Over the past ten years or so, there have been a number of popular preachers running across the country telling young preachers that they need a “father” in the ministry — that they need to submit to that “father” in the ministry. Some even taught that you need a “mother” in the ministry. It has been a strange and interesting scene and, unfortunately, flocks of impressionable young preachers started lining up under self-proclaimed bishops, pastors, prophets, evangelists, and even “apostles.” Or they may use a more modern term and call themselves a “mentor.” But, what we have seen over and over again is that as long as that young preacher is doing good, doing what he is told, and sending large sums of money to his “father” or “mother” in the ministry, they publicly stood with him. But, as soon as the “son” or “daughter” in the ministry commits a sin or makes a big mistake, instead of the “father” or “mother” coming to their aid publicly — not just behind the scenes through a phone call or private visit — but publicly, they try to distance themselves from that “son” or “daughter” in the ministry. This is a shame and a sham because if you can only be a father or a mother in the good times and not in the bad times when they need you most, then you are not a true father or mother at all.
We want to encourage all “fathers” in the ministry and all “fathers” and “mothers” in the Gospel music industry who stood with Pastor Charles Jenkins when things were going well for him, took pictures with him, invited him to their churches and events, and accepted invitations to his church and events, to stand with him now when things are not going so well for him. Speak up for him and let people know that you are going to help him through this difficult time. Yes, the adultery, the betrayal of one’s spouse, and having a naked picture of this preacher on the internet is a terrible situation, but it is no worse than committing adultery, murdering the woman’s husband, and lying about it for almost a year. And it is no worse than denying Jesus Christ three times. We are not suggesting that you compromise biblical principles and encourage him to jump back into the ministry, but we are suggesting that you let the world know that you still love him and support him, and that you love him enough that you will encourage him to take a humble path to restoration. (Maybe you can use your power and influence to get that picture off the internet. That would be a great help to him and his family.) As Galatians 6:1 says, “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.”
As we have mentioned before, one of the things that we are concerned about in the Christian community is that when servants of God get into trouble, are accused of wrongdoing, or have admitted sin, it seems as though many who have publicly stood with them in the past abandon them and act as if they do not want to have anything to do with them. As Christians, these things ought not so to be. It is so predictable that it is almost comical how people who you thought were good friends of the person who is in trouble get as far away from that person as they possibly can. In fact, some “famous” preachers who have public relations groups helping them with their ministry are actually advised by these public relations groups to avoid associating with someone who is caught up in a scandal to “protect” their own name, image, or reputation.
We must always remember that Jesus Christ came and saved us when we were “yet in our sins.” He did not require us to get cleaned up first before we came to salvation through Him. After Peter had denied Christ three times, it was Jesus who went looking for Peter to encourage him and bring him back into the fold.
Yes, the Bible says in Proverbs 24:16, “A just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again.” We can all do a better job of helping fellow believers who fall to get back up and go on for God. The devil wants to see Christians, especially Christian leaders, fall and stay defeated. However, as fellow Christians we should not give the devil what he wants; instead, if we are spiritually strong, we should stand up, not as someone better than the other person, and help them to get back up and do what God has called them to do. Romans 15:1 says, “We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.”
Note to all young preachers: You won’t have many “fathers” in the ministry. The person who led you to the Lord, your pastor, and the leaders of your home church can be considered your “father” in the ministry. If you go to seminary, there may be a particular professor whom you can consider your “father” in the ministry. Other than that, no one else can be your “father” in the ministry unless they are willing to stick with you in the good times and the bad times. You can’t just run out and grab a father in the ministry because you think his ministry is popular. Just as with natural birth, God is the only one who can give you a true spiritual “father.”