For Russ it's a little slice of heavena small church in a stagnant, rust-bucket town, landlocked, with a cramped creaky building, perennial money woes, and trust issues, and with no staff other than himself.
It's nothing like his last church, Woodlandthe plum assignment in his regiona thriving suburban congregation near a bustling urban center, with several paid staff, gifted leaders, superior musicians, and strong sense of its mission. And, to his family's delight, good schools, loving friends, and a really nice parsonage.
This church has little of that. But for Russ, it's heavenbecause he almost lost everything. Russ got hooked on internet pornography. Russ's addiction led to an emotional attachment outside his marriage and eventually a physical encounter. That's when he confessed to his wife and his denominational supervisor.
And life, as he knew it and loved it, ended.
Russ is not the only pastor whose story goes like this. No one knows how many of the 19,200 pastors ...1