Handling Moral Failure in Church Leadership

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In this 6 minute session from Leadership Network's 2012 The Nines Conference, Pete Briscoe, Lead Pastor at Bent Tree Bible Fellowship in Carrollton, TX, shares how his church handled a leader in their church who had an affair.

As you watch this session, take notes and write down thoughts about how this session can impact your role.

Pete said, "Grace is doing the most loving thing." But notice, in this instance that involved gut-wrenching conversations, confrontation, and two years of restoration. Here are a few things they did: 
  • 1. They confronted her about her sin. 
  • 2. They asked her and her husband if they were willing to work it out. 
  • 3. They removed her from ministry during the restoration process. 
  • 4. They surrounded her with other women who could hold her accountable and go through the journey with her. 
  • 5. Once her relationship with her husband and God had been restored, the elders recommissioned her to ministry. 
  • 6. She went before the whole church and confessed. 
  • 7. She began serving in the church again

This issue of moral failure among leadership in church is not an easy one to address. Each instance involves different people under different circumstances. What struck you the most as you listened to this story and the way Pete and Bent Tree handled this situation? What would you have done different, and why?
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Let's be honest. Some churches would have simply removed this worship leader from her position and asked her to leave the church. What's the difference between this story and what Paul writes about in 1 Corinthians 5? What future blessings would Bent Tree have missed if they had simply asked her to leave?
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Pete concluded by challenging church leaders to "realize the important role you have in expressing grace lived out by doing the most loving thing in a gracious way." You might not be struggling with a leader caught in moral failure, but in your current context, how can you live out grace in real, tangible ways and not just talk about it?
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Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now am found, was blind, but now, I see.

Leadership Network's The Nines Conference

For information about Leadership Network's The Nines Conference, go to www.thenines.tv.