A Tragic Story

By Jim Corley, Pastor, writer, and leader, J. Michael Corley has preached in churches from San Francisco to Moscow; and done training events on four continents. He currently lives in Arizona with his wife, Lynetta. His most recent book, Shadowing Jesus, The Pioneer is available at Amazon.

At one point I served as a missions pastor. After what I had learned from Dr. Archibald Hart and the issues his research uncovered about stress and adrenaline I travelled to South America.

We had a sister-church relationship with an urban church in Latin America. My friend, Miquel (not his real name—lead pastor at the time), told me a tragic story.

A staff member, a pastor with great gifts in administration, had just been fired. When I asked about why, Miquel told me that this pastor had been discovered having a sexual relationship with one of his assistants.

On a previous visit I had discovered that the missionaries and other staff at the church had all been working at a frenzied pace. A senior missionary, who was very influential with other team members, had bragged in my presence, “I haven’t taken a day off in twenty-five years.”

So when Miquel told me the story about the pastor he had fired, I asked him, “Why fire him?”

Miquel was appalled, “Because it was a sin, it’s a violation of scriptures.”

Eager to make a point, I asked, “Did the rest of the staff get fired too, all the pastors and missionaries?”

Miquel was incredulous, “Why would I do that?”

“Well,” I said, “Aren’t you all violating the scriptures?”

“What are you talking about?” he pulled the car over to the curb and looked at me like I had lost my mind.

“None of you takes a day off do you? Isn’t that a violation of the Bible’s clear teaching in Deuteronomy 5:13 “Six days you shall labor and do all your work”? I’m not excusing what our brother did. But didn’t the example you all set for him leave him overworked and vulnerable to this kind of thing?” 

Miquel was silent. But in subsequent years the culture in that church changed to include a day of rest for each staff member.

Now whenever I hear about a church leader caught in an illicit relationship, my first thought is to wonder whether or not they rested one day out of seven. The idea of taking off, a day of Sabbath, the word means “stop,” is not only a good idea. It’s not just a suggestion. It’s one of the Ten Commandments. I suppose it could be considered a legalistic burden.

That’s how I used to think of the driving rule that requires passengers in a car to wear a seatbelt. I felt that way until the day a reckless driver turned left in front of me. That seat belt saved my life. I’m pretty sure that the habit of taking a day off every week has also saved me and mine from a lot of pain.

If you want to have a long life, buckling up makes a lot of sense.

Korean blog (click here)

Portuguese blog:

Uma história trágica

Por Jim Corley, Pastor, escritor e líder, J. Michael Corley pregou nas igrejas de San Francisco a Moscou; E realizou eventos de treinamento em quatro continentes. Ele atualmente mora no Arizona com sua esposa, Lynetta. Seu livro mais recente, Shadowing Jesus, The Pioneer está disponível na Amazon.

Em um ponto eu servi como pastor de missões. Depois do que eu aprendi com o Dr. Archibald Hart e os problemas que sua pesquisa descobriu sobre estresse e adrenalina, viajei para a América do Sul.

Tivemos um relacionamento irmã-igreja com uma igreja urbana na América Latina. Meu amigo, Miquel (e não o seu verdadeiro nome de pastor-líder na época), me contou uma história trágica.

Um membro da equipe, um pastor com grandes dons na administração, acabara de ser demitido. Quando perguntei por que, Miquel me disse que este pastor tinha sido descoberto tendo uma relação sexual com uma de seus assistentes.

Em uma visita anterior, descobri que os missionários e outros funcionários da igreja haviam trabalhado a um ritmo frenético. Um missionário sênior, que era muito influente com outros membros da equipe, se vangloriava na minha presença: “Não tirei um dia de folga em vinte e cinco anos”.

Então, quando Miquel me contou a história sobre o pastor que ele despediu, perguntei-lhe: “Por que o demitir?”

Miquel ficou consternado: “Porque foi um pecado, é uma violação das Escrituras”.

Com vontade mostrar um ponto, perguntei: “O resto da equipe também foi demitida, todos os pastores e missionários?”

