The Wounded Pastor (featuring Dr. Matthew Tanner)
Life After MinistryFebruary 06, 2024x
33:3938.52 MB

The Wounded Pastor (featuring Dr. Matthew Tanner)


It’s the reason we started the Life After Ministry podcast: the distressing experiences of leadership figures within the ministry who've faced the severe blow of unjust terminations or forced resignations. Join us as we explore this crucial topic with Dr. Matthew Tanner, founder of Wounded Leadership, an organization committed to offering restoration and healing for these traumatized leaders.

Starting from his personal experiences, Dr. Tanner equates the transformative journey of these leaders with the smelting process of metal: uncomfortable yet crucial for ultimately achieving fortitude and resilience. Emphasizing the importance of community support during this healing period, he not only confronts the issue of wounded leaders but strategizes preemptive measures to avoid such incidents.

Unveiling a structured four-step healing plan, Dr. Tanner discusses how such challenging experiences can lead to self-growth, reinforcing the necessity for self-care and constructing a stronger, more humble leader. Drawing from biblical instances, he provides comforting assurance that even revered religious figures have undergone similar struggles.

The conversation underlines the role of the church in supporting pastors during their leaving process and subsequently, its responsibility in providing substantial severance and counseling services. Dr. Tanner provides a comprehensive guide to managing forced resignations and unjustified terminations.

Dr. Tanner also introduces his book "The Wounded Pastor," along with details about an upcoming conference designed to aid pastors in dealing with challenging pastoral transitions. This episode is essential for anyone going through hard times within the ministry or facing their exit from it. Healing is on the horizon.


  • Unjustified terminations of pastors are a significant problem in evangelical denominations, affecting tens of thousands of pastors each year.

  • Pastors who have been forced out of ministry often face isolation and struggle to find support networks.

  • Healing from the wounds of termination involves economic, emotional, spiritual, and leadership development processes.

  • Churches should handle terminations with generosity and care, providing severance, counseling, and assistance in finding the next step.


00:00 - Introduction and Background

01:02 - Personal Experience and Writing the Book

03:14 - Challenges and Questions in Ministry

05:37 - Extent of the Problem

07:05 - Isolation and the Need for Support

08:25 - Diversifying Relationships and Support Systems

09:23 - Balancing Personal and Church Relationships

11:45 - Transitioning from Pastor to Churchgoer

13:48 - Overcoming the Pastoral Mindset

14:46 - The Healing Journey for Wounded Pastors

19:51 - The Process of Termination and Wounding

22:23 - The Importance of Generosity and Care in Termination

26:18 - Promoting Healing through the Book and Conference

30:47 - Collaboration and Support for Wounded Pastors