Questions Unanswered


As a pastor, it didn’t take long for me to figure out that I was supposed to have all the answers. I had to answer all those sticky FAQ’s of life:

Why did God let this happen?
Why do bad things happen to good people?
Why did my child have to die?
Is God even there?

That’s what was expected of me so that’s what I became. I was “that” pastor. I stood behind my big, shiny title and I had all the answers. Or, at least, I acted like I did. But now, after it was all over, I’m the expastor asking all the questions:

Why does that guy have my job?
Why did I make that decision?
Where did I lead wrong?
How will I provide for my family?
Will I ever pastor again?
Or will I spend the rest of my life in that graveyard full of hurt expastors?
God, are you even there?

As pastors, and a culture for that matter, we are uncomfortable with the tension an unanswered question brings. We are uncomfortable living in a state of not knowing all the answers. However, I would argue that pretending to know all the answers reduces God into an easy math formula. But, in reality, God is much bigger, grander and more complex than we could ever imagine.

After almost two years as an expastor, I have come to view unanswered questions as good, not bad. Unanswered questions allow the God of my life to be just that, GOD. Also, it allows me to realize that I’m not Him! If I ask God the questions with the right heart, I stand in submission toward Him. However, if I assume all the answers, I often stand in pride and arrogance and am the “god” of my own life. As Charles Spurgeon once said, “Truly wise men are never above asking questions, because they are wise men.”

Though at times it isn’t easy, I try to embrace the fact that I am no longer that proud man with all the answers. I’m the guy humbly asking the questions.

POSTED ON June 4, 2012

Matt married Genieve in 2003. They have three very spirited children, Adelaide, Hudson and Shackleton and live in a suburb of St. Louis, MO. Matt resigned from pastoral ministry in late 2010 and has been recovering ever since. Currently, he works as an Account Rep. for a marketing firm. Visit his blog at