Miquel estava incrédulo: “Por que eu faria isso?”

“Bem”, eu disse: “Vocês não estão violando as Escrituras?”

“Sobre o que você está falando?” Ele puxou o carro para a calçada e olhou para mim como se eu tivesse perdido a cabeça.

“Nenhum de vocês tira um dia de folga, não é? Não é isso uma violação do ensinamento claro da Bíblia em Deuteronômio 5:13 “Seis dias você deve trabalhar e fazer toda a sua obra”? Não estou desculpando o que nosso irmão fez. Mas o exemplo que você definiu para ele deixou o trabalho sobrecarregado e vulnerável a esse tipo de coisa? ”

Miquel ficou em silêncio. Mas nos anos subsequentes a cultura naquela igreja mudou para incluir um dia de descanso para cada membro da equipe.

Agora, sempre que ouço sobre um líder da igreja travado em um relacionamento ilícito, meu primeiro pensamento é saber se eles descansaram ou não um dia sobre sete. A ideia de descansar, um dia de sábado, a palavra significa “parar”, não é apenas uma boa ideia. Não é apenas uma sugestão. É um dos Dez Mandamentos. Suponho que poderia ser considerado um fator legal.

Foi assim que eu costumava pensar na regra de condução que exige que os passageiros de um carro usem um cinto de segurança. Eu me senti assim até o dia em que um motorista imprudente virou a esquerda na minha frente. Esse cinto de segurança me salvou a vida. Tenho certeza de que o hábito de tirar um dia de folga todas as semanas também me salvou de muita dor.

Se você quiser ter uma vida longa, o encurvamento tem muito sentido.

Spanish blog:

Una historia trágica

Por Jim Corley, Pastor, escritor y líder, J. Michael Corley ha predicado en iglesias desde San Francisco hasta Moscú; Y realizó eventos de capacitación en cuatro continentes. Actualmente vive en Arizona con su esposa, Lynetta. Su libro más reciente, “Shadowing Jesus, The Pioneer” está disponible en Amazon.

En algún punto serví como pastor de misiones. Después de lo que había aprendido del Dr. Archibald Hart y las cuestiones que su investigación descubrió sobre el estrés y la adrenalina, viajé a Sudamérica.

Teníamos una relación de iglesia hermana con una iglesia urbana en América Latina. Mi amigo, Miquel (no su verdadero nombre-pastor principal en su momento), me contó una historia trágica.

Un miembro del personal, un pastor con grandes cualidades para la administración, acababa de ser despedido. Cuando le pregunté el por qué, Miquel me dijo que este pastor había sido descubierto teniendo una relación sexual con una de sus asistentes.

En una visita anterior había descubierto que los misioneros y otros miembros de la iglesia habían estado trabajando a un ritmo frenético. Un misionero mayor, que era muy influyente con otros miembros del equipo, se había jactado en mi presencia, “No he tomado un día libre en veinticinco años”.

Así que cuando Miquel me contó la historia del pastor que había despedido, le pregunté: “¿Por qué despedirlo?”

Miquel estaba consternado, “Porque fue un pecado, es una violación a las Escrituras”.

Deseoso de hacerle un comentario, le pregunté, “¿El resto del personal también fue despedido, todos los pastores y misioneros?”

Miquel estaba incrédulo, “¿Por qué haría eso?”

-Bueno -dije-. ¿No están ustedes violando las Escrituras?

-¿De qué estás hablando? desvió el carro hasta la acera y me miró como si hubiera perdido la cabeza.

“Ninguno de ustedes se toma un día libre, ¿verdad? ¿No es eso una violación a la enseñanza clara de la Biblia en Deuteronomio 5:13 “¿Seis días trabajarás y harás toda tu obra?” No estoy justificando lo que hizo nuestro hermano. ¿Pero el ejemplo que todos le pusieron no le dejaba agotado y vulnerable a este tipo de cosas?

Miquel guardó silencio. Pero en años posteriores la cultura en esa iglesia cambió para incluir un día de descanso para cada miembro del personal.

