When #ChurchToo Happens at Your Church, Too

When #ChurchToo Happens at Your Church, Too by ANONYMOUS for The Gospel Coalition

Over the years, I knew I should pray for God to keep my pastor from disqualifying sins, but my prayers almost felt disloyal, like I didn’t trust my pastor. I had seen pastoral sin happen at my cousin’s church and my friend’s church and all those churches I read about online. But I didn’t believe it could happen at mine.

Until it did. Sometimes the revelation of #churchtoo happens with lots of noise and headlines, thousands of congregants and just as many tweets. Sometimes it happens quietly, with a quick resignation and whispers in the back pews of a small congregation. Old or recent sin, once kept hidden, comes to light. The fallout affects everyone.

When it happened at my church, I was caught up in a swirl of emotions: hurt, anger, disbelief, fear for the future, disappointment, and distrust. My pastor was removed from the ministry, but the effects of his sin didn’t go away swiftly. The fall of a pastor can make it feel like the world is falling around you.

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Throughout the congregation, responses varied. While some downplayed the significance of the pastor’s sin, others crumbled under it and were tempted to question God. Church isn’t a building or a social club, but a family—the body of Christ displayed through our soul-deep dependence on each other. When a family leader falls, something foundational in our lives shakes beneath us, and the new terrain is hard to navigate.

The day after the announcement of my pastor’s fall, while I was still dizzy from the shock and uncertain how to respond, I spoke to another pastor at my church. His words were an anchor: “God knew yesterday would happen, and he knows what tomorrow will bring.”

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