When a Christian Leader Falls ~ RELEVANT CHILDREN’S MINISTRY


My heart has been hurting this week.  Another prominent Christian leader has fallen. 

This one really hurt because it was a person whom I looked up to and have learned much from.  I called him the godfather of family ministry.  

His insight was incredible.  He literally changed the way thousands of us approach children and family ministry.

I must admit, this one caught me off guard. I would never have thought it could happen. But it did. 

It is painful to think about the damage and hurt this will bring to so many leaders.

What happens when a Christian leader falls? Let’s review a few of them:

It gives the enemy an opportunity to mock the cause of Christ.

How long will the enemy mock you, God?  Will the foe revile your name forever?”            Psalm 74:10

When Christians don’t walk the talk, it gives the enemy a wide open door to mock the Gospel and cause hurt to the cause of Christ.  

The person’s legacy shifts from positive to negative

Another person that I looked up to and followed for decades fell.  He had accomplished so many positive things for the kingdom of God and had made a world-wide impact.

But then he fell and faded away from ministry. Now, when people hear his name, they don’t think about all of the positive things He did. Instead, they think about the damage his fall cost him and others. A fall will quickly turn your legacy into loss.

When a Christian leader falls, it causes the next generation to become disillusioned with the church

In my book, “Fertile Soil…How to See Kids Faith Grow and Flourish for a Lifetime,” I talk about this.  Research shows that one of the top three reasons why the next generation walks away from the church and even the faith in some cases is because they get disillusioned with the church.  They get tired of the immorality.  They get tired of the hypocrisy.  They get tired of the betrayal of trust. 

When a Christian leader falls, it can cause others to stumble and fall as well.    

The person caught in immorality is often a person that other leaders look up to and follow. When this person…their hero…falls, it can cause them to wonder if what they are giving their life to is really worth it.

When a Christian leader falls, it obviously affects their families.  

Often it leads to divorce, hurt, anger, and strained family relationships. 

When a Christian leader falls, it can silence their voice.  Their influence becomes null and void. People no longer want to hear them speak or read their books or be influenced by them. Basically, they fade away into obscurity and with them goes their voice of influence.

What can we learn from this?  What resolutions can we make?  What guardrails can we put in place to make sure we don’t fall as well?  

Guard your heart.

I believe it starts by guarding our heart.  Look what Proverbs 4:23 says.

Above all else, guard your heart, for out of it flows. the issues of life.

Our number one job as a Christian leader is to guard our heart.  Guard your heart against sin.  Guard your heart against immoral thoughts.  Guard your heart against temptation.  Guard your heart against compromise.

Set up boundaries.   

If you are going to go the distance, a big factor will be the boundaries you put in place. Don’t put yourself in compromising situations.

We know that temptation and sin starts small. The Christian leaders who have fallen violated and crossed over some boundaries.  It started by being alone with the other person.  It started with a touch.  It started with an awkward, hesitant first kiss.  Ultimately, a betrayal of the wedding vows and promises made to God at a marriage altar years ago.

The only way you will finish the course God has set before you is to stay way back away from temptation.  You must put boundaries in place and have people hold you accountable.  

An example of a boundary you need to set is never riding alone in a car with the opposite sex.  

An example of a boundary you need to set is to never get emotionally attached to a person.  When you begin sharing intimate details with someone other than your spouse, it will move from a mental affair to a physical affair.

Plain and simple, if you don’t want to destroy your ministry, then stay way back away from the temptation that can take you over the edge. 

Protect your marriage.  

Stay close to your spouse. 

Be an open book for your spouse. 

Give your spouse access to your emails, text messages and phone calls.   

Stay in love with your spouse with no room left for anyone else.

Remember…temptation and sin can take you down...no matter who you are.

It happened to Solomon…the wisest man that ever lived.

It happened to Samson…the strongest man that ever lived.

It happened to David…a man after God’s own heart. 

It can happen to you…if you let your guard down.  

I often say that the way to be successful in ministry is to stay in ministry. Don’t blow it.  Keep your eyes on Jesus.

It only takes a minute to ruin and void a lifetime of serving Jesus.  It’s not worth it! 

Finish strong.

Break the tape at the finish line.  Hear the words, “well done good and faithful servant”  I want to hear those words and I know you do as well.  So live and minister accordingly.


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