A Prayer for Another Fallen Servant…

Orginally published on Monday, June 08, 2009 at 6:55 AM
by Todd Rhoades

Word came over yesterday that yet another pastor had fallen. Many of you are familiar with the ministry of Gary Lamb of Revolution Church. Yesterday, Gary was forced to resign his church after admitting to a six week 'emotional and physical affair' with his personal assistant. Gary has had a very public persona on-line through his blog, twitter, etc. He has been known as a passionate church planter, an outspoken leader, and a bit of a renegade. I've had the opportunity to meet and talk with Gary several times over the years and consider him a ministry friend. So, when word hit yesterday at his blog, it caused me (as many others) to have a ton of different feelings and thoughts. I want to share some of those with you here today...

These thoughts are random… so bare with me.

1.  This is, perhaps, one of the first falls from grace that includes an element of social networking.  As an avid blogger and twitterer, I know that power of social networking.  When I go to conferences and gatherings, people recognize me from my small 1x1 picture on my blog and on twitter.  People feel a kind of personal attachment with me (even though we’ve never met).  I feel that same, kinda weird feeling about them.  It’s hard to explain, but you really do feel like you get to know someone online… their likes, their dislikes, their personality, their passions, their work, their family.  These is a bond.  With yesterday’s announcement, Gary Lamb stirred up the bond that he had created with those who know him.  But this fall was different… not only did this affect his family, friends, and local church, it also hit hard a few thousand people all over the country who feel they knew Gary personally (even though they had never met).  In fact, there have been over 150 tweets alone in the last 24 hours from people who have commented that they are praying for Gary and all involved.

2.  Of all the comments online so far, most are supportive of Gary, which I think is good.  Most offered support for Gary and his wife.  Fewer offered support for the gal caught up in the affair, but that was probably because no one knows her or her family.  A few of the comments were a little more transparent… thinks like how upset they were or how they had a terrible feeling in the pit of their stomach.

3.  I must give credit to Gary that he took ownership of 100% of this, and stated that he was 100% behind the leadership of Revolution Church in asking him to step down.  He said that he had disqualified himself from leadership of the church (which I believe to be true at this time).  Hopefully Gary will be able to truly back-off from the church and let them heal.  So many times, I see this kind of situation happen, and while there is immediate repentance, it is quickly followed by a sense of entitlement of what the church owes this person, and how quickly they can be restored to leadership.  I hope that doesn’t happen here.  Everyone needs time to heal.

4.  Another interesting part of this story is the documented online history that Gary has online during the past six weeks (during his admitted affair).  According to his tweets, Gary and Revolution Church were seeing some amazing things happen for the Kingdom.  This included a family vacation, a marriage retreat, his assistant watching his kids and then hanging out with his wife, and baptizing a ton of people at the church.  Even during this season of sin, there was an appearance that all was well and God was blessing.

5.  My thought (and I’ve blogged on this before).  You just don’t wake up one morning and sleep with your assistant.  Satan had to have achieved smaller victories in Gary’s life over time to make this one possible.

6.  The ramifications of this extend far beyond the online community, the church, and family.  It also spreads to the community that Revolution Church is trying to reach.  So many people are looking for an excuse to write off a successful church and it’s message.  For those people, this is the only excuse they need.

7.  There will be some that will say they saw this coming.  Others will come down like a brick on Gary.  Yet others will pick apart everything Gary has said over the years from the pulpit or in his blog.  That’s really not necessary.  God has used Gary Lamb in a great way; and may use Gary in a great way in the future (though that’s still uncertain).

8.  And for all of us who may feel self righteous from time to time, we need to get over ourselves… because this could happen to us.  Matter of fact, some reading this, it is happening to right now.  Another group is real close to making a similar decision as Gary made six weeks ago.  Stop it.  You will most likely be humiliated.  You will humiliate your wife and kids, your church, and your family.  It’s not worth it.

I guess that’s it right now.  My prayers go out to Gary, his wife and kids, Revolution Church, and to his assistant and her family.


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  There are 61 Comments:

  • Posted by

    my prayers go out to the family of Gary and the church he pastored…

    Gary is no different from other preachers who fell for temptation… Solomon warned us in Proverds not to fall for the temptations because the end is death… there are a lot of great nuggest in Proverbs and I encourage every preacher of the Gospel to make the Book of Proverbs apart of their daily devotion… The words of God through Solomon has kept me from falling into the same tempatious act. This past month/year as been a challenge in itself… I’m a young preacher who’s married with three children… and temptation came knocking on my door by three of my former girlfriends before I was married… Through the grace of God I was able to identify the temptation and stayed clear of it… I was able to resist the devil and he fleed…

    Todd, you’re absolutely right, we’re all prone to temptations… “yield not to temptations because yeilding is sin...”

