Pastors and Affairs (Part 2 of 2)

Pastors and Affairs (Part 2 of 2)

Posted on 08. Apr, 2011 by in Personal Growth

This post was written by Gary Lamb on 3/28/11 regarding Michael Lukaszewski’s recent confession.

My phone, email, twitter and Facebook have been lit up in the last day with people wanting to know my thoughts on Michael Lukaszewski and all that has taken place the last few days.  I’ve known Michael for around 7 years now.  We worked at the same church before starting the churches we pastored, I’ve met with him more times than I can count, and we both sorta became known online at around the same time.

That said, until about the last month I had not spoken to Michael in around 2 years. I don’t think it is any big secret that Michael and I often didn’t see eye-to-eye on things so I don’t have any insider information for you (and if I did I wouldn’t share it) so if that’s what you came here for, you’ll be sorely disappointed.

I debated back and forth about writing anything about the situation but the simple fact is, I am tired of saying the same things over and over to everyone who calls or emails. I also have been where Michael is today and it is a horrible place to be.  There will be people who say I should say nothing but one of the benefits of being where I am in life is I can move as I feel God leads; so let me give you some uncensored thoughts on the whole ordeal.

  • My Heart Breaks For Michael. I know that surprises most of you, but I’m tore up over the whole ordeal.  I can’t tell you the number of people who have called me thinking I would feel vindicated for the way Michael was very vocal about my affair. I don’t.  I found out last Thursday and it was like someone punched me in the gut.  I wouldn’t wish the consequences and hurt of an affair on my worst enemy.  I can’t put into words what Michael is feeling right now.  He has lost his reputation, he possibly has lost his family, he has lost the ministry God called him to start, he has opened himself up for critics for the rest of his life, etc.  The best way I can describe what Michael is going through is it is like someone drops you off at the gates of hell and tells you to crawl back.  With everything that is in me, I hurt for Michael.
  • I feel like a failure. Michael confessed. I was caught.  There is a huge difference.  Because I was caught, I can say I felt guilty but I was not repentant until months after I was caught.  It took me time to hit rock bottom because I was angry and wasn’t willing to turn from my sin.  During these months, I pushed most of the pastor’s who tried to reach out to me away.  I can’t help but wonder what would have happened if I would have accepted those reaching out to me?  By his own admission of the time line, Michael was involved in an affair before I started or was caught in mine. I can’t help but wonder what would have happened if I had not been so full of myself (embarrassment and pride) and made myself available to those around me.  It’s possible, Michael would have seen the consequences earlier and got the help needed sooner.  After my fall, I told several people Michael would be the next one to fall. I just knew it in my heart.  I know arrogance because I was the king of it and I saw too much of myself in him; though it manifested itself in different ways. Yet, I never reached out. Instead, I chose to be bitter and angry at him for the last two years.
  • This is a great opportunity for the Church to show grace and love. I’ve learned that pastors love to preach on God’s grace and God’s forgiveness until it is another pastor who needs it.  Michael screwed up.  Guess what?  He knows that.  Reminding him over and over doesn’t help the matter.  Jesus loved sinners and that love is showed to everyone. This is a great opportunity for the church to show that we rally around our own instead of shooting our own.  Brennan Manning in “The Ragamuffin Gospel” says “The Church loves to talk about grace as a theory but is afraid to live it out as a practice.” I’m not saying we condone what Michael did, I’m not saying we sweep it under the rug, I’m not saying we don’t even have the right to be angry about it, but I am saying above all that, now is the time to offer grace, forgiveness, and love.
  • Be a friend! One of the most humbling aspects of going through my affair was realizing that I had very few true friends. I had a lot of acquaintances but very few friends when I was at my lowest.  When I was the pastor of Revolution Church, people wanted a piece of me.  When I was the disgraced pastor who left his wife for his assistant, I was forgotten about.  As I approach two years since the affair, some of these people have called to apologize and they always say the same thing:  “We just didn’t know what to say.” That is unacceptable!  If Michael was good enough to be your friend before you found out about his sin, he deserves your friendship now when he needs it more than ever.  Grow up, be a big boy and be there for him!  I understand you are hurt, you feel betrayed and are upset by the lies.  Guess what?  He was in sin and sin does that!  Be there for him anyway.  I know it can be awkward, you don’t know what to say, and it can even be uncomfortable.  Be there for him anyway! I am calling out my friend Chris Elrod publicly and encouraging him to write a blog post on how to be a friend no matter what because he was and has been my friend no matter what. I think he could offer some valuable insight on how to do this.
  • Michael’s mistake doesn’t negate his ministry! God used Michael to start a great church, train church planters all over the country and lead many people to Jesus.  Yes, he messed up in huge ways but make no mistake about it, God used Michael.  Thousands of people will be in Heaven because God used Michael even in the midst of him living the lifestyle he was living.  It took me months to realize this after my fall.  Yet to this day, God allows me to run into the people who I know I was used to have a positive impact in their lives.
  • God is not done with Michael! I imagine the last thing on Michael’s radar is ministry again but make no mistake about it, God can use Michael again.  The biggest lie in the church today is God won’t/can’t use fallen pastors.  The Bible is nothing but a book of messed up people God used.  Michael has a calling on his life and is valuable to the Kingdom.  I don’t know how long it will take or if it will ever happen, but when the time is right and if God chooses I look forward to seeing how God uses Michael again.
  • The worst is yet to come for Michael. Michael thinks he is low right now. He’s not seen anything yet.  There is a common thread among pastors who have affairs. We are ego addicts.  We think we’re above the rules and that everything is about us.  We are addicted to the attention.  Right now, Michael will get a lot of that as people are reaching out to him.  In a month or so, those people get on with their lives and you, who are use to all the attention, suddenly don’t have any.  I’m just being honest, but that was so hard for me.  It was so so needed, but I was literally addicted to being in the limelight and almost went through withdrawals like a crack addict.  To this day, I have a wife who keeps me very accountable in this area.
  • The real victims in this are Jennie Lukaszewski and Brian Kase. The pain, betrayal, and hurt they must feel is beyond comprehension.  Please be in prayer for them.  Knowing that I put my ex-wife and Elena’s ex-husband in the same boat makes me ashamed to even post this point.
  • Do NOT forget about Tracy Kase – This is an area I am crazy passionate about.  She is no more to blame than Michael.  What happens in these situations is everyone reaches out to the pastor offering restoration, counseling, severance packages, etc. and the “mistress” gets to be the whore everyone forgets about.  Let me say this:  I have no clue if anyone has reached out to her or not, but I do know she needs and deserves the same healing, grace, forgiveness, and love that is being offered to Michael.  I know West Ridge Church is involved and there isn’t a better church to be involved so I’m sure they will minister to Tracy.  I don’t think I ever met Tracy but I do know she ran a lot of Michael’s correspondence and was a great help to many church planters and assistants too.  She deserves to be ministered to as well.
  • The community is watching. People love to point out how falls like this are another blemish for the cause of Christ.  I totally agree but I also think they can be a great testimony to the community.  How the people of Oak Leaf respond and treat both parties involved can be a great example of the love of Christ to the community.  Michael and Tracy getting restored and their personal issues on track can also be a great story of God’s 2nd chances to the community.
  • Every pastor (or everyone reading this) needs to get real honest with themselves. Michael won’t be the last to fall.  There is a serious issue in the church today with pastor’s and their egos.  I am convinced most of it is rooted in insecurity.  If you are already involved in an affair (emotional and physical) stop it, confess it, and get help for it!  If I can help you, it would be my honor.  If you are not involved in an affair, evaluate your life honestly and make sure you aren’t headed that way.
  • God will get the glory! God is the God of taking messes and making something beautiful out of it.  This situation is heartbreaking, tragic, and has left a lot of people hurt.  But make no mistake about it, God wasn’t surprised and He will get the glory from this in a way we can’t yet see.

