Pastors and Addictions

About a month ago, I got a call from a friend. We had actually overlapped in one church where I served in a transitional role. He was a youth pastor when I got there, but within about two or three months, he went off to plant a church. Unknown to me at the time, he was struggling and had been struggling with some addiction issues. Following his leaving of the church where I was serving there, he planted a church and then the addiction issues raised their head and he lost his job.

He eventually recovered to some level and got back into pastoring at another church, but once again, addiction issues surfaced. He then went on to secular work and addiction was still an issue, so he finally had to confront the issues head on.

He gave me a call and we got talking and I asked if he would consider allowing me to interview him to share his story with a wider audience. In fact, I interviewed him for the church I’m currently serving in my transitional role, Lake Windermere Alliance church in in Invermere, BC and he graciously allowed me to interview him.

I didn’t say a whole lot in the interview. He’s very articulate and has processed things through on a very, very deep level. He has walked through some incredibly deep valleys and had some amazing family support through it all and appropriate family boundaries as well, which he shares about.

I’m not going to belabour the point, but just to say that it’s probably worth your while, no matter where you’re coming from, to give this a listen. If you are a pastor, it will help you understand those you minister to who struggle with addictions. If you’re a pastor who struggles with addictions and by addictions, I don’t just mean alcohol or drugs. There’re a spectrum of addictions.

Addictions, like trauma, have common factors that need to be addressed in a common way. You’ll learn some things from Tim about that. You may be an individual, who’s not a pastor struggling with addictions. You may be a person who loves someone who is struggling with addictions. So wherever you fall in those categories, there’s something relevant here for everyone.

I encourage you to go to and look for the Tim McAlpine interview under the sermon page on June 21st, 2020. (Or at the link above.) Give it a listen.

Again, it’s really worth your while. I think you’ll find it challenging, encouraging, hope-giving, and let’s begin to face this issue of addictions head on and speak honestly about it and address it with wisdom and grace. I encourage you to go give it a listen.

God bless, press on

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