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When Will I Be Ready For the Ministry Again? (Pt. 3)

February 18, 2010

Over the last two days I have shared my thoughts about being called back to ministry again.  The minister who has fallen because of sexual sin:

  • Wants to get back into ministry too quickly.
  • Thinks he’s better off than he really is.
  • Is often encouraged by those around to get back in too quickly.
  • Has his identity wrapped up in the wrong things.
  • Believes that all he is good at is being a pastor. 
  • Needs to have a strong support system around him and a restoration team.

 

RECALLED INTO MINISTRY
My counselor and I were talking about getting called back into ministry.  He reminded me that I was already called to serve God wherever I was.  Then he asked me to recount what my original calling was like.  He said that something similar will probably happen. 

It will evolve.  A passion will grow.  It will feel like the only thing that I need to be doing is be back in vocational ministry.  My wife will affirm my calling.   

 I will be recalled into ministry.  I like that term.  I think that’s what has been happening lately. 

 Ezekiel 11:18-19 “They will return to it and remove all its vile images and detestable idols.  I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.”

 I feel like God is removing the vile images and idols in my life and giving me a heart that is capable of worshipping Him again.

         
SOME CAN’T GO BACK  TO THEIR SAME MINISTRY ROLES
There are some who have crossed some serious sexual lines in ministry.  Sexual abuse of a parishoner.  Sexual crimes with a child.  Adultery in the marriage.  An affair with someone in the church.  These are not unforgiveable sins, but they change the type of ministry a person may be able to do in the future. 

Someone who has looked at Internet porn and masturbated has different consequences than someone who has committed adultery on his wife.  Some sexual sins take a lot longer to heal from and the waves of consequences may last a long time.  A ministry position is a position of great trust and power.  It would be irresponsible to allow some to quickly go back into such a position. 

Just because a person can’t go back to the pastorate, doesn’t mean God is done with them. 

God will help us find a new contentment and a new sense of purpose. 

 

WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Q:  If a person has stepped down from the ministry for sexual sin, can they go back again?  When are they ready to go back?
Q:  What prevents someone from being able to go back to ministry?  

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When Will I Be Ready For the Ministry? (Pt.1)
When Will I Be Ready For the Ministry? (Pt.2)

When Will I Be Ready For the Ministry? (Pt.3)

2 Comments
  1. JeffTN62 permalink
    February 18, 2010 3:54 pm

    Maybe you can’t go back to the pulpit as you once knew, is your calling to a certain way of ministry or to what God might have for you now? Maybe you need to wait.. or maybe your afraid to step out? Only you know where your at in your recovery.

    If your not completely healed you have no busy going out and ministering, I’m talking to only those that have been delivered, have on going accountability, can openly share their addiction, have visible recovery in every manner of their life and don’t keep a little small sin on side to justify- a little masturbation, a little swim suit magazine looking… Wal Mart stalking fixation on women… etc.. YOUR NOT HEALED!

    There are those that would say any sex addiction would disqualify you from ministry possibly. I would have to ask- did man appoint you or did God? Is guilt and shame your guide or God’s calling? Can you imagine the Christians that could have been rather indigent, that The Apostle Paul the main persecutor of the Church had an amazing conversion! How dare he…. Also the prodigal son…

    You start taking the message that their is a epidemic in the church of porn addiction…. which there is ! You will face and live the following:

    Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven.
    (Matthew 5:11,12)

  2. February 18, 2010 9:32 pm

    I think having to step out of ministry because of sexual sin brings a person to massively reevaluate his life, goals, and purpose. We are all “called”. Some are given the privilege of serving God in the pulpit. But all need to follow God and minister to those around.

    I am learning that there is no shame in being out of the pulpit. A “calling” is much more than a pastorate or ministry position. Perhaps I can be much more effective to God as a financial analyst (my current job). Perhaps running a website and pouring my heart out through podcasts is much more effective than being locked into a pastorate.

    It’s whatever God wants. God’s sovereignty. God’s determination to glorfy himself through me.

    I appreciate the dialogue Jeff.

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