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.

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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