By continuing your visit to this site, you accept the use of cookies. These ensure the smooth running of our services. Learn more.

This bugged me!

Thinking back over the NAM conference there was one part of one presentation that really bugged me - that is, annoyed me - it was too simplistic and triumphalist and missed some big questions about how the churhc fials to care for its own.  You can find the story that was read to us here.  It makes for good reading if you want to take a certain stance on what Christian life is about, but not if you you ask any question of it.

No, I'd never heard of Chuck Templeton, but I wonder what it was that cost him his 'orthodox faith' and drove him from the church.  What honest questions was he forced to face alone and unresourced?  What issues challenged his beliefs?  Where were the people who would love and support him?  Presumably still on some happy cloud counting decision cards.

And I've never heard of Bron Clifford but who looked out for him?  Who said 'you're drinking too much?' Who said 'are you struggling financially?'  Who offered help to him, his wife or his two downs syndrome children?  What pushed him over the edge into self-destruct mode?  Some pastors had a collection to buy him a coffin - where were they when he needed them in life?

Maybe these men were arrogant and deluded, I don't know.  Maybe they fouled up big time.  But even so, who was there for them?  I may have moaned about the long list of 'thou shalt nots' that the NAMs had to sit through, but at least someone cares enough to tell them.  I hope also we all care enough to walk with rather than merely censure those who struggle and fall.


  • The church has been called the only army that doesn't go back for its wounded...

    On the contrary, one of the messages I took home from last year's NAM conference was that the Ministry Dept have worked very hard to ensure that people are supported through the pressures of ministry in their early years.

    Maybe the real warning to be drawn from this example is that people need to be supported and nurtured in grounded ministry rather than thrust into pressure cooker ministries where the adulation of the masses and financial or numerical success (with all their inherent risks) are the only things that seem to matter. Thankfully, last year at least, I didn't see any evidence of BUGB commending such false goals to their new ministers.

  • Hi Andy,
    I would definitely concur that Ministries Dept work hard (and successfully) to support NAMs and do their best beyond. To be fair I'm quoting this part of a talk out of context, but I know I wasn't the only one bugged by it.

  • I think it would probably have bugged me too.

    Have a bug-free day!

The comments are closed.