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Another one bites the dust

12 Jul

Doggone it, I want to cry.

 

Another one bites the dust.

 

Pastor Perry Noble had to step down from New Spring church.

 

The pundits are out in full force.

“I told you so.” “Mega-church pastors are evil.” Similar sentiments echo every single time one of the good guys goes down.

 

And to me, they are good guys. Guys like me who started a church in a living room. Guys like me who saw success and growth. Guys like me, guys better than me. Their success was much larger than mine. Brothers. Pastors.

 

None of them have gone down for the obvious big no-no. Sexual sin. Or money. The most recent one was alcohol. But it wasn’t really alcohol. It was pride. He wouldn’t submit to rebuke.

 

It’s always pride.

 

And I want to cry.

 

Now, lest you fall in the camp of “mega= non-biblical” consider that Peter, James, and Timothy, yeah, the Biblical Peter, James and Timothy, they pastored mega-churches. Certainly they were not organized the way our current churches are, but the books of Acts, especially early chapters, show the complexity of leading a large church.

 

Pastors of churches large and small throughout history have both failed and succeeded. But I’m rooting for everyone. Everyone to finish strong.  I want you to finish strong. I want your business to succeed. I want your classroom to be life changing. I want your marriage to succeed.

 

Sometimes I’m sad that I had to step aside from a booming church because of health issues for my son. And sometimes I’m grateful. I don’t know if I would have escaped the pride trap. I think I might already have been failing that test.  The severe mercy of the Lord protected me.  Graham Cooke once said something to the effect of “Your gifting will take you where your character can’t hold you.”  Too true.

 

My leader at the time I was in Tanzania several times told me, “Charles, be careful. Pull the plug before I have to pull it.” Having that kind of leadership may seem overbearing. I see it as protection.

 

Dang it Perry. I hurt for you.

Welcome to the pain of anonymity. The release of oppressive responsibility. And the Journey back to falling in love with Jesus.

 

Everyone now believes you when you say you aren’t perfect. I just wish more of those who claim to be your family wouldn’t be so happy.

 

Lord, save our leaders.