Stepping Down and Going Deeper

Ministers step down for a variety of reasons but over the last year 3 well-known ministers decided to step away for a season and I can't help but wonder if the Lord is sifting and doing something in the Body of Christ.

Here are the 3 ministers I am talking about:

Francis Chan - I've never read Crazy Love. I know Francis Chan is quite popular though. I was impressed with this bit in Christianity Today:
According to one comment he made in a sermon, Chan gives away about 90 percent of his income (though his church administrator preferred the phrase "most of his income"). Chan doesn't take a salary from his church, and his book royalties, which total about $500,000, mostly go to organizations like International Justice Mission, which rescues sex slaves in foreign countries.
Then last year, Pastor Chan decided to do more. He stepped down from the pulpit, went off the grid for a few months and he and his family went to minister overseas. He is back now and working in San Francisco. He is still writing. There was no scandal, he just wanted to go deeper with God.

John Piper - Many were shocked when John Piper announced last year that he would not preach, write or blog for eight months. He stepped away from ministry to spend time cultivating his marriage and to work on personal issues like pride. He surrounded himself with accountability partners and went out of the public eye. Again, no scandal...just a man wanting to go deeper with God.

In this case, Piper was grieved by the pride he noticed creeping into his life and saw the way it impacted his family and decided to do something about it.

C.J. Mahaney - This author and ministry leader stepped down recently when he was made aware of personal failings sch as pride, hypocrisy, etc. Again, no scandal, just a man made aware of his sin who decided to do something about it. In this case, Sovereign Grace Ministries, the ministry he leads, has also been examining their own failings in these areas as well.

All of this reminds me of the Scripture found in Philippians 2:12 which talks about, "Working out your salvation with fear and trembling!"

There's another one in 2 Cor. 13:5 as well: Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test! "

I see these stories and it encourages me. I should be examining my heart as well and listening to my accountability partners. I pray God continues to convict not only the "well known" men and women of God but all of us!

I also pray we are humble enough to respond to his conviction!

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