I know that I’m not the first one to think of this.  I’m sure I first heard of “Failing Forward” in seminary, and I’m just as sure that I’ve read it at different places (books and blogs). I’ve been thinking of it for a while now, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t know how to do it.

If you have some ideas, please share.

But, I have failed before. I’ve failed lots of times. Most recently, I wasn’t there for a family when they needed me.

How do I know this? Because a member of the family told me so.

I’ve no excuses for this. Pastoral Care is a part of my position. There are other churches and denominations that don’t expect it from their Priest/Pastor; but that isn’t where I live.

The worse thing about missing the mark as a pastor is that it is always about people. It tends to be about an interaction, or a moment missed. These people tend to be the ones you love. They are a part of your family, your brother and sister in Christ.

So, what to do? I’m not sure if this is the “official” thing to do when one fails; but it is what I’ve done thus far.

  1. I’ve owned up to the failure by admitting it and sincerely apologizing to the one(s) I’ve failed.
  2. I’ve taken a step back for introspection asking the hard question of, “why.” Why did I choose to do that which I did (or didn’t do)?
  3. I’ve taken an inventory of all of my ministry tools, seeing how I can utilize them to their fullest.
  4. I’ve shared this with a special someone that looked to authentically help me.
  5. I’ve adjusted my attitude and ministry schedule to allow for needed changes.

Is this “Failing Forward?” I don’t know, but I hope this will be helpful to you. If I come across something else, I’ll do my best to share it with you.

How do you think someone “Fails Forward?” How have you “Failed Forward?”