Let me close out by saying, Michael I’m for you as you deal with this horrible situation.  I know you’ve shut your phone down, your email down, and you are offline but if you should come across this, please know if you need anything I would count it an honor to stand by you during this time!

Related posts:

  1. Pastors and Affairs
  2. Disconnect: Permission for Pastors to Power Down
  3. Whiteboard Sessions – John Tyson
  4. Top 10 Reasons People Leave Your Church
  5. Networking with Rick Eschenburg


Deanne Mattice

01. Feb, 2013

your thoughts are absurd and unbiblical. all men who commit adultry must leave their roles of pastors so as not to mislead the church. not everyone who says Lord, Lord will be acknowledged by Christ, only those who follow Him. adultry is definitely not how to follow Christ. confessing the sin as a sin is good, but continuing on as a pastor as though a cheater has God’s permission is absurd.


26. May, 2013

There is nothing unbiblical about a man being ‘restored’ to Pastor after an affair when he follows Biblical guidelines and those of his over seers. Just because a man sins by having an affair doesn’t mean he’s not a Christ follower. Are you a Christ follower and yet you still sin….yes you do but that doesn’t mean you won’t be acknowledged by the Lord…that is very judgmental to say of anyone. I feel sorry for Pastors…they are as human as anyone yet when they mess up, they get stones thrown at them, not by the world, but those professing to be God’s children … Christians. That is absurd.


11. Jan, 2017

Gal. 2:21 – I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless. For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die. ….… I Corinth. 15:13-14 – If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is worthless, and so is your faith.

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