Saddleback worship pastor Rick Munchow passed away a few years ago, but his teaching continues to bless the church. He was once asked to define–precisely–what is moral failure and what we mean when we use the phrase? The question: “You stated in a past article that you have removed individuals due to moral failure. I had to remove a band member for moral failure, but have been accused of being judgmental. Some are saying ‘we all sin and have fallen short of the glory of God.’ Could you clarify what moral failure would warrant removal and what steps do you take to restore the individual after the fact?”
What Is Moral Failure – and Should We Take Action?
“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:11
What is moral failure? Moral failure is a church membership issue. My pastor, Rick Warren, had to address this issue in the church’s 21st year, so please read the transcript from that address. Since moral failure is not a worship team-specific issue, I don’t have my own separate process for the worship team.
What is moral failure? It is true that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. It is also true that we must be careful to guard well our integrity and reputation as we represent Christ and our church. As they say, it takes a lifetime to build a good reputation and just one poor decision to ruin it.
2 Biblical Reasons to Remove Someone From Ministry Due to Moral Failure:
1. The loss of the right to lead due to the failure.
2. The need to regroup and put a life back together again.
An individual in this situation needs time to reflect and just work on themselves. In my experience, many times moral failure happens because we’ve been so busy doing the work of the ministry that we are closer to the work than we are to the Lord.
Some examples of moral failure include:
- inappropriate emotional relationships
- malicious dissention or stirring up trouble
- and major family issues that need to be addressed.