This morning, shortly before church started, I was surprised and saddened to see a headline which felt all too familiar.
If you’re unfamiliar, Perry Noble founded NewSpring Church roughly 16 years ago and, in that time, the church has grown to be one of the largest churches in the country. Noble himself has a reputation for being just as infamous as he is famous in church circles. While many have been inspired by his books, sermons, conference messages, and leadership podcast, just as many have been turned off by his rockstar personality and “creative” attraction evangelism techniques (They once played “Highway to Hell” as an opener on Easter).
While I’ve never met Perry Noble, I’m fairly familiar with his church and ministry (especially his leadership podcast). His story feels especially personal to me since, just four Sundays ago, my own church announced my resignation related to alcohol. Both Noble and NewSpring released official statements about his removal, and they both ring far too close to home for me right now.
in the past year or so I have allowed myself to slide into, in my opinion, the overuse of alcohol. This was a spiritual and moral mistake on my part as I began to depend on alcohol for my refuge instead of Jesus and others. I have no excuse – this was wrong, sinful and I am truly sorry.
I’m by no means an expert on alcoholism or failure in ministry. I have no inside information about Perry Noble or NewSpring, but I can offer the perspective of someone going through something somewhat similar (though far smaller in scale).
How do you respond when someone in ministry fails?