Kansas City Councilman Rev. Michael Brooks pulls a Weiner and sexts his righteousness to a female on Facebook. My first thought; if you’re a person with any level of prominence, how do you think that’s not going to go public?
Actor Hugh Grant parked curbside on Sunset Blvd. with Divine Brown partially in the passenger seat, the President of the United States armed with a cigar and an intern under the desk – you have to know it’s not going to end well.
Why do these men of God fail?
It happens more than we care to admit. From Brooks to Jimmy Swaggart, or the colossal meltdown of local First Family‘s mega ego’d pastor Jerry Johnston.
Swaggart railed against sexual sin going as far as to help expose Assembly of God pastor Marvin Gorman for having multiple affairs. Gorman lost his church but returned the favor by having Swaggart stalked until he turned up at the Travel Inn, New Orleans, checking into #7 with a local hooker.
How does this happen to the spiritual leaders of their congregations?
The answer is simple – like it or not – they’re HUMAN.
Great men of the Bible failed – disciples, living and walking with Jesus – and they needed no more faith than a glance across the dinner table to see their Jesus.
How could the job possibly be easier today living? It’s not.
***100% had close friends who left the ministry over burnout, inner church conflict or moral failure.
*** 90% considered leaving the ministry.
*** 80% felt they did not have a good marriage.
*** 70% felt underqualified or poorly trained to lead and manage the church or counsel others, leaving them disheartened in their ability and battling depression at a level they described as “beyond fatigue” on a weekly or daily basis.
*** 60% would leave if they had a better place to go, including secular work.
*** 30% were divorced or currently in a divorce process.
*** And lastly, only 20% said they felt happy or content on a regular basis with who they are, their church, and their homes!
Check it, the basis for their worth and value, missing in 80% of them. What could that set you up?
These are men who basically spend every waking hour feeding the congregation, many times at the expense of their own family lives, while having self imposed pressures to be the perfect family on public display at all times. Rarely home, caring for the needs of others – the cobbler’s family that has no shoes.
Get the picture? You want that gig?
Making matters worse the people of the church expect nothing short of perfection from their leader. He’s human, but he’s expected to be Godlike.
The sun warms the congregation, but who warms the sun?
Confidants and true friends are hard to come by. A good deal of these people’s load is confidential and pastors are among the least likely to seek mental health assistance or counseling of any kind. Internally, they live with a level of hypocrisy just as we all do, preaching about living the Godly life while struggling with the same issues we all do.
We all are hypocrites on some level, but it leaves them with an internal struggle that seemingly has no cure.
And lest we forget politics.
If it’s a church of 20 or 20,000, it’s no different than in the corporate world, sad as that may sound. The smaller church pastors struggle with tight finances and old timers who want things to remain “just the way its always been.” The mega church pastor has a large staff, major donors, influential church members, huge budgets and yes, their own families.
So the job description is to balance conflict, family issues, finances, a 24/7 work load, politics, appear perfect and steadfast, manage stress – just like the rest of us in the corporate world – not to mention the ugly things that are often said and done under the guise of “Christianity.”
We place them on a pedestals and the power and influence can go to their heads.
Rev. Brooks is a just a man, nothing more.
Was he stupid? That’s pretty obvious, but in the eyes of God, sin is sin and it’s no worse than what each of us engage in daily. As fun as it is to laugh at these people – and I totally get it – they really do need our prayers and support.
Should Brooks step down? Sure.
But there’s no pleasure in these situations for anyone, because in the words of Winston Churchill, “There but for the grace of God, go I.”