“Did you have integrity today?”

That’s the question that Steve Carter, author, podcaster, and former lead teaching pastor of Willow Creek Community Church, pictured his son asking him when allegations of sexual harassment against Bill Hybels emerged. Carter realized he couldn’t go “play church.” He had to take the allegations seriously and act with integrity, which, for him, looked like resigning.

On this episode of Being Human, Cuss and Carter discuss what it looks like to have integrity when mentors and institutions fail us. They talk about the heartbreak of losing beloved communities, navigating relationships when people feel betrayed, and how difficult it is to see broken systems when inside them.

Carter shares how he has dealt with the weight of being misunderstood, the way some of his highest values were wielded against him, and what it was like to deal with public loss and accusation as an Enneagram Three. He and Cuss talk about the power of the Resurrection and the two Greek words that became an anchor for Carter. And they discuss what propelled Carter to write Grieve, Breathe, Receivea stunning memoir on grief and healing that recounts Carter leaving Willow Creek Church, entering a wilderness season, and enduring loss upon loss upon loss, from income and reputation to precious family members and more.

Resources mentioned in this episode include:

“Being Human with Steve Cuss” is a production of Christianity Today
Executive Produced by Erik Petrik and Mike Cosper
Produced and Edited by Matt Stevens
Associate Producers: McKenzie Hill, Raed Gilliam, and Abby Perry
Theme song by Dan Phelps
Original Music by Andy Gullahorn
Mix Engineer: Kevin Morris
Graphic Design: Amy Jones