Last week, Darrin Patrick, vice president of the Acts 29 church planting network and founding pastor of The Journey megachurch in St. Louis, was fired. (Read CT’s story.) Among the Reformed pastor’s offenses: “domineering over those in his charge,” “misuse of power/authority,” and “history of building his identity through ministry and media platforms.” TL;DR: pride.

Barnabas Piper, the son of uber-popular Reformed pastor John Piper and author and blogger in his own right, joined Quick to Listen this week to offer his perspective on this thorny and recurring issue.

“With the internet being what it is, local church ministry is no longer local church ministry,” says Piper, pointing to the number of pastors who publish books, host their own podcasts, and maintain an active social media presence. “Pride is an occupational hazard for all of us: if you have a byline, if your name is on a book, or you have a podcast, it comes with pride.”

Here’s Piper’s chat with Morgan and Katelyn about what may make Acts 29 leaders prone to arrogance, what a pastor’s kid thinks other pastor’s kids are thinking after their parent messes up, and the circumstances under which a pastor should be restored.

  • Do recent cases of pastoral discipline involving pride suggest that Christians are taking the sin of pride more seriously than before?
  • Many cases of pastoral discipline have the effect of declaring certain pastors or leaders “out” of a community. Why is some sort of public distancing important for churches or affiliations? When is it time to let the disciplined person back in?
  • How do we discern between pride and confidence or ambition? What is the difference between someone who is domineering to an abusive degree, or someone who is simply direct and wants to get things done?

Additional Reading