    This is not about self-righteousness… but we’re all called as preachers to a level of holiness… I pray for all preachers and the church at large…

    I also pray that we all would be more graceful to those who have fallen, not just to those we consider to be our friends… (We can’t ask for prayers just for those who we like and consider to be good preachers, that would be having respect of persons… we’re to pray for all preachers...) because if the truth be told, many of preachers who fell also did great work for the kingdom…

  • Posted by Ron Edmondson

    Wow, we have very similar thoughts about this.  I love your insight Todd. 


  • Posted by Patrick Moore

    This is tough. I have a lot of respect of Gary and the work God has done through him in Canton.

    My heart breaks for him and his family. I can’t even imagine having to work through something like this with my wife and kids, but I do know that God can restore anyone and any relationship.

    As a young church planter, this is a great reminder of the attacks that will come my way. Always being on guard, especially with the opposite sex is so vital.

    Thanks for your comments. I think they are right on.

  • Posted by


    I am sorta curious why you think Gary felt the need to mention the name of his assistant?  Do you think that was neccesary?  I am not saying that she isn’t also involved or at fault, yet should he use a public forum like blog, that is seen worldwide, to tell her story for her?

    What are your thoughts?

  • Posted by Evan Blackerby

    Thanks for your transparency.  I agree about not rushing back from repentance.  True healing takes time.  (and by the way.... we all need healing from our vices)

  • Posted by Brandon Duff

    “And for all of us who may feel self righteous from time to time, we need to get over ourselves… because this could happen to us.”
    This is it...we all need to look inward. Take this as a wake up call. Don’t throw stones, examine your own heart. It is not only sexual sin that will bring you down.

  • Posted by

    I just read through your thoughts and Gary’s blog.  I have followed Revolution and Gary’s blog for some time and am saddened by this turn of events.

    After his initial post, Gary posted some more thoughts.  Obviously only God and Gary can dissect how things ended up here.  However, two things really stood out.  He wrote that since planting the church it has now become all about himself and his ego.  He also wrote that for 12 years he has tried to control every aspect of his life.  These are painful confessions but give some key points to remember.  Pride and control can destroy a life.  In fact the idea that we can control everything is rooted in many things and pride can be one of them.

    If we can take something away from all of this, it is another hard lesson to keep our humility in proper alignment and a constant vigilance on relying on God. 

    I think it was good for Gary to be honest (but I sort of lean with Adam that naming his assistant to the world probably was not a good idea.  The scope of her confession is not as wide as his).  I also want to commend the Board for taking swift action to protect the church and Gary’s family.

    Everyone involved, especially the church, will be in my prayers.  I’ve seen the devastating consequences to a church when this happens.  It can take a long time to heal.

  • Posted by Peter Hamm

    Check to see what kind of accountability you have to keep this from happening, folks.

    If it’s hard for you to get alone with somebody, it will be harder for this kind of thing to happen.

    Hope that all get healed and restored out of this.

  • Posted by

    This is HEAVY.

    Gary often blogged/ spoke about how he entered ministry as a Pastor one month after becoming a Christian.

    No one in his circle seemed to have any reservations about this.

    Ministry is not about who speaks the best, looks the best, stirs things up the best, gets the book deal and the speaking engagements it’s simply about men who exposite the Word of God and prefer to be invisible, it’s much more of a media game these days.

    Speaking as an extremely imperfect person I wish Gary peace and the comfort of knowing true forgiveness that can only be found in Christ.

  • Posted by DuAnne Seeley

    I have experienced the pain of pastor friends who have fallen morally. In addition to praying for the Lamb family, church and other family, I felt compelled last night to blog about important lessons we should learn about this. 

    PS Todd and Adam, I believe it is good to share the other persons name to avoid further gossip about who the other person is.  Especially in this case.  Gary shared it was with a personal assistant. It would be unfortunate for his assistant who resigned a couple months ago to be considered the one who engaged in the affiar.

  • Posted by

    Often commenters say, “what about helping the family of the “other” woman.” How can that be done if one does not know the other woman?  Nothing wrong, in my opinion, in mentioning her name.  She, too, had influence in the church and had to step down.  Plus, there are probably several assistants in the church, and there is no question about who is being terminated.  He did not mention her last name which does help the other family.

