My marriage fell apart, my job followed and with it my 30 year youth ministry career.

If you wondered why I’ve only posted a time or two in the past several years, it was with good reason. I got a divorce. My life was in transition. And I did not want to add more pain to the people I love by blogging about it. But I think enough time has time has passed that I can now share some of the things I’ve learned through the most difficult season of my life. I used to blog to “build my tribe,” now I write to simply help myself process and perhaps help others process the pain in their journey.

Here a few of my sweeping observations.

1. I still love Jesus desperately, but have had to fight like hell to keep my relationship with the Church.

2. Although I loved and pastored thousands of people well for 3 decades, only a handful of people cared enough to walk with me through my deepest pain.

3. I was unprepared to make the switch to the secular job market.

4. Step-parenting teenagers is ridiculously difficult, (even though I’m supposed to be an expert on teenagers).

Each of these topics have significant depth of content so I will take my time handling them with the thoughtfulness and thoroughness they deserve. I know this, there are tens of thousands of Christians: leaders, Pastors and former pew sitters who have experienced divorce… yet I find surprisingly few who have been willing to write about it. I am likely to discover why.

Let me preemptively answer some of your questions with a few opening statements.

  • I do not write this to somehow justify my actions. I made many bad decisions, and my life is not a blueprint to follow.
  • I still love the local church and will not use this as an opportunity to tear it down, but will challenge the thing I love in hopes that it will become better.
  • I will not dwell in the past, or in the details of it, I will only look at it long enough to learn from it and move on.

If you’re still reading this, thank you. It means that either you have experienced similar pain yourself, or that you and I crossed paths at some points along this journey and you still want to hear what I have to say. Either way, I’m honored.

Stay in the journey friend, there is life on the other side of this if you haven’t found out already.



About markmoder

6 Responses to My marriage fell apart, my job followed and with it my 30 year youth ministry career.

  1. Veronica Tourangeau says:

    Going through hard situations, you really find out who your true friends are. Love you Mark no one is perfect and I don’t expect you to be either, but you are right the church can put some unrealistic expectations on our pastors and then have little forgiveness for them. I’m sorry you had to experience that


  2. Dave Crume says:

    Mark, you mean an incredible amount to me and I can’t express enough, what it’s been like to share in your journey with you. When I originally thought about moving to Bellingham reconnecting to you was something I was looking forward too. It’s been a roller coaster of a ride for both of us and I can’t wait to see where we go from here.


  3. Mat says:

    Mark, thank you for opening up about this. I too have experienced a similar pain going through a divorce and feeling abandoned by my church family. It rocked my world to its foundation. Making me question all I had believed in. You have been a great mentor to me since my high school years. I look forward to hearing your insight and experience through the difficult times. Thank you again for your transparency and example.


    • markmoder says:

      Thanks for your words of encouragement Mat. Divorce rocked my world too. It felt like I had committed the unpardonable sin, the way some people treated me. Unkind. Un-Christ-like, Unnecessary. Thankful for the handful of friends who journey with me through the valley.


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