Archives For Hess Hester

By Hess Hester, National Celebrating Pastors in Recovery Director

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed” (James 5:16a ESV).

For many years I struggled with this verse as I taught or preached through the book of James — probably five or six times as a pastor. At one point I wondered if James was saying that we should have open, public confession times in our worship services as a church. That might draw a crowd, for sure — like people who go to NASCAR races hoping to see enormous wrecks! I’d heard stories of churches that tried it, but most were about public confession times that had gone wrong — very wrong. I decided that’s not what James meant.

What James does mean is this: One of the greatest experiences you can have of God’s love and care for you is what takes place when you are willing to open your life to someone else in the Body of Christ that you know you can trust. As you mutually remove your masks and confess your sins and struggles to each other and pray for each other,…

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The spouses of pastors often find themselves in a more isolated world of pain than the pastors themselves. Thus, the need for CPR (Celebrate Pastors in Recovery) for spouses is just as great. If you are interested in helping to start CPR for spouses of pastors in your area, please complete this survey that will let us know of your interest.

My wife, Julie, recognized the need for recovery in her own life and courageously chose not to wait for a spouse group to come available at the time, but travelled the 12-step journey with a group of women connected to our church’s Celebrate Recovery ministry. I asked her for permission to share her testimony with you and she graciously agreed. I trust it will bless and encourage you as it has others.



Hi. I am a believer in Jesus Christ who struggles with being an adult child of family dysfunction. My name is Julie.

As long as I can remember, my family went to church. My uncle was the pastor, my father was a deacon, and my mother was the Sunday school secretary of…

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Leaders Need Help TooOne of the questions Im often asked in one form or another about Celebrating Pastors In Recovery is the following: Why do pastors need to have their own special group? Why cant they be courageous enough to be transparent with the church they pastor?

The answer to that question is easy for most pastors to understand but itss a challenge to communicate to someone who has never been a pastor before. If you’re a pastor, you already know the answer: most pastors do not feel safe enough in their churches to be as transparent as they need to be in order to experience the healing they seek. I wish that were not the case.

For example, one of my dearest friends from college days was pastor of a church in the Midwest. At one point during their ministry in that church he and his wife were having some struggles. Divorce was never discussed, but they were struggling. His wife, feeling very isolated in the situation, took into confidence the one woman in the church she felt she could trust 100%. She shared with this…

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hurtingmanIt’s been a very sad week.

I received word earlier this week that Kim Hall, who for 20 years served as Sr. Pastor of Hunter’s Glen Baptist Church in Plano, TX, committed suicide last weekend. I am somewhat removed from news in the Dallas area but am on Twitter and follow many pastors and a few other Christian-specific news agencies. Frankly, I’ve been a bit astonished at the lack of any kind of conversation or expressions of sympathy that I’ve seen. Surely there are communities of pastoral leadership out there where there have been. I just haven’t seen it.

Regardless of whatever the circumstances were which led to Pastor Hall taking his life, a comrade has fallen, a fellow warrior has gone down, and it has been too quiet. We should be talking about it. I don’t mean talk of speculation about why he may have pulled the trigger, but why life had to arrive at such a painful place that the desire to end his private pain was greater than his desire to continue living and ministering.

There’s just too much silence. It’s the same silence that continues to persist regarding most…

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catCan you name the original “cougar” in the Bible? This’ll stretch your memory of song lyrics from the late ‘60s but… can you hear Simon and Garfunkel singing, “Coo-coo-ca-choo, Mrs. Potiphar!” You recall the story found in Genesis 39.

Joseph responded to her sexual advances well, didn’t he? “Come to bed with me!” she said. But he refused. “With me in charge,” he told her, “my master does not concern himself with anything in the house; everything he owns he has entrusted to my care. 9 No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” (Genesis 39:8-9) Joseph refused on the basis of his respect and honor of her husband and second, because of his great love and respect for God.

But, Mrs. Potiphar did not give up. As she continued to press, Joseph remained strong while also doing a very smart thing. Gn. 39:10 tells us, And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her…

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The following article, as you’ll see at the very end, is from Leadership Journal. I know it’s long for a blog, but well worth the read. I am about to contact Darrell to tell him about CPR as a recovery resource to share!

Breaking Point
One pastor’s story of pain, porn, addiction, and redemption
Darrell Brazell

Monday, February 28, 2011

It’s 1:45 p.m. on Tuesday, and I’m logging on the Internet to check my email, read a newspaper article, and begin research for Sunday’s sermon.

Well, that’s what I’m trying to convince myself.

But I know exactly what I’m doing. When my secretary leaves at two, I will be alone in the building. I will check my email, and I may read an article or two. But as soon as the door closes behind her, I will do what I have done more times than I care to count: I’ll type "sex" or "porn" or something worse in the search engine and spend the next three or four hours in the pigpen.

I will enter a trance that leads me to neglect important projects, ignore phone calls, and lose track of time. Eventually I will look at the clock and panic because my wife was…

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