After more than 20 years at the helm, Todd Wagner, senior pastor and co-founder of Watermark Community Church in Dallas, Texas, announced Sunday that he is temporarily stepping away from his pulpit due to the sin of pride.
“For the first time in 20 years, I’m stepping back from what I usually do so I can do the hard work of hard work. So don’t be looking for some scandal. Don’t even think this is scandalous. What is scandalous is when a Christian plays with, overlooks or welcomes sin, respectable or not,” Wagner told his megachurch, which averages about 11,000 weekly worshipers across four campuses.
“I thank God I have friends to help me. Pride kills. And I would call what I’ve heard my friends describing and telling me, pride. That’s the sin. And it’s really interesting because you know I don’t think of myself or I fool myself into thinking I’m not a prideful person because I never look in the mirror and clap,” he explained.
Wagner explained that he and his elders have been in talks about his sin since June and they have walked through a period of repentance and he was now asking church members for their forgiveness.
“I need to take some of your time to ask for your forgiveness for several things. First, for not being sooner and more attentive to myself especially during this season but for a while, maybe even years I have known I needed just to slow down. And I’ve been encouraged to slow down, I’ve even been given opportunities to slow down and yet these last months, all I’ve done is speed up,” he said.
“It’s not paid leave so I can read and write and relax as a reward for 20 years of service. What it is is a temporary rest from teaching and leading and anything else in the way of my letting the Lord strengthen me, restore me, and lead me to daily greater repentance.”
Wagner explained that he got to a point in ministry where he was just not listening enough to his leadership team and failed to lead “with the usual grace in my relationships with my closest friends.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leonardo Blair