An “After Pastor” is the pastor who comes in after the devastation of moral failure from a senior leader or pastor and “cleans up” the mess. There are issues of betrayal, grief, anger, and disbelief which hit a congregation, causing ministry “paralysis”. If you or someone you know has stepped into the role of being an After Pastor, you may be experiencing a great deal of difficulty within the church body.
Gossip, rumors, and division are common. Someone has to take the blame, and since those who committed the sin are no longer there, the After Pastor takes the brunt of the people’s anger and bewildering emotions. If you are experiencing the shame, anger, and frustration of dealing with the after shocks and need someone to talk with, contact me and regain your footing about these unique issues that right now, don’t make sense. There is a light at the end of the tunnel!
Much is known and said about pastors who fall morally or are falsely accused, yet very little is ever mentioned about the pastor who comes in AFTER the fallen pastor to help the congregation heal. Worse, there has been a history of sweeping the traumatic issues under the proverbial rug, while congregations are encouraged to “forgive” and not to discuss (gossip) about the events further. Broken, shattered and betrayed, the congregational members are encouraged to move forward ‘with the work of the ministry’ and not look back.
But what do the people do who have already suffered sexual abuse, betrayal and emotional trauma in their families before they came to church, seeking refuge? How do they resolve their emotions and conflicting beliefs when they thought they’d find answers in this “Holy place” called “church”?
It’s past time that pastors and Christian leaders put away shame and start talking in real terms, about real life issues. Before, during and after-crisis is a part of life – even in church. If you are interested in finding answers and getting the support you need as a Christian leader in any of these situations, contact me! Since my own experience, I’ve been gathering resources and answers to all the questions that we asked when we ourselves faced these horrific events. You are not alone!
I was a pastor and in ministry for many years and have had the joy of gaining much-needed insights into a phenomenon called “After Pastoring” which is when a new pastor steps into the pulpit vacated by a previous pastor who has fallen morally. The symptoms expressed by congregational members is nearly identical to incest survivors.
Very few pastors are prepared for the emotional and spiritual repercussions that come from such traumatic turmoil in a place where safety was expected.
I created the first online community website for pastors wives and women in ministry called Sarah’s Tent, which was mentioned in TIME magazine in 2007.
My “tent making business” is my Creative Virtual Office which will play an important role in the development and recreation of an educational and learning systems and tools to help people recover from traumatic experiences and to once again pursue the Call of God on their lives while supporting and facilitating the dreams and visions of individuals and organizations.