Day One of the Epic Fail Pastor’s Conference

Posted on March 23, 2012 | 2 comments

Tonight the Epic Fail Pastor’s Conference started. The first person who I was able to greet responded to my enquiry about why they were attending with the words “I feel like a failure. All the time. I almost didn’t come because I was wondering if I was being set up.”

Notice the lack of trust. Sad testimony to the lack of compassion found in the church.

It takes amazing courage to overcome the fear of rejection – that’s raw shame – stand before a strange man and confess your vulnerabilities. But that is not all I heard, and I now have the privilege of bearing the burdens along with a room full of men. Here’s some of the hurt I heard about…

Clandestine meetings. Anonymous letters. Lists titled “How you’ve failed our church”. Taking a one week per year vacation and coming back to being fired. Lonely spouses. Sixteen page job descriptions. Hate mail. Staff members leading coups for your job. Weeping uncontrollably out of disappointment in the back of a big rig. Holding to truth and getting overruled. Being told you aren’t worth paying. Broken marriages.

On top of the shame, rejection and isolation of those events, you hear frustration in these words…

We sing songs saying brokenness, brokenness, brokenness, but then we go to conferences and read books that give 5 steps to grow your church.

That’s a lot of hurt. That’s a lot of pressure.

Now this room full of pastors is being confronted with their brokenness. The masks are off.

What a great opportunity. Christ’s strength is made complete in weakness. These people are open to letting Christ be strong, open to evaluating what they are pursuing and why. I can’t wait for tomorrow.

Does it surprise you that your pastor longs for acceptance? Do you follow a particular pastor because you think they are “all fixed”?


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  1. This is a really good post, sounds like a really good gathering. Most pastors don’t get the chance to take the masks off with each other, especially in a group setting. Look forward to hearing about day 2.

    • It was a unique environment. One we should model more in our churches. Hope the guys are able to surround themselves with compassion bearers after the conference.

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