Ahora, cada vez que oigo hablar de un líder de la iglesia sorprendido en una relación ilícita, mi primer pensamiento es preguntarme si descansan al menos un día a la semana. La idea de quitar, un día de sábado, la palabra significa “parar”, no es sólo una buena idea. No es sólo una sugerencia. Es uno de los Diez Mandamientos. Supongo que podría considerarse una carga legalista.

Eso es lo que solía pensar de la regla de conducir que requiere que los pasajeros lleven puesto el cinturón de seguridad en su carro. Me sentí así hasta el día en que un conductor imprudente volteó a la izquierda delante de mí. Ese cinturón de seguridad me salvó la vida. Estoy bastante seguro de que el hábito de tomar un día libre cada semana también me ha salvado a mí y a mi vida de mucho de dolor.

Si quieres tener una vida larga, abrocharse el cinturón tiene mucho sentido.

2 thoughts on “A Tragic Story

  1. Thank you for that message. This imbalance and the fact I have seen so many pastors I knew fall into adultery may have much to do with why I never did cross over to becoming a pastor. However, I probably worked as hard at being an Information Technology professional as most pastors.

    Yet I had a heart for revival. I studied it passionately for years and was more than just intrigued by it and by Joel’s and others’ cell church studies and real life application and experience, and I had been involved in teaching and bringing people out to do evangelism using materials like EE or Way of the Master. I was a life member of Full Gospel Businessmen’s Fellowship before a bit of a disappointing shakeup happened there. And one of my best friends who had previously been an area leader in that organization and Andrew Strom from New Zealand introduced me to Torben Sondergaard’s ministry. That’s not meant to be a plug, but I do feel that he provoked me about as seriously as Charles Finney or Joel Comisky to rethink revival, discipleship, and how Jesus made disciples who made disciples.

    How does all that tie into this subject? Well, one thing had been on my heart, and it may be a little painful to read or hear this or to think about it, but in most churches, people come to a building, sit in a pew, and listen to a pastor for an hour or two, sit down, stand up, sing a few songs, and then come back to do it again the following week. Period.

    But the Bible seems to call us to something different and rather unrelated. Those things seem almost to be passed down from the Catholic Church through little mini-reformations from one denomination to another and seem to be more traditions of man or perhaps something the pagans might have been accustomed to when Paganism or Romanism sort of decided to claim ownership of Christianity rather than just torturting and killing off Christians as before. But this sort of Catholic like behavior did not seem to be a Christian thing or something practiced by the early church–not something commanded or practiced by Jesus Christ or the early disciples.

    What did Jesus do? He made disciples. He started with 12. He healed people. He shared the Gospel and called them to repentance–to leave behind their sin and sin no more. Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit–the same Holy Spirit He called us to be filled with–the third person of the Trinity–Father, Son, Holy Ghost. He told the disciples to baptize with water to Jesus. And He taught the disciples to do as he did, to make disciples, to call them to repent, to baptize them, and so forth and then to make disciples and teach them to do what Jesus taught the disciples to do. It was to be a replicating ministry.

    Then in Luke 10, He called 70 more disciples and taught them to do likewise and sent them out to the Gentiles.

    As for the 5 fold ministry, He never said they were to be these specially anointed people everyone was supposed to put on a pedestal and worship. They were to be there for training disciples for the ministry. Ministry was not to be a spectator sport. That seems like disobedience and perhaps one of the worst sins we have indulged in akin to cowardice and laziness and neglect of love and of duty to God and man. I am sorry if that is harsh. I certainly do not wish to cause pain. I’d rather see souls saved and lives fulfilled with purpose and blessing and these issues seem to be what stands in the way. And because of it, we have tended to tolerate way too much sin in ourselves–not toward others but ourselves. We tend to embrace and love the sin we find pleasing to ourselves while being cruel toward the sins of others–the sins we hate. We need to focus on ourselves and make sure we are really right with Christ first and foremost, and then that love will shape our lives to the point where others will have reason to want to have what we have.

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