I Prayed have prayed
Father, thank you for this pastor listening and being sensitive to Your voice. Help us to be encouraged by this example.
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After more than 20 years at the helm, Todd Wagner, senior pastor and co-founder of Watermark Community Church in Dallas, Texas, announced Sunday that he is temporarily stepping away from his pulpit due to the sin of pride.

“For the first time in 20 years, I’m stepping back from what I usually do so I can do the hard work of hard work. So don’t be looking for some scandal. Don’t even think this is scandalous. What is scandalous is when a Christian plays with, overlooks or welcomes sin, respectable or not,” Wagner told his megachurch, which averages about 11,000 weekly worshipers across four campuses.

“I thank God I have friends to help me. Pride kills. And I would call what I’ve heard my friends describing and telling me, pride. That’s the sin. And it’s really interesting because you know I don’t think of myself or I fool myself into thinking I’m not a prideful person because I never look in the mirror and clap,” he explained.

Wagner explained that he and his elders have been in talks about his sin since June and they have walked through a period of repentance and he was now asking church members for their forgiveness.

“I need to take some of your time to ask for your forgiveness for several things. First, for not being sooner and more attentive to myself especially during this season but for a while, maybe even years I have known I needed just to slow down. And I’ve been encouraged to slow down, I’ve even been given opportunities to slow down and yet these last months, all I’ve done is speed up,” he said. . . .

Wagner explained that he got to a point in ministry where he was just not listening enough to his leadership team and failed to lead “with the usual grace in my relationships with my closest friends.”

“I’ve been short and irritable, I’m invalidating at times, I’m impatient, enough that people were noticing a difference and worse I didn’t hear them when they asked me and said things like ‘… are you OK?’” he explained, saying that he was dismissive at times.

“This is enough for me to say ‘enough,’ to sharpen the axe more and cut less. I have not been asked to step down. I am not by God’s grace needing to step down but I have been asked and I agree I need to step back, step away and I’m glad. We all agree this is what’s best for me and for you and I think for us,” he said. . . .

Wagner also explained that several current and former elders who have served with him will be helping him on his journey of recovery and continual repentance to keep him grounded and accountable.

Beau Fournet, a church elder, said, “Just want to be clear, we share in unity because we always have unity if we’re at the foot of the cross. We’ve repented of every sin that was brought before us and that’s what Todd has done and that’s what we are doing with one another as often as we get together.”

(Excerpt from The Christian Post. Article by Leonardo Blair. Photo Credit: Facebook.)

Are you encouraged by this pastor’s humility and vulnerability? Comment your thoughts and share this article with your friends!

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Stephen Faris
September 26, 2020

Hey Todd,
Steve Faris. Just saw this. Have prayed often for you over the years. Praying for you now. He is good.
He is faithful. And he is always calling (perfect tense…DTS hehe…)us to His kingdom, a very different one than the one we find ourselves constantly being challenged by. I am humbled and listening on my end. Always loved our bantering, not too different from each other we are. :). Rest in Him.


MaryAnn DaPonte
September 13, 2020

I thank God for giving you the strength and courage to do what you are doing You are a great example of your love and dedication not only to God, but also everyone who knows you. Thank you and may this time with the Lord encourage and teach you more about our loving Lord.

Ruthanne Garlock
September 13, 2020

One of the enemy’s most effective weapons in his goal to “steal, kill and destroy…” (John 10:10) is to sow disunity in the body of Christ. I praise God that this pastor & his leadership team are addressing the issue and refusing to cede victory to the enemy. For years I’ve been praying that Jesus’s priestly prayer in John 17:20-21 will be fulfilled for His glory. Striving for unity among our leaders and gatekeepers is critically needed in our nation today!

for years I’ve prayw

September 13, 2020

God’s Promise and Warning
2 Chronicles 7:11-22 We, individually and the church need/s to read, and meditate on this scripture.
We are not where our country needs us to be!!
I’m very grateful that Almighty God hears our prayers, our cries for help and answers. Our prayer has been for some time, that all those in positions of leadership and authority in the church would be obedient to this scripture and be convicted of their sins and receive the gift of repentance (whatever is needed/be it healing, deliverance, restoration, etc and be made whole and complete) then with all those in the congregation to follow through the same process. and may He raise us up full of Holy Spirit and fire, to be the army of God, giving Him all the glory due His Name. Psalm 29:2
I’m grateful and I rejoice that the process has begun with Pastor Wagner, leading the way for others to follow. May this examination of ones self sweep across all churches in this nation for our good, the good of the United States of America and for His glory. Amen.

annie christman
September 13, 2020

Praising God for this Godly awareness and his willingness to finally take time off. My sweet brother would not listen to family or friends who tried to give him wise words over the years. And so last year he died from Stage-4 pancreatic cancer, only 58 years old. He was a very kind, sweet man, loved Jesus, his family and friends, his church, helping and giving to others, but he was working 6-1/2 days a week, year after year. Ignoring his body’s repeated warnings of health issues. Praising God for friends who dont give up to try to get someone to slow down. Thanks! Your article is timely to remind me to make more time for the Lord too. Many prayers and blessings, Annie

Mel Teoh
September 13, 2020

Heavenly Father,
Thank You for this article. Thank You that Pastor Todd Wagner realized his sin. Praying for Pastor Todd Wagner, may God direct his path during peace and repentance. Pastor Todd Wagner has been blessed with 11K members, therefore I pray for him to draw close to God and know what God want him to do next. Bless his family.

Your will be done, Father-God. In Jesus’ Name we pray and thank You. Amen.

David Espenlaub
September 13, 2020

A great leader leads by example.

    September 13, 2020

    In one way, I so appreciate what he is doing and pray it will help other pastors to be leading in this way. In another way, I look at it as (sorry) but could it be he is fearful of leading the church through the fire? Who am I to say if this is a God thing? Repentance truly is, but leaving the flock maybe to avoid rough times?

    If he were my pastor I would hope he would lead us in repentance with him at the front of the line.

    If every pastor left due to the sin of jealousy or greed or pride (along with us) would anyone lead us?

      Lana Claycamp
      September 13, 2020

      I agree with this but also remember that he was not taking the rest, God’s rest. It would be better if he led the whole congregation through this together and began to live what he is hearing from the Lord showing an example of humility before all. Thank God he recognized his sin. I pray there is strong leadership for the sheep.

        Darlene Estlow
        September 14, 2020


        Elaine D
        September 15, 2020

        It did not sound like he “recognized his sin”:
        “”And it’s really interesting because you know I don’t think of myself or I fool myself into thinking I’m not a prideful person because I never look in the mirror and clap,” he explained.”
        How can you repent if you don’t see the sin?

        Stress causes snippy-ness and these have been stressful times.

        Father, I pray for Pastor Wagner, I don’t know him or his ministry, but as a brother in Christ, I ask that You work your wonders of sanctification on him; meet him at the point of his need, change his perspective to align with yours. I pray for his family, his relationships and his focus. Bless this time alone with you to restore, refresh, and empower with your manna and living water. In Jesus’ precious name, I pray. Amen.

      David Espenlaub
      September 13, 2020

      Good questions. Unfortunately, the article did not say all that he said, which was reassuring in that he is not out of the leadership, but taking a step back for the 7 or 8 men behind him to take on more responsibility. As a delegater, this is a good move.

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