The phenomenon of celebrity pastors in the American church cuts two ways. When a mega-pastor succeeds everyone buys their book, attends their seminar, and emulates their strategy. And when a mega-pastor falls we all look into our own souls for evidence of similar frailty. Although the Ted Haggard story has been all but forgotten by the popular media since the election, there are many church leaders still reeling from the revelations. In this post we highlight insights from other blogs about how pastors can guard their souls from the self-destructive power of immorality.
Professor Scot McKnight address how the environment created by evangelicalism contributes to pastors hiding their sins, and the importance of developing the discipline of confession:
In evangelicalism, and the charismatic stream in which Ted Haggard swims, sin is bad and sin by leaders is real bad. This leads to a complex of features that creates a serious problem.
1. Christians, and not just pastors, do not feel free to disclose sins to anyone.
2. Christians, including pastors, sin and sin all the time.
3. Christians, including pastors, in evangelicalism do not have a mechanism of confession.
4. Christians and pastors, because of the environment of condemnation of sin and the absence of a mechanism of confession, bottle up their sins, hide their sins, and create around themselves an apparent purity and a reality of unconfessed/unadmitted sin.
5. When Christians do confess, and it is often only after getting caught, they are eaten alive by fellow evangelicals - thus leading some to deeper levels of secrecy and deceit.
Read more of Scot McKnight's post.
Pastor of Mars Hill Church, Mark Driscoll, outlines the precautions he takes to avoid compromising situations ...