I’m not one to use that phrase. Maybe there was a time in my life when I would but not in the past few decades. I think because I understand my own fallibility. I understand that I’m only a few bad choices away from losing everything I have… a great marriage, great job, great ministry.
I was in a conversation recently about accountability. I shared that one of the most valuable things I gained from my season at LifeChurch.tv was the constant emphasis on genuine accountability. Someone willing to ask you the hard questions expecting you to respond and not skirt. Someone willing to go to battle spiritually and fight on your behalf in prayer.
Let’s be real. It is no longer unusual to hear about a ministry leader fallen from grace. Some of it hits the news. Some of it doesn’t. And it would be easy to look at those situations and say, “I would never do that.” Really? I wonder how many of those that have fallen said the same thing at one point in time.
I’ve packed on a solid 5 pounds since my move to Knoxville, TN. It didn’t happen because I chose to eat too much one night. I happened because of a series of choices made consistently that lead to weight gain. Not exercising, compromising on the types of food I’m eating, eating when I’m not hungry, etc, etc. Poor choices.
I would argue that each circumstance that we see where someone has made a ministry-fatal mistake can be attributed not to a single poor choice, but a series of poor choices over time. And when you don’t have someone that you can be gut-level transparent with, then you put yourself in a risky place. As Craig Groeschel puts it, “You’re a sitting duck.”
I think it’s a dangerous thing to say, “I would never…”. Instead I say, “God, show me where I’m vulnerable.” Then I have to be willing to put the right things in place to address the vulnerability. We’re human. We’re broken. And we’re in desperate need of a Savior to bring light and healing to all areas of our lives.
Carey Nieuwhof writes a great post on the 4 different paths a leader can take… one of which is moral failure. Take a look and see what he has to say.
Don’t allow the enemy opportunity. Make sure you have the anchors in place so that your story is one of soaring and not falling.