  • Posted by

    We’re all about grace for Gary.  Great, I am too.  But I still haven’t seen anything about extending grace to the assistant.  Maybe she started it.  Maybe he started it.  Either way, both were willing participants.  Yet all of our focus is on him?  I have a problem with that.

    He’s the pastor.  He has a greater level of responsibility to do what’s right here.  It’s like the parent and the child in an argument.  Both are wrong, but the parent, being the parent and the adult, has a greater level of responsibility to do what’s right. 

    I seem to recall a story in the Bible where a woman caught in adultery was brought to Jesus.  He offered her grace.  Had the man been there I’m sure Jesus would have extended grace to him as well. 

    Last I checked, it takes (at least) 2 to commit adultery.....and we should certainly extend grace to Gary, but also to his assistant. 

    I also find it curious that Gary apologizes to his family, the church, the church leadership and to readers of his blog.....but not to his assistant.

    True and complete repentance?

  • Posted by


    I can understand your point of view.  I am more responding to Gary’s mentioning of her name in the blog.  Most reading his blog are outside of the church.  Yes he didn’t mention her last name but he really didn’t need to mention it at all.

    His influence extends widely outside of the church to ministry leaders worldwide.  Her influence does not.  Also, he clearly stated it was HIS personal assistant.  I doubt anyone in the church had any question as to who that was and that it was going on for the last six weeks.  That would eliminate someone who coincidentally resigned a couple of months ago.

    That being said, I do hope the church extends the same grace to her and help to her family.

  • Posted by

    Before God saved me, I was caught in an affair.  I know his pain and the pain his wife is feeling.  I know the gut wrenching tumoil that he must be feeling over the death of trust in his marriage...it dies and I don’t know if it ever comes back to life.  I am still married by the grace of God but I don’t deserve to be.  I wish I could take it all back but I can’t.

    I listened to Gary’s message that he preached on May 3rd of this year which would have been in the time span of his confessed affair.  I wonder what was going through his mind as he preached this message.  He spoke about how if we knew the outcome of some of our decisions we wouldn’t do some of the things we do.  That isn’t true because I knew the outcome of the affair (and so did he) yet we both chose to do it anyway because of selfish desires.  He speaks about self-esteem which has no place in a Biblical presentation of sin. 

    His preaching is weak and it plays on felt needs which leads to many false conversions.  This sermon showed very little preparation and no study of Scripture whatsoever.  I will pray for his salvation as well as his marriage and the woman with which he cheated.  She needs the same healing and prayers as well because it will be a natural reaction of people to blame and shun her.  The message he delivered on May 3rd has a lot of irony based on what we now know and his actions disprove much of what he preached in this message.

  • Posted by

    Spot on Katrina.

    One of the most powerful pastor/ evangelist of our time (Paul Washer) steps up quietly to the platform he simply states in a trembling voice “I preach as a dying man to dying people .... “ No jokes, no sight gags, no “innovative media” , no fashion statements just the Word of God in ALL of it’s POWER.  The buzz word today is “Attractional” and that is accomplished by doing anything BUT expositing scripture. Even when the Bible clearly tells us that there was nothing about Jesus that was attractive. The Church believes that we must attract people to Jesus.

    So we have pastors (perhaps with the best of motives and intentions) that are running in every direction but to God’s Word (or it seems thats the last thing) to grow churches and people. We have men that are using every means at there disposal to keep people focused on them, twitter, blogs, book deals, speaking engagements, conference hosting ... The candor to which Gary speaks of his Ego, he isn’t alone.

    Compare this to a broken man quietly walking to the pulpit and soflty speaking “ I preach as a dying man to dying people....”

    Let’s get back to where we once belonged Church !!!

  • Posted by


    I met Paul Washer in Atlanta last summer at the Deeper Conference.  The man unashamedly preaches the WHOLE counsel of God.  No apologies...no excuses.  When you compare the substance of his preaching to that of what I heard Gary Lamb preach on the prodigal son....it is the difference between candy and steak! 

    Gary is going to have to confront some very tough truths about himself in the next couple of months.  I hope for his sake that the state of his soul is one of them.  This is a very humbling experience for your sins to be made public.  God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.  May God’s grace be with Gary, his wife and children, and his assistant.

  • Posted by benny salas

    I got word early yesterday from another pastor Planter friend and I was more pissed off than anything. Not at Gary, but the situation! I met Gary briefly at Exponential09 and I was drawn to his renegade attitude and do whatever-it-takes attitude and so I was glad to finally meet him.

