Pastoral Failures and Ministry Collapses: God Is Judging the Church

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Shawn Bolz

I could make a list of names of people who have had ministry or personal failures that were public figures in the church over the past few years and this would be a very long video.

I am not going to do that, nor is it any of my business, but what I do want to talk about is that we have never seen so many ministries have senior leaders or someone within their team in a prominent position go through such public moral failures. There are all kinds of reasons why this is happening but it’s not limited to one denomination or just the Pentecostals versus conservatives, it’s everywhere and there is a biblical reason for it and speaks prophetically of the time we are in.

The circumstances may be discouraging but when you have biblical understanding you will be encouraged! God really does love us and He loves us enough to not let us stay where we are as a body at large and the proof? He is exposing sin, dismantling movements and outing bad behavior.

I was with a group of senior leaders a while back and they began to try and crowdsource their information on some of the failures of friends and even spiritual fathers in the church right now to try and get some perspective. It was so uncomfortable because they were left with more questions than help. 

God is judging the church. There are pastoral failures and ministry collapses, but there is hope.

In the New Testament of the Bible, there are several passages that discuss God’s judgment, including the concept that God judges the church or believers first. Here are some key Scriptures that address this topic:

“For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?” (1 Peter 4:17, NIV).

This verse emphasizes that judgment begins with the household of God, which is often understood to refer to the church or believers. It suggests that God’s judgment starts with those who profess faith in Him.

“But if we were more discerning with regard to ourselves, we would not come under such judgment. Nevertheless, when we are judged in this way by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be finally condemned with the world.”

This passage discusses how believers should examine themselves before partaking in the Lord’s Supper to avoid judgment. It also highlights the idea that God’s judgment is a form of discipline for believers to keep them from condemnation.

The letters to the seven churches in Revelation chapters 2 and 3 contain warnings and commendations from Jesus Christ to the individual churches. In these letters, Jesus addresses the spiritual condition of each church and promises rewards and consequences based on their faithfulness or disobedience (Rev. 2 and 3).

These letters show how God evaluates and judges the churches based on their deeds, faith and adherence to His teachings.

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’” (Matt. 7:21-23, NIV).

This passage underscores the importance of genuine faith and obedience to God’s will, as mere professions of faith and religious activities may not be sufficient for salvation. It also hints at the idea that some who claim to be part of the church may face judgment and rejection by Jesus.

These verses highlight the theme of God’s judgment within the New Testament, with a particular focus on the accountability of believers and the church. It’s essential to read and interpret these passages in their broader biblical context to fully understand their meaning and implications.

Shawn Bolz is a TV and podcast host, an author, producer and a Christian minister. He has been leading conversations in the church, entertainment industry, and in social justice that have helped believers connect their faith to culture in a transformative way. Shawn’s deeply connected yet humorous style of speaking, media hosting & coaching through his unique expert perspective has brought him around the world to meet with churches, CEO’s, entertainers and world leaders. Visit his website at To find out more, listen to my full podcast on The Shawn Bolz Show with Shawn Bolz:

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