After Tullian Tchividjian, former pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian, shared an update that his restoration and repentance is going well, new reports from his former church surfaced and prompted his current employer to fire him. Tchividjian had been serving in a ministry development position at Willow Creek Presbyterian Church (no relation to the Illinois Willow Creek) and his preaching ministry “Liberate” had been re-launched. In addition, four members of Liberate’s 9-member board stepped down.
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Why this story matters for church leaders:
Repentance and restoration are important for everyone in a church, including leaders. However, the process gets complicated when new details emerge.
- What does restoration look like? The leaders of Willow Creek developed a restoration plan for Tchividjian, but some have criticized them for bringing him back to ministry too soon after reports of his affair. What is you ideal restoration process?
- What does due diligence look like? In this case, Tchividjian had allegedly hidden details from his new employer. When seeking to restore a church leader or congregation member, what are the conversations that need to happen and what will you do if a leader has been hiding the truth?
- Preventing ministry failure: Does the staff at your church have the accountability, counseling, and support they need in order to prevent a ministry failure or affair? Are there people asking the hard questions of leaders out of a spirit of love and desire for restoration?
There’s a saying that you hire slow and fire fast, but how does that change in light of restoring a pastor who has had an affair?
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