Tag Archive for: Ted Haggard

Scandalous Grace

Second chances in life and leadership can often be viewed as scandalous. But, if you study the Bible, the message of Grace is scandalous. I mean just think about, without the act of radical grace in our lives we would have no second chances. Without the act of love and grace, why would churches be in business? Churches are not made for the righteous, but made for the sinner — people who have failed and missed the mark, just like you and me. Through Jesus’ work on the cross and by His love for mankind, Grace is given to every man and woman —to every liar, fornicator, stealer, adulterer, bank robber, money embezzler, etc…

I like quoting what my pastor, Rob Koke of Shoreline Church, Austin, TX says about grace, “The message of grace is that even though we can’t go back for a brand new start we get a second chance at a brand new future.”

A few days ago, I wrote an article about my thoughts concerning the Ted & Gayle Haggard scandal and about Gayle’s new book, Why I Stayed – The Choices I Made In My Darkest Hour. You can read the article by clicking HERE. In my article I said, “What if the church thought as chess players and saw the Haggard scandal as a opportunity and decided to leverage the crisis to impact and reach more hurting people that struggled with drug addictions, immorality and other issues of life that are in need of the love and grace of God?”

What I forgot to include in my article was how will the church-at-large pre-determine its response and actions when we see the next leader fail in their integrity or in immorality (whether it be a politician, nationally known pastor, professional athlete, etc..). Because the truth is more leaders will fall and more scandals will happen. It breaks my heart to say that, but it’s the truth. The questions should not be: When will it happen? Who do you think it will happen to? The real question should be:  “How will I respond when it does?” Will I respond in love, compassion and grace or will I be self-righteous and act as if they got what they deserved? ImpelMinistry.com has pre-determined our decision and our response towards leaders who fall, to be one of grace, compassion and one that encourages a second chance in their personal and leadership journey.

There is a grass-root new movement that God is beginning to raise up, called People of the Second ChanceRadical Grace in Life & Leadership. The founders are Mike Foster & Jud Wilhite and they have been speaking at conferences and events to rally a movement that give leaders a second chance to share their story and their struggles. We encourage you to follow and connect with what they are doing.

The mission of the church is to be one of love and grace to people of all walks of life. It’s amazing when you think about the power of the cross, you begin to think who Jesus has forgiven… the adulterer, the tax-embezzler, the murderer, etc… His grace is scandalous.

Why I Stayed by Gayle Haggard – Book Review

I’ve just finished reading the book, Why I Stayed – The Choices I Made in My Darkest Hour by Gayle Haggard. I’ve followed the Haggard’s ministry for many years. I’ve had lots of friends attend as well as serve on staff and volunteer positions at New Life Church in Colorado Springs, CO. When the scandal broke in November 2006, I was living in Orlando, FL. My heart broke for the Haggard family and the New Life Church community during that crisis. But, most of all, my heart broke on how the church (The Body of Christ at Large) reacted to that situation. The fact is we simply reacted, we didn’t respond with the love & grace of God. At the moment the church had the media spotlight from around the world covering the story, and we reacted in a defensive way only to protect the reputation of an organization. I understand why to a point. However, what if we responded in a way that introduced the world to a concept of love and grace towards individuals who fall — whether they are laymen or even mega church pastors? What if the church thought as chess players and saw the Haggard scandal as a opportunity and decided to leverage the crisis to impact and reach more hurting people that struggled with drug addictions, immorality and other issues of life that are in need of the love and grace of God? I believe Gayle & Ted Haggard are using their platform today to do just that. We are excited that God is using their story by restoring their voice to the Body of Christ.

People have asked me, why do you support the Haggard’s and don’t you think it’s risky for Renue International to support them publicly? My answer to both of these questions is this — Because their story represents a true message of grace and forgiveness. It’s the greatest comeback story I think my generation has ever seen. You really don’t need to hear a sermon to understand the depth of grace and forgiveness, just watch and listen to Gayle’s story and you’ll see the Gospel at work. Plus, I hate church politics and I’ve accepted the fact that I will never fit into the mega ministry church world and all the religious politics that come with it.  We want to see peoples lives changed and transformed for the Glory of God, what people think about us is irrelevant when it comes to the cause of our mission! Because ministry is not about us, it’s not about public relations, it’s about reaching the hearts of people!

Renue International will always support the Haggard family, because we know that God’s grace and forgiveness is for anyone, even for mega church pastors. To follow what’s happening with the Haggard’s, visit www.tedhaggard.com . Make sure you get Gayle’s book!