Scot McKnight, blogger and professor of New Testament at North Park University in Chicago, isn’t surprised that the issue of failure has struck a nerve with ministers. He said that ministry can be especially difficult for pastors of nondenominational churches who don’t have the support structure or a network of peers that a denomination can provide.
He sees signs for hope, though. McKnight said that older church members expected their pastors to be perfect. That’s not always the case with younger church-goers.
“In the previous generation, there was a lot of emphasis that the pastor had to be distant, apart from the congregation, and holy,” he said. “Failure was seen as a sign of betrayal. For this generation, admitting failure is part of the pastoral task.”