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Restoring a Fallen Colleague

Ultimately, in the restoration process, you've got to make a judgment call. Because discernment is so difficult, a group needs to be involved—no individual is capable of seeing the whole picture.
—Edward Dobson

The sanctuary of Temple Baptist Church near Detroit is an imposing and intimidating structure. Built in the late 1960s, it seats 4,000 people. The church has a rich tradition in the independent Baptist movement, at the forefront of the evangelism, Sunday school, and church growth movements of the twentieth century.

I had spoken there many times before on happier occasions. But on this Sunday as I sat on the platform, it was different. I tried to sing the hymns, but I cried. I tried to concentrate on the special music, but my attention was riveted on the family in the first row. They were clinging to each other as if afraid to let go. They looked out of place, even though they had been in the church for years.

I tried to smile at them, and they tried to smile back. But it was obvious ...

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