The One #Shame Forgets


When Judy and I lost our church in the Northwest over 20 years ago our world fell apart. The wonderful ministry our hearts had been welded to was suddenly over. We moved, leaving behind cherished friends, our children’s entire life (we even had to leave our first grandson in Oregon!), and many, many, many we had baptized and discipled.

Of course the rest of the story is that God brought us to Church of the Open Door where I’ve pastored through these 20-plus years, and God used us to help move our now beloved COD toward health and kingdom relevance again.

However, underneath the successes of our years at COD was a seedbed of shame in my heart. I couldn’t get over the horrible reality that I had led a church that had split so corrosively and with such severe consequences in the community.

A big part of our ministry in this lap of life comes from what we’ve learned since then. RecenteredGroup is all about embedding the Great Commandment and the Great Commission into a leadership culture so that a ministry can get healthy, stay healthy, and flourish.

Still, the shame could push me into a lonely corner of hopelessness.

And then, last weekend we spent a delightful afternoon with a couple who were part of our church back then. They’ve stuck it out and he’s now an elder. They affirmed us for our years of ministry there and began to share the healing that’s occurred, their vision for the church, and all that’s going on now.

I was amazed! It seems that in my shame I forgot Someone who loves the local church even more than I.

His name is Jesus.