix it. Be ready to dig your heels in, lis­ten to God, hum­ble your­self, sub­mit to oth­ers and open your mind.

As always, I’m here and oth­ers are here to help. Please con­tact me or any­one on my blogroll. That’s why we are here.

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

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.

Last blog post, we talked about what fallen pastor restoration really means. Let’s look at some answers now. How long does restoration take?

First, let me tell you that restoration isn’t about a timetable. It’s not about restoration to a religion or a pulpit. It’s about restoration to Christ. I cover this topic extensively in my book after I interviewed several fallen pastors.

longroadSomething happened to make a pastor fall. His relationship to Christ broke somewhere and it needs to be restored. His relationship to his wife needs to be restored. Those need to be repaired. Overhauled.

On top of that, the pastor needs to be repaired. His views on ministry, life and himself. He has been damaged and hurt. So, by my count, that’s four things that need fixing. Big things. And I’m not even counting his family yet.

You can’t rush any of this. It didn’t break overnight and it’s not going to be fixed overnight. It has to be repaired by making a new lifestyle and outlook. It’s going to take an accountability group and people who will walk with him for a long time.

Who will do this? There are places a pastor can go. Pastors In Residence program. There are other ministries that will put you up for months at a time, but space is severely limited. I always suggest that the pastor find out a short-term way to find support himself and then reach out for help around him.

You still want to know a time frame? I can tell you that if you think three months will fix it, you’re sorely mistaken. For some reason, three months became a number that churches got stuck in their heads that would be a time that would fix everything. Did the pastor embezzle? Three months off. Did the pastor look at porn and get caught? Three months off. Cheat on his wife? Three months.

We have got to stop the three months madness. We keep giving guys three months without any counseling and long-term help thinking that a three month “sabbatical” is going to defrag them. It’s not. Often times, all it does is give them more time to engage their sinful behavior. Do we want to help our Christian leaders? Build solid accountability around them. Create an environment where they aren’t afraid to be themselves and share their hearts.

A realistic timetable? If you have a solid group of accountability and you have good Christian people walking with you? You might be on the road to restoration – again, not to the pulpit, but just to solid Christian living – in 14 months.

Once something is broken it takes a long time to fix it. Be ready to dig your heels in, listen to God, humble yourself, submit to others and open your mind.

As always, I’m here and others are here to help. Please contact me or anyone on my blogroll. That’s why we are here.

____________________________

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.

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