Sometimes it is the shepherd, not the sheep, who needs to be returned to the fold.
—Jim Amandus with Bob Moeller
Iwas putting away my sermon notes one night after the evening service when I noticed a light under the door of an elder's office. I wasn't surprised. As a volunteer staff member, this elder often put in long hours. I decided to pop my head in to say good-night.
When I opened the door, there sat the entire elder board, meeting in an unscheduled, secret session.
"Uh, hi," I said, groping for words.
Equally unnerved by my chance discovery of the meeting, the elders' faces blanched, conveying both embarrassment and guilt. After a few moments of awkward small talk, I excused myself and hurried out of the church. I knew my days in that church, and maybe in ministry, were coming to an end.
I had accepted the call to this church with zeal and optimism. Recovering from the devastation of a pastor's moral lapse, this church, by the time I arrived, had shrunk from 800 to 175 members. ...1