    I truly do hope this turns out for God’s Glory and that all those involved are restored....I believe that the same passion that got him into this mess is the same passion that will get him out!

  • Posted by

    Jud and Katrina, no offense but can you take your stuff somewhere else… this is not the post for that.  thanks

  • Posted by Chris

    It is only by the grace of God that more Pastors do not fall into this sort of sin.

    My heart and prayers go to GAry, his family, and the church.

  • Posted by

    “I believe that the same passion that got him into this mess is the same passion that will get him out!”

    That’s an unfortunate choice of words.

    Nothing we do, can do or have done have any bearing on sin, it’s all in what Jesus does, can do and has done.

  • Posted by

    I disagreed with Lamb and his style and type of preaching and doctrine he used on stage / in the pulpit.  I noticed the attributes a while back that Lori cited from Lamb’s blog, saying, “He wrote that since planting the church it has now become all about himself and his ego.” It was wrapped up for me in a sermon on YouTube where he talked about wanting to immolate an organ at his last church and take a baseball bat to some woman.

    However, this circumstance shows the repentance that we need all the more in the church, and the clear way that people should reveal their sins.  For that, I commend Lamb and pray that God will grant him that true repentance from sin.  And, I also hope that the assistant comes to the same place as lamb.

    In this circumstance, time will tell how the repentance is displayed.  If Lamb comes back to the role of pastor, continues on in church leadership, or uses this as a bridge into the limelight, I would then be concerned with things, much like Haggard and others who have fallen from grace.  I pray that he will do the right things in stepping down from church leadership and that his family will persevere through this.


  • Posted by

    For too long the church, especially southern baptists, preached a message of law and legalism creating extra biblical standards that defined what good Christians should and should not do like drinking, smoking, and dancing to name a few. They confused law with gospel and it was wrong of them to do so.

    Now, the pendulum has swung and we see a much needed change where our freedom in Christ is preached. But the unfortunate thing that has been getting lost in this course correction is a call to personal holiness in sanctification. We see “potty mouthed” preachers revel in being edgy and cool and we see them preach, like Gary Lamb did, “Bringing Sexy Back” sermon series.

    I think the rise in Church Planting is a great thing in the adding to the Kingdom but unfortunately we have rise to “pastors” that were never biblically qualified to be in that position of a church planting pastor. If Gary truly was a Christian for only a month before assuming the role of pastor then he was BIBLICALLY unqualified to assume that role. The “board of directors” of his church should have called them on that.

    I pray that resortation to the body is the first step with Gary and not an attempt to return him to the pulpit within a set amount of time.

    I pray for the church as well that it continue on and not lose too many members that may have been there solely because of Gary.

    As an aside, I wonder how this would have been played out if the “KJV only” guy was caught in adultery? Would the tone be the same for him as it is being called for Gary?

    It is sad for Gary and his family and I pray for his wife and kids through this all.

  • Posted by

    I just sent this to Revolution Church:

    I am thankful for the way your church sent out via website and blog the indiscretions of your Pastor.  It is interesting how Pastor Lamb’s wife and family were seen as victims but the Assistant, Elena was only mentioned briefly.  She is the true victim in this situation.  She is the victim of sexual and emotional abuse perpetrated by a person of power and authority over her.  This is very serious.  This sin was was not just against God, but against this woman, and serious amends need to be made.  I hope that you will take care of her as much or more than for the Pastor and his family.  She is going to need a lot of support.

  • Posted by


    In an adulterous relationship such as this, there are two sinners, not just one.  It doesn’t matter if the person who initiated it was in a more powerful position or not; the other person has to consent to the sin (unless, of course, the action is rape, which does not seem to be the case here).  She is no victim, but someone who willfully engaged in an adulterous relationship as well, knowing full well as his assistant that he was a married man.

    Lamb’s family could rightly be described as the victims here, as the sins their father and husband did adversely affect them, and they did not initiate it.  They are the ones paying the price for his actions, since he has lost his job, their family name is tarnished, etc.  To say that the assistant was a victim is not accurate and dismisses her role in this situation.

    All of that said, I hope that she likewise repents of her sins and seeks reconciliation. 


  • Great thoughts, Todd. I, too, am praying for Gary & his family as well as anyone else surrounding this situation. 

    I agree with Anne Jackson on disclosing some details.

    --Terrace Crawford

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