A few months ago I became aware of a situation. Someone I know who is in ministry had...an issue...that could potentially caused a moral failure or have harmed their ministry. As a concerned friend I of course asked if others, especially those in a position over this person, were aware of the issue. I was assured that there was accountability in place and that things were going well.
The more I learned about this person's struggle with this issue I became concerned. It seemed as though instead of "fleeing" temptation it was being fed. I could see a possible progression in what was happening, or at least more honesty about how deep the issue was.
I hurt for my friend. I had conviction that this issue could be addressed and healed. I also had conviction that in the current situation, where the problem was being fed, it would be almost impossible for it to not become more of a struggle.
Anyone who knows me knows my stand on holding one another accountable. We are called to spur one another on. Instead of telling those who haven't made a choice to follow God how to live we should be holding each other to the standards that we have chosen to align ourselves with. In this situation I was torn on how to do that.
I went for help. I talked to my Sr. Pastor, he advised me to talk with my DS. Those were the most difficult conversations I had ever had. It was hard to share something I had said I would keep in confidence. It was hard to retain the anonymity of those involved, simply because I wanted to balance the picture by praising all their good works.
I was advised to talk to the individual's Sr. Pastor, without first telling the individual. That was a difficult thing to hear, it went against my gut, but at the same time felt right. The reasoning was that this person had daily opportunities to tell their Sr. Pastor about this issue, by seeking accountability they obviously were aware that it was a problem. They chose to keep it hidden, and all hidden things must come to light.
It took a lot of prayer and fasting, pleading with God for a simpler solution. Hoping and praying that everything would resolve in healing and a healthy ministry.
That didn't happen. Because of our (Ben and myself) actions two people have (temporarily?) broken contact with us. It hurts. The way we were told the situation was handled hurts. The harm that was caused unnecessarily hurts.
So why am I putting all this up for anyone to read? Because I need to get it out. I feel as though I should feel ashamed, but I don't. I honestly think...know, that the right thing was done, even if it doesn't look like that now.
Part of me also hopes (prays) that those involved, perhaps even by accident, stumble on this. We have respected their wishes not to contact them, but it is hard.
We want to apologize...not for our actions, but because we were not able to be there to care for them and support them through this. We mourn the loss of them in our lives.
I write all this with a heavy heart. Since I was first told of the situation my heart has been broken, and because of the lack of reconciliation, I feel like I can't heal. I can't go to others for comfort because no one else needs to know, and any comfort they could offer wouldn't really fix the problem. I am broken over this.
I do wish things could have gone differently. I wish what all was back n place. Some days I wish I hadn't said anything. When I go to God I am comforted, when I listen to Him I know that what was done needed to be, and that He will work to bring healing to all involved.
My prayer is that those involved will be healed and strenthened. That their lives will be rich with blessings and growth in God. I want the relationships lost to be restored. I pray for healing for us all.